At the start of the 2020 pandemic, I had to do something I’ve always been terrified of. Faced with piles of bills and not knowing when or if I’d ever get paid again, I had to turn to my community for help. And help they did! People really came out of the woodwork for me, and for the first time in my life I actually made money off a blogpost. It was both a humbling and eye opening experience. But I also started to see this as a viable way to raise money for making the kind of art I want to make.
While I’ll be frank in saying, the best way to help is by actually buying something. Because at the end of the day, that’s what I’m trying to do – sell more art. But even I can’t afford the art that I sell, as it is subject to market forces. Basically if I sell it for cheaper, it cheapens the art I’ve already sold. The next best thing is to help me fund the creation of new work.
Since I’ve started begging for money regularly, I’ve noticed a shift in how I view this relationship. For starters, it feels very different receiving a couple thousand dollars from someone, versus a couple dollars from everyone. While I’d personally prefer the latter, the reality of it is not all my friends have a couple dollars to give. Every cent that is given however, brings me closer to making a dream a reality.
These days I prefer to think of it in these terms. Being an artist isn’t all that different from being a monk (we just have different notions of what constitutes god’s work). A monk spreads the gospel, and I make things that are fun to look at and think about. Like a monk, I need the support of patrons from my community. Da Vinci had the Medicis and the Pope among his patrons. Which is why he could basically spend all his time doing R&D (and hardly ever finishing any of his paintings).
Me? I have you guys!
As an artist, I’m in the business of making things look pretty. While I could use these skills to help companies sell their products. I’d prefer to use them to remind people why life is worth living. It’s just a much more rewarding experience for everyone involved. But right now, I’m still doing a lot more of the former. Because advertising pays, and even a starving artist has got to eat. What am I using this money for, you might ask? In short, I’m using it to buy time. Time I need to focus on making the kind of work that matters.
In order to facilitate the collection of donations and hold myself accountable. I’ve entered a fiscal sponsorship with Fractured Atlas, which allows me to collect tax deductible donations. For me it’s just regular income, but for you it’ll be a tax write off. They also will hold me accountable to make sure I spend the money on things like art supplies, instead of, say, blowing it all on booze.
In order to make this process much more transparent. Yearly and monthly goals are listed at the bottom of this page along with this month’s donors (unless they’ve specified to be kept private). These numbers will be updated weekly on Sunday mornings to show how close we are to getting to that goal.
Donations can be made by clicking the banner below.
Goal: $60,000 | Raised: $1,010
Goal: $5,000 | Raised: $0
Last Updated: 7/11/2021