It’s 12:06 AM and I have no idea how to say what I want to say. Everything feels trite or like I’m crying and whining and pathetic. If I think about it hard enough to try to justify it all I feel despair. Is it right that people like me, those of us who feel the most profound sense of life and energy from the process of creating, is it right that we should fight to justify having support for doing what we do best?
I’m scared to say I am an artist. It took me decades to admit to myself that I am a musician which is just another form of art. I was shamed once for even trying to express that struggle as if I am not a musician just because of the trauma I have in my past that made me deny my very essence. I’m still fighting now. I was taught to make myself small, tiny to disappear as much as I could. Everything I have ever known was some for of creative art drawing, painting, writing, singing, composing, sculpting, photography, videography, streaming, marking on and on. I could break it all down and still feel like I’m a fraud. Like I am trying to fool you all.
Almost seven years ago I started my business. I’ve called it “my YouTube channel,” because I feel like a pompous ass to say I am an entrepreneur. I’ve called it “taking my music seriously,” I’ve called it “accepting myself as a musician,” or a million different things. Soon after I learned of Patreon and various ways that creatives gain support to do their work. I started my Patreon page thinking surely after I put in the time and the effort and the work someone out there with the means will donate even a dollar to help me be myself.
It was a dream of freedom. A dream of finally accepting myself, my real bonified self. About a week or two after I launched my YouTube I was fired from a job that destroyed my shoulders and my ability to write, draw or paint. I thought “it will be okay, I can work hard on myself and my dreams while I have time an energy.” Sadly the reality was my demons would come to hurt me harder than they ever had before. As I mentioned before I was taught to take up as little room as possible, be tiny, be small, be unseen, be unheard. If I dared to let myself out the cage everyone I loved was punished. It was even harder as Mom and I only had her quickly depleting retirement fund to live off of while I was looking for work and “goofing around” making “useless” content. I made my first album and tried to go out busking and I tried my best to do what I could with what I had.
I am not sure if you can imagine feeling like you’ve donated a nuclear bomb because you chose to publish anything online… a video, a blog post, a post on Facebook or Twitter or wherever talking about said thing… but the feeling crushes me to this day. So I never talked about my Patreon much at all and the lack of help to exist as I feel I was meant to exist just reinforced so many toxic messages I was fed as a child, as a teen and even as a young adult.
Now we’ve finally come to the point of all of this. Last week I decided to take my Patreon page down. I was sitting with some friends on Discord and talks I had with my therapist came to mind. She had asked me to do something at least once a day for my business. You might wonder why. It’s because she believes I have it in me to make my dreams come true. Within moments I just decided to make a change and I moved everything to Ko-fi.
I believe that the arts are an outlet for the rainbow of feelings and emotions we encounter day to day and it is part of what makes us human.
I want to inspire those who feel they have nothing to live for or who feel alone in their pain. I want to inspire those who stopped dreaming to dream again, and feel free to do work they love. I want to inspire younger artists who are afraid to dream because of ideas such as the “starving artist,” and encourage them to take risks for their work.
With your help I can bring light to the dark. We can prove that creatives are a valuable part of our society, that there is art in the heart of all people, that the world can have hope, life, love and an end to darkness and a greater sense of peace and wholeness.
I guess I’ll dare to ask for your support in whatever way possible. I know a lot of my friends are in worse conditions financially or the same as I am. I know that it’s a risk to give your income to some unknown internet person. I just hope that if you believe in me even a little that you contribute if you can, share where you can and I appreciate you for reading this far. I’m scared that this will launch me into a lot of negative self talk but my friends and family are worth the risk. I’m worth the risk.
I’m working hard to heal the pain my my soul that makes it hard for me to even wake up in the morning. I’m working hard to grow and step into the woman I know I am meant to be. I’m working hard to bloom. Thank you so much for your time, again, and as always I wish you love and peace.