Recently, a friend of mine and I were chatting about how there are so many communities out there, Patreon, being just one of them, that is a way for ‘normal’, i.e., non-creative people, to support the ‘creative’ folks. Supporting creative people who are not like them.
The creative people are the dreamers, the doers, and the change-makers of society. But that crazy, kooky way of life, resulted in the past a lot of starving artist mode. Where you lived in your parent’s basement until you made it big (if you ever did).
But the Internet, and all of those amazing creative communities online, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and so many more, are all changing the way the world views creative people. For the first time in history, everyone who is connected to the Internet can view creative people from all over planet Earth.
Someone in Okhlahoma can listen to a Turkish band. And anyone from Australia can be a fan of a indy band from a little town in Alaska.
The possibilities are endless.
This Means The Starving Artist Mode Is Dead
I am not saying this without some apprehension, because I know how attached all creatives are to that starving-artist mode. It’s as if we cannot be artists without having that label attached to us. As soon as a creative starts making money, they’ve betrayed the system, and they are no longer a ‘true creative’.
But that’s all changing now.
Now, we have so many platforms where we can be creative, get paid for being creative, and spend very little money putting our material online. It literally takes zero dollars to start a blog, to start a YouTube channel, to start an Instagram feed, to start a Facebook page, to start anything online.
Non-Creative People Have Always Patron-ized Creatives
Since the beginning of time, people who thought of themselves as non-creative (which is a myth, as everyone is creative), have wanted to be patrons of creative people. They would send them money or gifts. Or even support them for a year, so they could create without worrying about money.
Nowadays, Patreon, and Kickstarter are making it easier and easier for everyone on this planet to support all of those creative people in their creative endeavours.
You have a project that you want to bring to fruition?
Go and ask everyone you know to support you and make it happen. And interestingly enough, it is highly probable your creative project will be funded beyond what you wanted. That happens every single day.
It just can’t be a random project though. Without oomph, it won’t fly. It has to have some meaning, juice, and heart behind it.
Why Do People Patron-ize Creatives?
I think non-creatives become patrons of creative people, because they see something in them that they are perhaps missing in their own lives. There are many different kinds of patrons:
- Either they were creative when they were younger, but have lost it due to the struggles of adult living. So now they are becoming patrons of creative people who show them what it was like to be creative.
- Or, they are still creative, but are successful with it. So they want to be patrons of newbie creatives. They know the struggle, and they want to help out people who they see have the spark of genius. Or are hustling.
- Perhaps, by supporting another creative person, they feel connected to creativity and think they are being creative as well, just vicariously.
- Patrons also want to know someone when they just started. It has a cache associated with it, to be able to say, ‘I’m supporting this young artist and I know he’s going to be really big.’ It delivers status to these individuals, who have the money to support several different unknown artists who are all going to make it big.
- They might also think that if they spend enough time supporting and hanging around creative people, the Gods, or the Muse will smile upon them. They can then start creating themselves, because something of the creative person’s talent rubs off on them.
I am sure there are many more, but these are a few reasons that come to mind.
Make Your Patrons Feel Special For Supporting Creative People
There are hundreds of people that I support regularly with my support, both monetary and non-monetary. And I know like karma is, I get all of that back in the form of support from all of my friends, family, and other people who find my stuff and love it.
If you found me randomly, and you’ve messaged me, saying you love my stuff and you are so glad you found me, thank you! I appreciate you and I am so grateful I am lucky enough to live in this brilliant world where I can be a creative.
It is truly a special, magical, and brilliant time to be alive. We are not ostracized as creatives, but are welcomed with open arms.
I remember how it was when I was a child. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. But my parents were always worried that I would never make any money as a creative writer, so they told me to become a doctor. Or get an MBA. Something solid. Non-creative. Substantial.
But now, there is no need to feel like you are a burden to this world, if you are choosing the creative path. Creative people are appreciated and in a lot of cases, loved.
I Am A Walking Permission Slip For Creativity
I know people come to me and say, “Your creativity has given me permission to be a creative myself. Or has shown me what the possibilities are.” By being myself, I am showing the world what it is to be a unique, self-loving, authentic, individual. That is freaking powerful.
Before, I would have done my creative work in isolation, because I wouldn’t have had all the amazing avenues to share my stuff with the world. Now all, and I mean, all of my work is online. If I create anything, I put it online right away. I don’t wait for it to be perfect.
I follow the software world’s adage of ‘Minimum Viable Product’ and ship everything out to the world. People see me in my imperfections, and realize, they can be creative too. Creativity doesn’t ever equal perfectionism. We can give up that notion right now, and start creating as we are.
Don’t Be Ashamed To Accept Patronage In Any Form
When my parents saw that I was taking the path of a creative person, after years of being a corporate baby, they felt something click inside of them. They saw all of the work I was putting in, and they decided to become my first Patrons.
Kindly, they told me to go and create as much as I wanted, especially the writing part. They saw something in my writing that was powerful, and they wanted to support me in my journey.
At first though, I felt shame. I didn’t want to accept their money. I felt like I wasn’t being a true artist by accepting money.
But it’s all bullshit right? We are becoming creatives, not so we die in obscurity and poverty. We are creating, because we believe in ourselves enough to go on this path. Because we know some day in the future, far off perhaps, the world will see our hustle, and body of work, and reward us.
So why not now? Why not start the journey with patronage? Why be ashamed to accept money for something that takes so much freaking time, and energy?
I spent hours and hours every day writing thousands of words. It takes a lot out of me. I couldn’t possibly work a full-time job at the same time. The patronage of my parents, and other people on Patreon helps and supports me. I’m forever grateful for all patrons who believe in the creative person and give them patronage in all of its forms.
Dreamers Show The World It’s Alright To Dream
It is so important for the world to have creative people in their midst. Creative people show everyone all the possibilities. They also help individuals navigate an increasingly insane world. So many individuals would go crazy if they didn’t have the distraction of creative work at hand.
The world over sits in cubicles working at inane jobs, and watching videos, reading blogs, and scrolling through pictures. They wouldn’t be able to get through the insanity that is modern life without escaping through into the world that creative people have conjured up for them.
We, as creatives, are absolutely essential in this world of narrow-minded, closed off thinking. We bring the possibilities to life.
You might think creativity is rather a waste of time. But why is creativity the first thing that a dictator takes away from his regime? Without dancing, music, art, books, and other creative works, human beings are more easily controlled. Not only do creative people bring everyone’s consciousness up, but they also help them escape the hum-drum of daily life.
You wanna control someone? Tell them either they can’t create or they can’t consume creative works. That will do the trick.
It Is Easier Than Ever To Be A Creative – No Boundaries, Except What We Put On Ourselves
In the past, you could only be a creative, if some major corporation or big conglomerate sponsored you. Nike, or Bantam Books Publishing, or Disney, had to see something in you and then give you oodles of money to dance on their tune. You couldn’t be creative in the strictest sense, because you were basically a puppet in the hands of these major corporations.
If you wanted to do something that they didn’t like, too bad for you. Either you break the contract and pay millions, or you stay put, and dance away.
Nowadays, we have the flexibility to eschew all of these traditional media centres, and work on our own tune. If we are a dancer, we can put our dances on YouTube and get our own following and make money that way. If we are an actress, the same thing applies. Perhaps, you are a writer. You don’t have to go join the New York Times Bestselling lists to make an impact. You can just self-publish and watch the magic happen.
So many more possibilities are at our fingertips, and we don’t even have to be really techie to take advantage of it all. I know grandmothers who just started using a computer a few years ago, with their YouTube channels, pumping out recipes, and other cool shit.
What Is Your Directive As A Creative Person?
Move into this Brave New World that we are living in, and start creating according to the rules of this new world. We are here to make an impact in our own unique way. Do not worry about how saturated the market is, or how many people there are in your field online already.
The world can always use another dancer, writer, actress, poet, painter, and whatever else. We are all creating to add into the stream of consciousness. We are showing people that there is a different way to live.
Money is going to help us do this in an easier way, without worrying about where our next meal is coming from, or how we are going to buy our supplies. We can just ask the world to help us out.
It is surprising how many times I have put out the request to the world to help me sustain this creative life that I have taken on, and the world has said, “Yes, we will help you.”
But the world cannot help us if we do not ask. We have to ask to be able to receive.
So thus, I am asking you to support me in my journey as a creative podcaster, writer, and teacher.
Let me know what you think of my ask, and how it makes you feel. We can all learn from each other.