Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

Getting my guts back

2017 . 12 . 19 - Comments / Commentaires (0)

Gutted. There was no other way to describe it. I was going on two weeks with this terrible feeling when Youngman Brown changed it by posting this episode of his podcast. It was an interview we’d done before the feeling overtook me, and seeing it posted took me over in a whole new way.

Your Creative Push

screenshot of Your Creative Push

This year has been an emotional roller coaster as all of us have been forced to ride whatever legislative, policy, or scandal waves our Comrade-in-Chief creates. Add to that the personal stresses that come with most people’s lives, and by the beginning of December I was exhausted and raw.

That’s when the Great Patreon Fee-asco of 2017 crashed down on my head.

(If you don’t know what I’m referring to, I envy you, but for this post to make sense, you need to know. Patreon, a company that facilitates the giving of microdonations to artists, hiked up the fees art supporters were paying and then, a few days later, revoked those fees. Both the new charges and their removal contribute mightily to the notion that artists and the people they work with are flakes of the first order.)

I was feeling betrayed by the company. My anger smoldered in the knowledge that I was nobody to the people at Patreon, and checking in with other creators wasn’t helping. Artists who had gotten in on the ground floor with Patreon were on the community forum talking about their creator care contact, a special person that Patreon used to assign to artists when the company was first starting out. And one of the top earners on the site posted publicly about being taken seriously, publishing a message that, from my unimportant perspective, read a lot like so: “I spoke with the CEO, and isn’t he cool because he spoke with me?”

My lack of access was making me feel small and worthless, and as an artist I hardly need help getting to that emotional state! I came to the conclusion that I needed to try to get in on the ground floor of all kinds of things so that I could avoid being dismissed like this in the future.

And while that’s not a terrible lesson to draw from the destruction that Patreon has wrought on my finances and on my relationships with patrons, with Youngman’s help, I realized that it was beside the point.

I am “ground floor” on many cool things, including Your Creative Push, where I was one of the first artists to be interviewed. In innumerable ways for lots of people, I am an early adopter. I am special and my feedback is valued because I have long and rich relationships with lovely individuals.

Instead of focusing on jumping on the next new thing, I need to remember the people who already appreciate me, and I need to appreciate them right back. Thank you, Youngman, for putting my guts back where they belong and sewing me up!


CATEGORIES: - English - Business of art - Interviews -

Gwenn Seemel on Liberapay     Gwenn Seemel on Patreon

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