5 FREE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR CREATIVE FRIENDS.

It is safe for me to say that the majority of my energies in the year of 205–2016, have been editing my first novel “Dark Transmissions” and its sequel “Syndicate Pawns”. The challenge to putting together a compelling story and meeting the deadlines of the professional publication industry were really cool and I incredibly enjoyed the test as an author. And look forward to seeing how far I can go with this.

Make no mistake though, I am becoming a published author and living the dream.

The outpour of support from friends, family and well-wishers who know that this novel is the culmination of a life’s goal (almost twenty years in the making if you are among the people who knew me in high-school) has been incredibly touching to me and it is my goal to carry on with the positive momentum this opportunity has presented me.

“So Dav I know you’re book is out but how can help you?” Is a common question I get from the friends, family and well-wishers and found that this was an interesting article in and of itself, as all of the points are going to bring up can apply to more than just the struggling artists.

1-Follow/Like them on their social media.

This one is a no-brainer really. If your friend is an artist, performer or owns his or her business, find out what their social media is and like+subscribe. This might not sound like much but in a world where this data is readily available it helps to know how many people said artist, business or band can reach.

2-Share and comment on their stuff.

Your friend is in a band and is launching their album? Post it on your feed and share the link. They released a video on their YouTube account? Watch it. Remember that in this day net traffic is incredibly important and how much a product gets liked and shared not only helps the business side of the creative’s life but it helps their well-being as well, the tiniest of deeds can sometimes make the greatest difference.

3-Don’t ask for free copies or discounts.

This is one that I deal with working as a clerk in a small local business almost every day.

A few years ago, when I was working at Cafe Chimera, it was a shock to me the amount of so-called friends and well-wisher who wanted to support the business…by asking me for a discount when they were in the store. Here was a small business, struggling in its first year and the friends of the owners were walking in asking to get something cheaper and eat into the store’s profit margin.

When you ask for an artist or small business owner to give you their product, their livelihood the “friends discount” you are effectively taking money away from them. Now don’t get me wrong if an artist, a small business owner or a band OFFER you said discount by all means take it. Just don’t ask them for it. Whenever you ask for it you are in essence saying: “this product is not worth the money you are charging me.”

Creative work is long and hard, satisfying yes, but make no mistake it is hard. So don’t undercut them by asking for free handouts. You don’t HAVE to purchase your artist friend’s product. But don’t ask them to give it to you for free or cheap.

4-Share your feedback with them.

As an author I THRIVE on feedback. Now I know that this applies to all walks of life, but I feel like it really helps me and my creative process as well. I remember that during the premier days of League of Super Evil, someone posted a really horrible review of it on YouTube (sadly I could not find the link). I remember watching it with my fellow League of Super Evil co-creators Peter Ricq and Phil Ivanusic and frankly laughing over it.

“You know you’ve made it when someone has posted a hateful video about your show.” I said as we enjoyed our drinks together.

Conversely I remember receiving an e-mail from a father who told me and Phil that he and his son watched League of Super Evil together every day, that it was something that they looked forward to.

At the time I was fully broke and living on week three of kraft dinner and no-name brand perogies. I was at an all-time energy low and considering dropping the writing game altogether. That message and hundred of others like it made all the struggles we were going through producing the show that more worthwhile.

5-Buy their stuff!

I know I said that this would be a list of free things that you could do to help support your artist friends. But truthfully this is really the best way to do it. Buy your friend’s album, pick up your buddies book, go to your pal’s store and shop there. Financial support is the best way to guarantee that the creatives of the world can keep on producing their content.

I remember watching a busker juggling swords and performing magic tricks to a crowd of eighty onlookers and at the end of his show, he asked everyone for a minimum donation of five dollars while saying: “Five dollars is how much you would pay for parking. I should hope that I was at least as entertaining as parking your car.”

There are plenty of small businesses, local artists and bands who make the world all that more interesting. The best way to support is to help them make a living off their creative craft.

Until the next article.

In love light and laughter

Be well.

DaV