Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Ways and Means

No one asked, but I feel this is a valid (and necessary) PSA. I'm an artist. I sell my work online and locally. I also create content around my work. I take pictures and videos, I write and edit all of these forms of content myself. I see creating and sharing pictures and videos about my work on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and beyond as my full-circle creative experience. From the moment of inspiration to answering questions under my videos, I feel as though I'm building my own little universe for others to visit. For me, it's all one great big beautiful, chaotic ball of creativity and when I'm not under duress (from looming deadlines or projects gone awry), I really love it. 

But all this creativity needs interaction from others to help keep it going. Whether it's people purchasing my work or simply consuming the content I share, the connection of my work with people feeds the continuation of the work. Sort of yin and yang. There are multiple (many of them free!) ways one can support my work. The nice thing is that most of the items on this list easily apply to almost any creative person who shares their work online or on social media.

This may or may not be a comprehensive list, and I will very likely add to it later, as my brain reminds me of more. There are likely better, more detailed versions of this list out there, but I wrote this off the top of my head, so... I hope that anyone who reads this considers applying these options to any creator (in ANY discipline) they like and want to support. I feel sure I can speak for many of us when I say that others doing any of these means a lot to us. More than many realize. I'm intentionally using numbers instead of bullets so you can tell me in the comments which one is your favorite!

Easy Ways to Support Your Favorite Artist/Creator/Small Business

  1. Buy their work. Locally, online, wherever it can be found. Purchasing at a local market helps cover an artist/maker/farmer/baker's cost to be there. Buying their work at a boutique tells the stockist their work sells, so they will continue to offer it. Buying online is often direct from the creator, and allows the person you buy from to spend more time creating and less time promoting in person.
  2. Give their work as gifts.
  3. Post positive reviews. Post them where you bought the goods (creator's website, online marketplace, etc.), but also on search engines like Google or on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all allow you to review items you bought through them) if they have a page on these platforms.
  4. Share their work. Show others what you bought, or simply share the creator's pictures or videos about their work. Be sure to include content credit where it's not automatically included. 
  5. Follow them on all their platforms. Google business pages and all social media allow this. 
  6. Like, comment, and share. This tells the algorithms on the platforms where you interact that people find value in their content, so it shows their work to more people. 
  7. Be a repeat customer. There's something about receiving an order from a repeat customer on a day when things aren't going smoothly that says "Keep going, someone appreciates what you're doing". 
  8. Add to cart. Sometimes even a simple "add to cart", gets things rolling, as on sites like Etsy, items will show how many people have an item in their cart. This may or may not be fully above board for some, who may consider it misleading. But think of it as similar to reviews, as it sort of provides "social proofing" that says an item is desirable to others.
  9. Tell them you appreciate/admire their work. Tell them often. Creators often exist in a vacuum where we continually create and push ourselves to share, but never know how the work is received. If you enjoy a creator's work, let them know.
  10. Donate. If you believe in the work someone is doing, but can't or don't want to make a purchase, you can always look for/ask about donating. Many creators have cashapp, Paypal, and other ways you can make even a small donation to their work. 
  11. Rinse and repeat. Do one, do several. I cannot emphasize how much it means. 
That's all I could come up with, but I may add more later! Which was your favorite? What are other options I missed? Please let me know in the comments!

BTW: Here are my links:

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