Think like Amanda Palmer7/06/12
Think like Amanda Palmer - follow her lead and demand that artists deserve respect of the financial kind.
At this moment there is no one more inspiring to the independent music industry than Amanda Palmer. Her recent Kickstarter project was ultimately supported by 24,883 backers and raised a grand total of $1,192,793: the highest grossing music project ever on Kickstarter.
How did she get here? Palmer wielded the power of the internet early on and figured out how to cut out the middleman. She left her record label long ago and has been working off her yoga-toned butt with a small staff. She plays intimate house concerts, collaborates with visual artists and other musicians, and enables her fans to feel that they not only support the creativity, but are also part of making it.
But first things first: Palmer demanded respect and support (in monetary form) from her fans and envisioned the future of the music industry. Back on September 29, 2009 Palmer posted a blog stating the following:
artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.
artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money on their behalf, thereby rendering themselves innocent of cash-handling in the public eye.
artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks. please welcome them. please help them. please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money.
dead serious: this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it.
i am shameless, and fearless, when it comes to money and art.
Read the blog entry in its entirety here.
No one can deny that Palmer is (in her own words) “the slightly crass, outspoken, crazy-(naked?)-chick-on-a-soapbox”. But even the shyest artist can and should take heed of her advice, especially in the shadow of her recent triumph.
If her words resonate with you and you are an artist, stop feeling bad about asking your fans to pay for your art. Please stop feeling bad about self-promotion. Somehow the world has forgotten that artists work hard at what they do, and even though the world cannot live without it, they still want it for free.
You can still play and create for free because you love to perform. It really shouldn’t be about the money at all, but unfortunately you can’t eat your feet! Start thinking of yourself and your art differently, especially if you want to make a living doing it. You’ll probably have to work three times as hard, but anything is possible in this uncharted digital world.