wyld_dandelyon (wyld_dandelyon) wrote,

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Busking in Cyberland: Amanda Palmer on Crowdfunding

Though she doesn't use that word...

One of the things that Twitter is good for is recommended reading--finding blog posts by people you don't know, people whose blogs you don't want to read every day, but THIS POST you want to read.

I was amazed at how similarly this traditionally successful musician views crowdfunding to how I view it, though she didn't use the word Busking.  But she talked about her experiences as a "statue" with a tip jar, of having people thank her for the music, and give her money--and conversely, drive by shouting "get a job" and even throwing poo at her!  (Thankfully I never got that last bit while busking!  Maybe people have more respect for the muscial instruments than the artists--the people--doing the performing?)

I'll share a couple of quotes (in blue below), but the whole blog post is worth reading whether you like or hate her music. Even if you never heard of her.


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.


it’s also not a matter of whether an artist is starving or cruising on a yacht.

i would hate to see my fans turn on me once i actually have money in the bank with a “well, i would support you if you were starving, but now that you’re eating, no way.”

Writing (which includes rewrites, proofreading, research, and so on, and then if you're self-publishing, all the editing, formatting, and even html stuff) and music (which includes lots of practice as well as writing new material and the whole process of recording) and art (which includes rough drafts too, as well as needing expensive supplies, many of which are toxic or can ruin your clothes, rugs, and woodwork, and which requires scanners and other post-creative stuff too)...gosh, that sentence is too long!  Let's try again.

Writing, music, and art seem glamorous, but they are all a lot of work, a lot of time spent ignoring the good shows on TV, a lot of time spent pretending there are no good video games, a lot of practice and honing of skills, for what is often far less than minimum wage, if you compare the hours spent and the cash outlay with the cash inflow.

Yes, you get praise from your fans.  But you also get criticism.  You may, like Ms. Palmer, be repeatedly told to "get a ****ing job".  You will probably be told you're a talentless hack.  If you get publisher/music deal/art gallery, they get a substantial cut of the money fans pay for the product.  And so do any other middlemen involved in the process, the bookstores, the operators of the venues where you sing, ticketmaster, and so on. 

The artist whose work you love typically gets far less than half of the money you pay--unless you give it directly to the artist.

Think about that.

And remember that artists have to eat, and pay rent, and heat their homes, just like you. 

Do you want your favorite artists spending time on some day job, or do you want them making more art?

When it comes down to the bottom line, it's each artist's fans who make that decision. 

Just sayin' ... you got the power.
Tags: busking, crowdfunding, cyberfunded creativity

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