Being a (F)artist

This story is a day old, but, I mean – Gygax, right?

I subscribe to this feed from Kevin Kelly called “The Technium” – I don’t really understand fully what it’s about, except it’s got a bunch of extremely deep and detailed articles about … stuff. Fuck you.

The story in question is about 1,000 True Fans, which is essentially a moniker for the minimum number of fans of whatever you do that you need to more or less make a living as an artist. A “True Fan” is “…someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work” – essentially, they are your bread and butter. Fairly interesting stuff, and it gets into “Lesser Fans”, a ring outside of True Fans who like you an awful lot, but aren’t necessarily as obsessed (and I mean that in a good way) as a True Fan might be.

Kevin also linked to an interesting resource called Fundable – it allows you to raise funding for whatever kind of thing you’re trying to do. I ran this past a drummer friend of mine to see what he had to say – not because he needed the money, but because he’s in that “artist space”. His complaint was that a funder couldn’t take a tax deduction for the donation, and he recommended the fan-funded site Artist Share for that reason.

My motivation for this little post is actually about work, and (more importantly) doing what you love. I’m getting of the age where, somewhat happily, I feel like I’m in a spot to do things I really like to do rather than shit I have to do. It’s been a long trip, and it’s by no means complete, but I’m trying to be upbeat about it. For those of you who are, you know, maybe struggling, there are resources out there to back you up a bit if you want to cut that album, write that novel, or finish that nude painting of your mom. That last one’s a bit weird, but hey – I’m not judging you.

As a side story – there is a Super Fucking Fantatic Movieâ„¢ out there right now, begging you to put it at the absolute top of your Netflix queue. Take care of that.

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