I’ve been spending time thoroughly enjoying following the links from people I follow on Twitter on my laptop instead of the tiny screen of my Blackberry. Today I followed the link Neil Gaiman posted on his feed to his blog post. In it he talks about how all of us online are learning how to interact in this community we’re creating as we go along.
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.
please welcome them. please help them. please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money.
dead serious: this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it.
unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely noticed that artists ALL over the place are reaching out directly to their fans for money.
how you do it is a different matter.
maybe i should be more tasteful.
maybe i should not stop my concerts and auction off art.
i do not claim to have figured out the perfect system, not by a long shot.
BUT … i’d rather get the system right gradually and learn from the mistakes and break new ground (with the help of an incredibly responsive and positive fanbase) for other artists who i assume are going to cautiously follow in our footsteps. we are creating the protocol, people, right here and now.
What stood out to me, besides her very logical explanation, is her comment about being part of the group adding to the foundation of the system we will leave behind too. So I started thinking about being a part of this creative team, and how I’ve always been fascinated by the lives and stories of those who have created the art from times before. Like the Modernists (note the T.S.Eliot quote in the header of this blog & the Marianne Moore chapter in my thesis). I’ve always wanted to be a part of the group that people point to when they talk about the founders of something. I realize that this is rather narcissistic, but I think most dreams are.
But what I realized is that I am a part of this community shaping the rules. I’m on Twitter, here, I read other blogs, I am connected in lots of ways to the community, which means that in some small way I am amongst the founders. And though will likely remain among the many nameless in this group, it’s fun to watch and comment on.