An artist is working hard to make things to show you. An artist wants support from people around them. It is true that it is a lot harder to be a full time artist, when you have to be a full time (insert crappy job here) to pay the bills. Every donation you give to an artist helps, even a little bit. Even a dollar or two here and there really helps. You might be saying, "BUT WILLIAM! Like an artist, I also have no money! Why don't they donate to me?" If you go out and start a blog and post artwork/poems/music or some other valuable work that people enjoy then you too would be exactly who I am trying to convince people should support. If you have no money to give (which is totally understandable) there are also other ways you can help support the things you love.
Ways you can donate besides money
1. Social Media: post the artists you like on Facebook, not once, but anytime you can. Make sure people know you like it, and try to help them enjoy it too. Leave comments, like it facebook, follow them, subscribe, etc.
2. Word of mouth: Tell your friends (with your mouth). People forget how important this one is. If you tell people around you it really helps bring more peoples' attention to the artist, and in the long run more viewers and more donations.
3. Buy from their store: I do understand if you do not have many to donate, you probably do not have money to spent in the artists store (like my ). That being said, when you need to buy a gift for a friend or a family member, or if you ask others to buy you gifts for birthdays or holidays from X artists' website it really goes along way to help out the artist.
Back to those of you who have money!
When a self represented artist (like me) asks for donations for their web comic (like me) you might see a button like this:
or if a self represented visual artist asks you to support their public art projects (like me) on their personal website you might see a button like this:
When you see these types of things you know this person/artist is looking for your support. You can also guess that this person does a list of things:
1. They make things (stories, articles, drawings, sculptures)
2. They post them for you to enjoy
3. They do their own marketing
4. They are their own manager
5. They do their own advertising
6. They manage their own website(s)/shop(s)/blog(s)
7. They work their but off 24/7 to keep everything in order
8. They do not have a lot to show for it (a.k.a starving artist)
You can be sure that not every self represented artist is starving on food stamps (because in fact many artists are doing decently, or even really well). It is also true that you will find a handful of LAZY artists out there, but I can tell you the ones that have multiple blogs, post new work every day, and are doing art shows every other weekend are not LAZY artists. In fact it is quite easy to tell which artists are LAZY based on whether or not they do numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 (see also: some non lazy artists that can pay other people to do these tasks). It is easy to see why artists ask for donations, because they are so busy doing so many things (besides just doing what they love) just to get by. I think it is worth a donation here and there when you can afford it.
I fully admit that this blog post is littered with my own links to my own site. I even admit that I would love it if you went to each donation box and left me a few dollars, and even bought something from my store. It is 100% true that you donate a few dollars every month I would spend more time making art and less time working at (insert crappy part time job that I currently have). But I know that is asking a lot. However, what I really want to do is let you know that it really means a lot to me and us artists/writers/musicians/creators when you drop us a little tip now and then and let us know we are doing something you like. And every little donation helps us do a little more.
Thanks for supporting self-represented artists!