Happy Valentine's Day! I debated writing something about love and our relationship with Valentine's Day, but hey, this works too.
I see a lot of different comments and posts about loving an artists work and wanting to support them, but not being able to because you don't have money. I feel like this a lot with artists I love and support. But here's the thing: there's a ton of ways you can help and support artists (whether this be painters, illustrators, musicians, writers, etc.) without money!
Since me and Rony are in Convention-Prep Hell right now, I thought I'd share some ways you can help!
This part is easy right? You buy things from them! Ta-Da! You supported an artist! But there's actually a whole lot more ways than just buying merch and prints!
Support their Patreon
Patreon, if you don't know, is a subscription service that lets you pledge a certain amount per month or per thing they make. Depending on how much you pledge, sometimes the artists set up different rewards! Exclusive blog posts, sneak peeks, livestreams! Sometimes even physical things like letters, postcards, art, commissions, etc. It's a great way to get provide a steady stream of income for artists! You are directly contributing to their art!
Buy a "Coffee" on Ko-Fi
Ko-Fi is a non-subscription tipping service! Versus Patreon where you are pledging money, you can choose to Buy a "Coffee which is essentially donating $3 to the artist. You can choose to donate more and some artists will send you things in thanks! But it's a no-string way to give money once or donate just a little bit! Like something they've been doing, buy them a coffee!
Lots of artists, like myself, have online stores. Some use Etsy, Storeenvy, BigCartel, etc, or through a print on demand service like Society6 or they have their own set up through their website! Like I stated before, this is the most common form of support! Some of these even have it where you can Favorite Items, Shops, and Leave a Review! I suggest doing all of these as that can help the artist reach more customers!
Direct Sales or Events
Don't want to deal with shipping? Get it from them yourself! If you see an artist you love at a convention or event, buy from them! This cuts out shipping costs, online store fees, and helps so they have less to take home!
Commissions, if you don't know, is paying an artist to draw something you request. I only do a few because it stresses me out trying to make sure I make something a customer will like. But I do like doing them sometimes. Artists will sometimes open up a limited amount so they don't have to rush through them, will do them in emergencies or just to give themselves something new to draw. Just note, commissions aren't always cheap. Versus getting a print or reproduction item, commissions are one of a kind and you usually get the original piece of art. But that's part of the lure and they help a bunch!
You probably have heard of Kickstarter and GoFundMe, right? That's crowdfunding. Sometimes artists have projects that need support before they can go further. Sometimes it's making enamel pins, sometimes a statue or board game or card deck. These tend to be higher quality, limited edition, or more unique items rather than a print or a sticker. You can pledge a certain amount of money based on tiers and get a reward based on how much you sign up for! A lot of artists do this for Enamel Pins. Say you want one. You would pledge $10 (or however much) based on the tier and if it reaches it's goal, the project is funded and you get the pin! It's easy!
Alright, that's all I've got for Supporting with Money! Let's move on to the other ways! I'm gonna break this down further into categories!
Social Media Accounts
Social media is the fastest, most public form of advertisement a creator has. It's free and it's a direct way to reach audiences. And it's a provides an easy way to support!
- Like a Post
Let me break that down further. A lot of these sites have algorithms that will determine when posts or profiles get recommended, how much they appear on feeds, etc. They're awful and confusing and I won't go into them. But I will say that yes, Liking a post does help but Commenting and Engaging with the post or profile does a ton more! (As well as Following/Subscribing)
The algorithm sees that people are interested and interacting when you comment and engage and pushes the post to be shown a bit more. You Like a post on Facebook? Guess what, now your friends are seeing that post too! Maybe they think the artist is cool and starts following them? Congratulations, you just helped that artist expand their support base!
Following and watching Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat stories help too! View counts are taken into consideration there!
Engagement is the best and biggest way you can help and it can be as easy as just saying how much you like the art piece or commenting on the caption!
Then there is Retweeting and Sharing! I recommend this a ton over Reposting because the post is still linked to the artist's profile so they can still get the engagement numbers! But if you must repost, tag and credit the artist! That way your friends and followers can follow the artist too!
What else can you do with Social Media? Say you bought something from the artist already or saw them at an event? Take a picture and tag them! Link them in the caption! Hashtag it with their name! Have an art piece of theirs that happens to be in your selfie? Tag it! Artists love seeing their work in the wild and again, it links their artwork back to their profile!
Sometimes you can't always buy stuff, but attending and sharing an event can help a bunch! I do a ton of things and love it when people come up and chat about art. That support means a bunch because they physically came to a thing because of me!
I advertise a lot with Facebook Events and having people share it or invite people can help me out so much! That's more eyes on my page and more possible people that will like my work!
Word of Mouth
Sharing Events is basically the new Word of Mouth. So Invite people, tell your friends, show other people an artists work or let them know when they'll be at an event!
And hey, you know someone putting on an event or a gallery needing an artist? Drop their name by them! Show them their work! This actually can help a ton because we aren't omnipresent beings. We don't always see artist calls or gallery's posts. I've actually gotten invited to a few events this way! It helps!
There's a lot more little ways you can help, but the main idea is that you don't have to have money. Interacting, engaging, sharing, helping the artist get more eyes on their work can help an artist's base grow so much and it's free and easy!
I hope this helps you to show a little love to creators you love yourself! We love what we do and we try hard, but there's a reason why it's called a support base. Fans and appreciators are our foundation.
Thank you so much and Have a Happy Valentine's Day! We're a week away from Lubbock-Con and I'm excited to be able to see so many of you in person!
And if you have any more ideas on how to support artists, comment! Artists, comment with what support you think is most beneficial!
PS. Here's the links to all the places you can support me ;)
www.instagram.com/Raicodoll www.facebook.com/Raicodoll www.ko-fi.com/raicodoll www.raicodoll.etsy.com https://society6.com/raicodoll