Austin Kleon is the person who says that we should “Steal Like an Artist” and so I’m following his advice. This is something I found from his blog that I just needed to re-post because I totally agree with everything he says and I think it’s a point that needs to be really clear.
Some artists may say that they do their work purely for themselves. But if they are sharing the work even a little bit instead of hiding in their secretly located studio like hermits then I think they are lying or fooling themselves. Most of us do our work because we love it and think it can somehow contribute, that someone else will love it too. That we can – in some small or big way – make the world a better place. There is a lot of uncertainty in creative work and so I think artists often rely on their fans and followers to embrace that every day and push forward.
I can not imagine what it must feel like to be confronted with this weird sense of entitlement coming from “fans” but I am sure there are plenty of artists who have experienced it. It doesn’t feel like something that would empower an artist to do their best work. Here is what Austin has to say about it:
Yesterday I was browsing the Instagram account of one of my favorite artists, and I was struck by how entitled a few of the comments from fans were. I was inspired to write down the guidelines above, not as an artist myself, but as a fan. A few notes:
1) “Give them money” is pretty self explanatory. The Renaissance had to be funded.
3) Send words of praise and encouragement, sure, but don’t feel that by supporting them you are automatically owed a response, or a personal relationship with them. Let their work be enough for you.
All I can add to this short how-to list is point 4) Go to point 1 and start again. Support the artists you love and you will most definitely contribute toward making this world a better place.