Don’t wait for someone else to validate your friend’s work to support him/her. Ask yourself, “If Kanye said my homie’s art was dope, would I start supporting?” If the answer is yes, don’t wait for ‘Ye or Kim or Barack or Cardi or LeBron or Beyoncé or Cole or anyone else to say it. Just support your people the same way you support ‘Ye or Kim or Barack or Cardi or LeBron or Beyoncé or Cole. Go to their shows. Rock their clothes. Hype them up on social media.
And, while money is ALWAYS nice for artists who pour our souls into our art forms, I get it: We don’t all have bread to spend on every little thing (I blame Sally Mae). But you can click a link. You can repost a piece of work or a web address. You can have their new track playing on your Instagram Story while you’re driving up I-95. You can go hard for your homie’s business like it’s yours every now and then. If you wouldn’t buy their stuff regardless of whether ‘Ye liked the work or not, that’s cool. But if (s)he is truly your friend, still repost because art is like food: everyone has different tastes.
In short, stop killing genuine art (and, ultimately, your friends’ livelihoods) with your apathy. It’s not 1984, it’s 2018. Supporting is as easy as tapping a touchscreen once or twice. If you don’t even do the bare minimum to support, don’t expect to get put on when your talented friends make it.
While we’re on the subject of support, check out my Patreon page and subscribe to get an exclusive look at my creative process and weekly pieces that won’t hit the public.
Make supporting your team a priority.
You made it through the day. If no one else says it, I’m proud of you. And yes, I know it’s a holiday. Most of you aren’t working. You deserve a day off. But take some time this evening to do something, anything, that will make every tomorrow easier. Read a book. Start the first page of a book. Purchase that domain name.
For me, that something was starting my Patreon account. It is going to help me monetize my content going forward. Click here to see what comes with a monthly subscription. I hope you’ll invest in my words and photographs for less than the cost of a happy hour drink.
Make finding a way to live off your craft a priority.
Seminyak, Bali was one of the dopest touristy beaches I’d been to thus far (though Phuket’s beaches were certainly more beautiful). And the town was cool tool. Definitely somewhere I’d recommend going (but make sure you Google “Bali Belly” first).
Went to Phuket. Thought it was pronounced like that thing I say when someone pisses me off. I was wrong.
Somebody get this man some Winterfresh. His breath is HOT!
Around the corner from the garden.
What harm have these eyes witnessed?
What’s the point of a beach if you can’t swim there?
Make seeing the world a priority.
If you look at my photography page on Instagram, you won’t see many branded photographs. That is because, starting out, my photography was only meant to be artistic expression. I never thought it would turn into a source of income and recognition for me. But now that it has, I have invested in a professionally done logo (which will be released within the next week or two) and I’m in the process of getting some pieces printed. Going forward, my creations will be treated as a source of income, which they are.
But this post isn’t about turning your passion into a business. It’s about making sure you get credit that can take your craft to the next level. No, credit is not the goal with creativity but imagine the impact your art can have if you know that what people are seeing isn’t even your best work? What if being recognized gets you the resources necessary to create even better products and provide better services? For instance, let’s say there is an awesome video centered around LeBron’s move to the Los Angeles Lakers that a graphic designer created. The video was passed around the web and, finally, Bron saw it. He reposts it. But he doesn’t know who to credit because your creativity is unbranded.
Damn. Now you’ve got a great piece of artwork with a dope soundtrack and no one will ever know you created it because it’s been reposted 37,000 times.
I’m not saying you have to plaster your face or logo across everything you create but I am saying that, if someone wants to get in touch with you to offer you an opportunity to create for their brand, you shouldn’t be impossible to find.
By the way, this post was inspired by that great artist who will likely remain unsung.
Make effective branding a priority.
“Due to the decades-long War on Terror, US drones have killed civilians at weddings and taught young children to fear the sky.” — Namira Islam
As a child, I looked to the heavens in awe, eyes filled with intrigue
I dreamt the cumulus cloud to be the magnificent home I would one day build
I appreciated the beautiful background it provided for all of life
Whether a dark blue before the rain came
A light blue on a magnificently perfect day in May
Or a night full of fireworks before I found that the 4th was not meant for my kind,
I loved the sky
It housed the sun and the moon
It was a limitless highway for airplanes and birds alike
The sky was amazing
Fast-forward two point five decades
As I read an article articulating that there are children who fear the sky
Children who are brown like I, or a few shades lighter
Brown like my children could be
To them, the sky brings terror
Those we categorize as terrorists before they can form an intelligent sentence
Those are the ones we terrorize and traumatize
With our drones, missiles, and air strikes
“Well, their parents shouldn’t have been first cousins of someone
Someone who was on a watch list for…
Well, no they didn’t but they may have thought it”
Well, to that 1984-esq thought, I say,
“Your grandparents shouldn’t have been the descendents
Descendants of slave owners who brutally raped human beings
Working them to death and dividing families
Because their broken religion claimed Christ
But in actuality was devoid of Him as Xmas in a Hebrew home.”
Has anyone ever held that against you?
If so, did it cause more than a temporary temper tantrum?
One stemming from the guilt that it may be true?
You see, I believe that, just as God is not in the hate America spews,
Allah is not in the evil that violent Middle Eastern sects promote
God is love
Allah is love
But the hate?
Much like His blood-stained words,
I challenge you to
Render therefore unto Satan the things which are Satan’s
And unto God the things that are God’s.