Creative Mondays #52 – Love your fans.

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Many creative people, myself included, have big dreams.  Dreams of our art, whatever that art may be, becoming world renowned.  Having a legion of fans that span the globe, eagerly awaiting every new piece of art you create.  I know I have this dream and I’m sure I’m not alone.

That is a great dream, but reality is a cruel mistress and we must face reality that that level of superstardom only happens to very small amount of people.  Again, great goal to have, but keep your dreams and realities in check.  That’s the bad news.  Here’s the good news.  You do have fans.  Sure, maybe not the phalanx of fans that Lady Gaga or Tom Hanks may have, but you do have fans.  And, this is important, in your quest to become world renowned, don’t forget those fans that you have now.

We live in a miraculous time where artists have it made when it comes to finding an audience.  In the span of an hour a musician can record and release a song into the world and, within a week, be on the same playing field as Lady Gaga (ex. The iTunes Store).  A painter can paint a piece of art and have it listed on their Etsy page and possibly sold, before the paint is even dry.  A video of a dance routine, a stand-up set, a puppet show can be on the web as it’s happening.  We are truly living in the future and it is super easy for artists to find fans of their work.

Does it take time to find these fans?  Yes.  But if you keep creating and keep putting your work out there, you will find your fans and when you do, you need to keep them.  A cliche in movies when someone is on the road to stardom, another character will always say, “Don’t forget us little people.”  That’s a good motto for artists, except forget the term ‘little people’ because the people who are your fans NOW are, and will be, the most important people in your career.

The fans you have now, no matter how many, are the ones who will be out there telling their friends about you and your art.  They’ll share your art on Facebook or Twitter, they’ll buy copies of their art to give to other people in the hopes of making them fans as well.  Do not forget this.  Be good to those fans.  “Dance with the one that brought ya.’ And your fans now, those are the ones that brought you.

This topic began rattling around in my head recently because I’ve been going though one of my ‘Dark Times.’  A Dark Time is when I let the negative brain just completely take over.  I see friends and acquaintances getting breaks while I’m still struggling to get where they are.  Often times, to me, it appears they are doing much less work, their idea isn’t as fully formed, and things are happening for them while I’m slaving away to get noticed.  But then I have to, metaphorically, slap myself in my face and say, “You are getting noticed, dummy.  You do have fans.”

A few months ago I set up a Patreon Page for Saturday Morning Media and since then I have six ‘patrons’ who have pledged a total of $81 a month to me to help me produce shows.  These are people, fans, who believe in what I’m doing, so much, they are giving me some of their hard earned cash every month so that I can produce creative projects.  I owe these people everything and I am humbled and ashamed at my negative brain when I realize that I should be focusing on producing content for them.  Not other people.

So, love the fans you have now.  Even if there’s only one.  Even if it’s only your mother.  Love them, keep creating.  Soon you’ll find you’ll have two fans, then three, then six….

Have you heard about the 1,000 fans theory?  What are your thoughts on it?  Leave them in the comments below.  Have a great week!

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