Tuesday, January 15

Supporting Artists


Support. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that it translates differently to family/friends when you’re an artist. I’ve experienced various forms of rejection from family/friends before anyone else. While it feels like someone hitting you with a sledgehammer, most times, it prepares us for all the people who just won’t like what we have to offer.
In the mind of most artists, if we support them, we’ll be at their shows/readings, purchase their work when it’s available, and introduce it to others. Some people would beg to differ but how else is an artist supposed to get exposure without those three facets? It’s cool that we might acknowledge to THEM that they are good at what they do but if more people don’t know, the artist might as well crawl in a hole and stay hidden. Art, in its respective fashions, is meant to be seen, heard, and felt. So when support doesn’t lend credit to that, it becomes difficult to agree that people are actually supporting someone.
So how can we show more support to our artistic associates?
With social networks being such a fluid part of life today, it isn’t difficult. Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and other networks allow us to retweet/reblog/repost any information that floats down our timeline/dashboard/wall. We don’t have to wait for our favorite writer/visual or performing artist to hype themselves either. Support is literally in our reach at all times; it doesn’t hurt to post their work on our own. Yet, how often do we share our friends/family work we’re so proud of?
It probably doesn’t cross some people’s minds that if we consistently tell someone they’re good or great at something but never share their greatness with anyone, it becomes lip service. So all that time we spend sharing other people’s work with our followers, we should be throwing some of our friends/family’s work out there too. Visual and performing artists tend to have shows where they put their work on display. If we’re of the social butterfly caliber and find ourselves at venues supporting random strangers, we can include our artistic acquaintances efforts in our outings. Inviting others out with us so they can be introduced to all of the awesome that we are familiar with, helps as well.
Technology has increased the ability of word of mouth. However, the old fashioned way works just as good too. By talking to others about great writers, painters, dancers, and singers, we give more people the chance to share in spreading the word about their talents. While networking and connecting, we get the opportunity to get the artists we love and believe in, into doors they typically might not have access to. This is another form of support.

If you are an artist, that is even more of a reason to support your family/friends. Some complain that they don’t have time to hype someone else when they are trying to be seen themselves. The world is big enough for everyone to create art. When artists support each other, regardless of the type of art, it allows your work to be seen by people who would otherwise probably overlook you. So if you’re a painter but know writers, support one another as if you created the same art. The thing about art is, most people who are lovers of it, tend to like more than one facet. So help yourself by helping someone else.
None of this is in an effort to do all the work for the artist. It’s to give people an idea of how to show more relevant support to those whose art they respect and enjoy. No one should have to twist our arm if people are as good as we say they are. It should come effortlessly. If it doesn’t, we might want to reconsider how much we say we support them. While it might sound good, without actually doing it, we’re not really contributing to the success of the talented Creatives we know.
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