If you’re reading this blog you are either a friend of mine or REALLY into blogs. Like, you’ve gone down the rabbit hole, bud. Maybe after you finish this you should go outside and look at a flower for a while.
But either way, you probably have a personal connection to art and the artists that make it, and you probably know that in this digital age of free content at the tip of your fingers, it is harder than ever to make a living making things. Don’t get me wrong, opportunities abound, but generally speaking those opportunities usually pay in pennies, or worse EXPOSURE, which sounds more like a delivery method for communicable disease than a path to fame and fortune. So I want to explore some of the ways you can help the artists in your life find an audience and MAKE IT (possibly the grossest two words in the english language) without spending a single solitary cent. Money can get tight for all of us. Hell, maybe you’re a starving artist yourself and spend all of your money pursuing dreams of your own. Don’t worry, there are still a lot of ways you can help without forking over your hard earned cash, and you’ll barely have to compromise your morals or personal dignity:
Follow and share their social media profiles/posts
Look guys, this one is kind of a no brainer. The more followers one has on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram ect., the more followers they’re likely to attract. And I get it, maybe you’re buddy Andrea plays guitar in a punk band but you’re ride or die for metal, but give them a follow on Facebook anyway. You can look at their pretty pictures and pretend they have better taste. And some of your buddies from work like punk, maybe they’d like Andrea’s band! Share a few posts to your Facebook wall and maybe they’ll pay to go to one of her shows, maybe they’ll even buy a t-shirt! You know what? I’m going to say it! If you haven’t already followed Andrea’s band you’re a bad friend. Do better!
Signal boost their products and shows
This one goes hand in hand with Number 1. Obviously different kinds of artists take different routes to display their work. Painters show at art galleries or on Instagram, bakers blog or make YouTube videos, and comedians mostly do podcasts in their mothers’ basement. (Mindful of Madness the podcast coming as soon as I can get my act together!) But regardless of their medium, you can help get the word out. If your pal, Kevin has a gig later this month, hang a flyer up on the cork board at work. If you have employees, tell them you’ll make them come in on Saturday if they don’t stream at least 4 episodes of your actor friend Keith’s web series. Remember, it’s not an abuse of power if you’re supporting the arts.
Sacrifice a beloved pet to the dark lord Baphomet in their name
It’s been centuries since the Knights Templar sacrificed their enemies to this terrifying lord of the dark, and he’s starving for literally any bit of worship he can get. Baphomet is a motivated seller of eldritch gifts, so ritually slaughtering Gerald the Geriatric Gerbil in a pentagram made of wood chips while uttering a prayer for your sister’s graphic design business in the tongue of the old gods is a great way to improve her SEO.
Bake them cookies!
Am I running out of ideas here? Maybe, but look, we all love cookies and you were going to make some anyway. Plus there’s a reason we’re called STARVING ARTISTS. Help a brother out. I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory. Oh, and DO NOT put drugs in the cookies unless you know for sure they’re cool with that. I’m looking at your JT! Also check out JT’s Youtube channel where he teaches you how to put drugs in cookies.
Stream their albums or videos on repeat while you’re out of the house
It sounds like cheating, but look, to get views you’ve got to have views and everybody needs a leg up. The Strokes had rich parents who paid for their studio time, Jack Karoak’s mom bailed him out like 12 times while he was writing On The Road, and Donald Trump Jr.’s dad convinced conservative groups to buy up his book so he could make the best sellers list. (Okay, bad example) But for real guys, not everybody has parents who can or will let us mooch off them. We do however, have friends with high speed internet connections and volume control on their laptops. So play my friends Stale//mate’s single, All The Time, Sometimes, on repeat while you’re at work. Or hit that loop button on this desperate blogger’s comedy album, “This Was A Bad Idea” on any of your preferred streaming platforms. On average a single stream equals about half a cent in cash money, so you can literally count your love for me in pennies.
So there you have it, 5 ways to help out a friend without spending a dime. Now go forth and spread the good word, your friends will thank you for it.
Ok positivity over.
LET’S MAKE ONE THING CLEAR JABRONI: THE SINGLE BEST THING YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT YOUR ARTIST FRIENDS IS BUY THE THINGS THEY MAKE. WE’RE BROKE DAMMIT! I’M LIVING IN MY IN-LAWS BASEMENT FOR GOD SAKE. BUY MY ALBUM SO I CAN FINALLY MOVE OUT!!!
Anyway, you’re a peach for reading! If you enjoyed it hit that like button and leave a comment. Check out last month’s Unsolicited entry Self-Promotion Blues for more terrible advice about the business of making art and to see of my weird stories and musings about life, the universe, and the meaning of existence, subscribe to mindful of madness. You can also find me on twitter @drewjokeringram or on Instagram @andrewingram88. Thanks, my self-esteem depends on you.