I found myself signing up to Patreon, this morning, and with that found myself wildly conflicted. Patreon is a platform for artists and the like, to receive monetary support from fans and followers, much the same as KickStarter and Go Fund Me. I've never been able to sign up to these platforms due to a lack of self belief and self worth. Its ugly & confronting, however it is something I'm prepared to face and look at, and realistically needs to be addressed to enable me to progress in my career.
I've always had so much ego between me, my projects & asking for help and or financial support.
Do I feel like its the right thing to do? "no"
Do I really need the support? "yes"
Do I want to ask for money? "absolutely not"
Do I want to art? "absolutely yes"
Do I want to express myself to the world, really? "I want to express myself to those who care for the things I really have to say, I want to create and express as a means to console in myself and my experiences"
Who actually gives a shit about what I have to say? "I honestly don't know - but I'm finding there are a lot of people in my latest campaign for parental rights that feel I have a valid cause."
Here's a few things about me that most of you probably don't know.
I grew up extremely poor. It was always extremely hard to want things, because I always knew there was such a shortage, and no matter how much I wanted something it was more often than not turned down - So I learned to be content with what I had. I grew up with my father constantly telling me "you'll get what you're given" be it for better or worse. As a result I now have so much pride that I can make my own way, I refuse to ask for help unless I'm in an absolute dire situation - Much to the detriment of my art, soul and growth.
I have been an artist my entire life, through my childhood doing finger paintings and crayon scribbles for rich sailors, to selling my sketches and paintings to students and teachers through my school years, to working for a company as a lead artist in commercial arts, and to struggling day in, day out as a small business owner. I have never felt like a great success, and sometimes left wondering what success even means.
So here I am, an artist questioning whether or not I or my art is worthy and valid - valid enough for the support of the people I wish to express to and create for. Questioning my very existence. Who am I, really? What am I trying to achieve, really? I can't count on my two hands and two feet the number of times I've found myself in this predicament, wounded and feeling sorry for myself, pursuing success, what ever that means.
I said to my husband just minutes ago - "who will possibly believe in me, if I can't even believe in myself?" to which he replied "That's the funny thing about self worth and belief, you may be surprised who will believe in you even when you don't." A perfect example of why I'm going to push forward. Perhaps not everyone will believe in me and my cause, but some will. And if nothing else through my lack of self belief, I can traverse through the emotional depths because I believe in my cause. A good friend of mine once told me - Some will, Some wont, So what?
I have had some really amazing and well known artists congratulate me on my art, give me some wonderful advice & encouragement & furthermore openly take me on as an intern or apprentice of sorts. If they believe in me why can't I believe in me? You know, I think it comes down to comparison. I often compare myself to those big guys like Armando Huerta and Chris Sanders and think "how the hell am I supposed to be like them?" "when my art is so 'naff' in comparison' I think its safe to say I have so many lessons to learn, at least I recognize that much.
I don't know what to expect in my next adventure into the social media marketing platform. Its so foreign to me. It is a challenge to get my mind around the concept, alas me being me - I'll do it anyway. Jumping in, head first screaming "you only live once" is all I've ever done, and undoubtedly continue to do so.
I'm not going to sit here and pretend that its fun, or easy, or that its even something I want to do. If I'm honest, its not. I feel vulnerable, and quite frankly its the worst feeling in the world. However I've known many to find success in the arts this way, and as the path is tried and tested to a certain extent, I'll give it my best and hope that it works out, and if not, if I fail, so be it. It is another lesson.
At the moment, all I know is I'm going to give it a go regardless of the outcome, and try to raise awareness on my cause "Parental Alienation" I suppose if nothing else I will bring a little consolation to those being affected in knowing that there is someone out there trying to make a difference.
As for future escapades, anything is possible. I hold the key to the future I've just got to unlock the doors.