Last Monday, I launched a crowdfunding campaign so as to be able to release my second album in the format I wish to release it as.
(I am releasing my 2nd album as a deck of playing cards. Learn more about it here, contribute if you can, and share if you please! Every little bit of help goes a long way for me -and thank you kindly).
OK, now that that's out of the way, I can move forward with this editorial.
I've mentioned before that as far as I'm concerned, with my 10 years of experience as an independent musician/artist/creatrix, I am more and more coming to the conclusion that a current revolution we are going through right now is one where the barriers between artists and the people who love them and want them to keep going are more and more falling through, bringing both sides closer than ever, creating thus this celebratory direct connection between them. It makes us artists be able to know who the ones who support us are, it makes us accessible to them, and it makes it easy to share in news, interests and conversation.
Social media and social platforms have been doing this for us for over 15 years now, and as trying as they can sometimes be, there are definitely more perks to them than fallacies. One thing they've definitely brought about is Power to the People.
Indeed, social media, overall, does allow you to choose which kind of news you get and how you get them. It also allows you to be able to react, respond, and spread the word about said-news, no matter what kind of news it is. This, primarily, is what us independent artists live for.
We need the Power given to the People.
And we need the People to Use their Power.
I am a keen observer, in anything I do, beyond all. I observe, silent, and I wait, and I ponder, analytical and critical. In launching the campaign, and observing the actions and reactions of the people, I came to the following conclusions:
1- Art does matter to people
Which is very good. Crucially good.
For as long as Art will matter to people, Art will be made, and shared, and experienced. And as long as this circle keeps circling, humanity will remain Human.
2- People will help you, no matter what
Because when people hold something dear to their hearts, it matters to them to be able to help in as many ways as they can. A $10.00 contribution is as valuable as a $250.00 contribution. If a person has only $10 to donate, and they choose to donate it, then this contribution means the world to me. They had $10 to spare, and they chose to invest it in the realisation of my project. I'm good with that.
And those who have nothing to spare (in this economy!) will share.
People are, generally, selective about what they post -for what they post is a reflection of who they are, or a tiny part of it, anyway. Whoever chose to share the link to my campaign on their public profiles anywhere basically fully endorses Alex Robshaw and her wild playing cards-album project. I'm good with that.
3- Have the Guts to Do Things
A very widespread observation, and somewhat of a cliché, but clichés are clichés for a reason. If you don't have the guts to do anything with your life, then you won't do anything with your life. Turn dreams into realities. Take risks. Don't be afraid of things like money, or judgement, ignorance, rejection or failure. When you close your eyes, if you pay attention, you will see a Light inside you. Take interest in this Light. Pay attention. It will give you all the answers you need. Then, all you gotta do is Not Be Scared -of falling in love, of trying something new, or in my particular situation, of bringing a project to life, and coming to terms with it, and asking for help to bring it forth.
(I confess here that I spent the better part of the 24hrs prior to the release of the campaign contemplating my entire life choices, wondering if I was going to make even 5$ with the campaign and if I shouldn't just utterly pull the plug on my artist self. I let the thoughts happen, I observed them coming and going, and I remembered afterwards that as there was nothing else I wanted to do with my life, I might as well press GO LIVE on the campaign button.)
It takes a lot of energy to Not Be Scared of things, and Have Guts to do them.
Again, as far as I'm concerned, I do believe it's still better to use the energy than to lose it.
In all, if there's any revolution we can be proud of right now, it's the social media revolution. Now, I am very much aware that there are many people who've spent the better part of the past 15 years examining social media and platforms, analysing them and observing their general and specific effects on human behaviour -which is not the purpose of this editorial. I am an independent artist, writing from her own point of view on a specific situation directly affecting the outcome of a project of mine resulting from a beautiful reaction of people, in concert with a demonstration of their use of their own power, on social media and platforms.
I am not waiting for funding from record labels that would most likely fund my project were I to change everything about it, nor am I spending countless hours (and energy) gathering the necessary documentation and writing the required texts to submit my project to the government in the hopes of obtaining a grant which I may or may not get.
I am using my time and energy to directly connect with the people who care about what I do, and who are happy to see Alex Robshaw evolve. And this goes as well any independent artist. If there's one marvellous way for creators to join forces with those who want to experience the outcome of their creativity, it's through social media, and social platforms.
For it is the XXIst century, and people have, and hold, Power.