Fifty Ways to Help an Artist

The starving artist is a cliche for a reason. These days, you’ve got to be either pretty firkin good or pretty firkin popular for the Hollywood Xerox Machine to take a risk on your stuff.

Fifty Ways to Help an Artist

I will admit that I’m being incredibly optimistic with this, in trying to figure out fifty ways to help a creative type that don’t boil down to writing “give them money” fifty times.

The starving artist is a cliche for a reason. These days, you’ve got to be either pretty firkin good or pretty firkin popular for the Hollywood Xerox Machine to take a risk on your stuff. And since I’m neither… my net income from my works probably totals up to something under $30 a month.

This is a huge leap from my original $3 a month. Gotta remember that. But enough whining about my lot. Here, I’m thinking about all the creative people out there on the interwebs who are barely scraping by on their one marketable talent.

Let’s see if I can come up with fifty.

  1. TELL YOUR FRIENDS – The one thing that a creative person needs is a good audience. The more people who know about them, the more likely it is that your favourite artist is going to get something of an income.
  2. TELL YOUR FAMILY – We both know that there’s going to be no luck, here. Your family is the most likely to dismiss whatever cool thing you’ve found as more of your bullshit. But at least it’s worth a shot, right?
  3. Tell your coworkers – You know that One Person who just… firkin monopolises your time to talk about whatever? Use that opportunity to turn the conversation to the cool thing your favourite artist just did. Infodump at them. If you scare them off – fantastic. If you gain a nerd to infodump with – even better!
  4. Share the best bits – You have social media accounts. Those accounts have followers. Every piece of fanart or fanfic increases curiosity amongst the people who follow you. Every reblog/retweet/share helps increase the number of people who see the thing you like.
  5. Commission something – Most artists have commission info. Some trawl for prompts to write with (cough cough) and others will write whatever the heck for money [My standard rate is $500 and I will dedicate myself to writing the thing]. But giving inspiration to an artist shows that you care
  6. COMMENT! – Creative types everywhere live for firkin comments. And not the “Write/draw more” ones. Those… aren’t encouraging. We much prefer stuff like… “I died, and this killed me” or a keysmash. Or creative epithets or plots of ludicrous revenge. Honestly the best comment I ever got was “I’m coming to your house to cry on all your pillows”. If your creative type has made you emotional, let them know. I guarantee it will make their day.
  7. Recommend – If something your favourite artist has done fits a category that someone else is asking for – rec that mofo so fast your fingers/tongue bleeds. Help them find it. Ask if you can send the URL. Send a reply to their thing. Be bold. Be shameless.
  8. Sponsor them – if you have money to share, do so. Organisations like YouCaring, GoFundMe, Patreon and Ko-fi exist. Creative types everywhere use them to varying degrees, and often have links you can follow so you don’t have to wiki-walk into weird new places just to find them [My hub page has all my funding data right at the top, for instance].
  9. BUY THEIR STUFF – Every creator has merch. T-shirts. Books. Mugs. Whatever. There has to be something you can afford, even if it’s a silly little keychain. Every little bit helps.
  10. Bother them – Everyone who follows me on any social platform seems to think they’re bothering me when they ask a question about a thing I did. Every single question comes with “Sorry if I’m bothering you–“. Just. No. You’re not bothering me. I’m frankly thrilled that someone’s paying enough attention to my horseshit to ask salient questions about it. Bother away, my dears. Fanmail is life.

Yeah nah. Didn’t make it to fifty. But if you do these five times a week, I guarantee it will count as fifty and your artistic type will be firkin THRILLED.