why are artists starving?

I tried talking about this with artist friends. I tried a lot of things actually. This is what I've learned so far.

  1. Share the art you love.
    Talk about the art you love with the people that you love (or have just met, whatever). Seek the people that love the things you love and then hold on to them. Differences are okay. Unless the difference is that they can't accept any differences. Especially your differences and so make you feel inferior. It's your differences that make you unique. When they say, "just be yourself", this is what they mean. When they say, "Be true to yourself", this is what they mean. When they say, "What the actual fuck, Mike", maybe tone it down a little.
  2. Support the artist as much and as often as you are honestly capable of.
    It's on you. Pay to subscribe to things that you could otherwise get for free. Think about that TV show you loved that got cancelled after only 1 season. Think about that band that you love that broke up. What if you hadn't downloaded their album on an illegal torrent site? I warned you that you weren't going to get off that easy. It is all. on. you. Art's credibility is the impact it has on you because it's your experience of the art that validates the art. It's in achieving validation that the art therefore achieves value. When you skip the payment you fail to live up to your end of the deal and therefore deny the art it's validation. It's like telling the universe, please don't make any more of the art that I love. Support the art you love because there is no art without you. I know. I trust ya. You're good for it. A little short this month, I know. You'll find a way. There are many different ways to support the art you love. I should write them all down someday.
  3. Notice the art you love
    Pay attention to the art that you love. Notice it (and when it's not it). Fairly attribute the art that you love. Give a little bit of your time to make sure that you are sharing it straight from the source. Beware of people "repackaging" the art that you love. Dig up the original source. You have the power online to amplify. Do not take that responsiblity lightly.
  4. Accept the advertising.
    Disable your adblockers for the art that you love. Let the cynicism shields down once in a while. If the art is worth it then really, come on, are you totally incapable of donating 15 seconds of your precious time to support the art you love? Maybe that's asking too much. No, maybe it really is. I don't need to sit through 7 commercials on a 4 minute long video. I think we will all draw the line differently here, but I think we can all agree that the number here can and should be at least 1. I feel like I'm repeating myself here, but it's only 15 seconds!
  5. Subscribe. Keep up to date. (You know you want to)
    Support the art you love directly by supporting it as directly as possible. Subscribe. Sign up. Get on that mailing list. If you have the time to follow a celebrity or a brand, you can make the same amount of time to find and follow an artist that you love that isn't either. Maybe start by taking an interest in the artists close to you.
  6. Just fucking buy something from them already!
    How hard is it to scrape together a buck for a busker? Dig a little deeper. Buy some tickets. Get out to a show (even if it's on a school night) (maybe not if they're headlining). Swing by the merch booth (you just might get to meet the lead singer's mom or unhappy wife or BOTH at the same time! It's the stories that totally make it worth while). Experience the art that you love. Get out to an art show and buy that piece right out of the artists hands. (but if you happen to have the means, you go you.). Maybe give them a discount to rent your garage. Maybe go to an art show at an art school and quietly buy something, because "it sold!? Really?" can be an inspiring feeling. You can be inspiring. Support an artist by showing that you believe in them by making an investment in them. Invest in the art that you love.
  7. Know that it's okay to love the art that you love,
    It's okay to go on about it; to collect and share those stories; those experiences. That's the whole point. You have my permission to experience art. Art is the experience of art. Create experiences for and with love. Create art for yourself and love the art you make. Support the artist within. Share your own art. We will want to see it. We will support the artists we love. Be brave.
  8. Know that it's okay to love the people that you love, regardless.
    Love the people that love you. Be brave with love. Be brave with your own self. Be brave in all things. Be brave with the broken people you meet, because we're all a little broken and, yes, we're all at least a little ashamed of how "broken" we are. Be brave about it while everyone else is hiding it; creator energy is there. If we all had enough of that to create our own pefect little worlds I like to think that we would all include art. Good art. Lots of art. The kind of art that we could all take a little time to support. I have a few thoughts on how one might go about doing that. Maybe I'll write them all down someday.
  9. This page will evolve someday
    As it will expire some day
    Like all great graffiti must.