A few folks have stated that they would like to support me more as an artist - which is SUPER!

There are many ways you can support me already - by coming to my shows, convincing other people to come to my shows, buying my merch, following on social media (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram etc), sharing my work online, signing up to my newsletter, reading my blog stuff and just generally loving me up all over the place!

However, if you want to and are able to support me in a financial sense, then this is me trying to set up the facilities for you to do so. All the companies online, currently providing this service, charge processing fees and take a percentage of donations - so I am trying this as a way of maximising my ability to receive your full support, as intended. Hopefully, it will work but if I need more of a signal boost that can only be achieved through those other providers then I may have to consider that further down the line. But anyway, for now at least:

“Why can’t you just get a job?!?! Why would I give you some of MY money? Money that I work super hard to earn?!”

All fair questions with fair and actually quite obvious answers when you think about it…

Ok, so - I do have a job. I am a Spoken Word Artist. I write, perform, host, facilitate workshops, travel, repeat.

And I work SUPER hard on it. If you have ever seen me live or watched me online - that is me at work. But that is not the only part of my work… The research, writing and careful construction of the pieces; the verbal and physical choreography; the memorising; the vocal training; the countless emails seeking and setting up gigs; the painful, constant negotiations over organisers “not having any budget”; the building of a cogent and cohesive set; the rehearsal time; the years of practice honing stage craft and how to handle an audience; the designing of posters; the physical and online promotion to the get people along; the desperate messages to friends pleading with them to please come to the gig; resassuring them they will like it - you promise: “I know you don’t like poetry but this is different to what you are thinking, I know you’re tired but really it’ll be great!”, the mental and physical preparations, the travel time, the editing of a spoken poem for the page so you have something to sell, the time learning the skills to record and edit your own stuff because you can’t afford a professional, the website fees, the content creation time for workshops, the self-esteem work and mental health cycle from being told your art isn’t worth anything again and again (that is what is heard when you are told “no we don’t have budget but the exposure will be great”, the time creating pages like this to explain why artists need to be paid… I could go on…

And this is the same for all working artists! But I get it - you’d love to do your passion as a job too but bills need to be paid, family to be fed, reality needs to be checked so why should you support me?! Well I guess the question I would pose in response is: do you like what I create? Does it bring you pleasure? Have you ever been comforted by my words? Has my work made you rethink something? Get through a tough time? Feel recognised and seen and heard? Been empowered? Educated? Entertained?

If so then you are benefitting from my work. And please do so with my absolute blessing. That is what I create it for :) and do not feel obliged to financially support me because of that (if you cannot afford to, there are numerous non-monetary ways to help, listed above). However, please just consider for at least a few moments what your world would be like without that art and creativity that feeds you and gives you purpose… because that is what happens when artists cannot afford to be artists.

So if you can afford to support financially then please do. And not even necessarily to me (I’m aware I have not done the best job at releasing videos/ content of my work lately… but that really is because I am working so hard at trying to keep afloat through organising shows that I just don’t have the time or money to be making videos that make me no money in return) but to any artist that has touched your life - contact them and see if there’s any way you can support them.

Maybe you can budget it in? Maybe Thursday becomes - “No Starbucks Thursday” saving you £5 a week, so by the end of the month you have an additional £20 you could donate to your favourite artist? Maybe you can even afford more that one coffee a week…

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