How many of you gain excitement or entertainment from the arts? How many of you plan your weekends around a current movie, exhibit or play you want to see? The non conformed people are the ones that provide this luxury to the masses. The people who choose another way to live are responsible for a good portion of the joy, motivation and adventure everyday people seek. If this is the case, what are you doing to support the non conformed? The sleepless artist spending days, weeks, months or even years to provide you with an image, movie, panting, or dance, can be labeled as the most important people in our lives. What about the small local business that provides your community with jobs, involvement and diversity? If you partake in sustaining those who are artists and entrepreneurs, thank you, but there are many who have not yet joined the club.
This photo above was taken by my friend and fellow photographer Ryan Duclos. Ryan and I met each other in Santa Clara, Cuba in July of 2017. This is my second trip that Ive made abroad as a travel and documentary photographer. One of my greatest goals is to have the images I'm creating live in the homes, offices, sacred spaces, etc... of people around the world. I spend my own money and resources to travel to these places to create artwork. I am just an example of the many non conformist around the world.
How many of you buy artwork to hang in your home/apartment, work stations, studios, cubicles, etc...? The next question is where are you buying this artwork? Is it from Ikea, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, Walmart? If you are a consumer of art and care about where and what type of art you consume, are you truly supporting the artist and entrepreneur by consuming art from the places listed above? If so can you think of a time you thought to yourself, "I wonder who the artist of this work is? Am I truly supporting the person that traveled around the world to bring this image to life? Who is truly benefiting from the money I spend on my choice of joy and entertainment?"
Once these questions start to run circles in your head, you'll soon realize the importance of supporting the non conformed. Below are a few ways in which you can help make sure artists and entrepreneurs continue to be the reason for your joy, motivation and adventure.
1. Take out some time to research local artists and boutiques where you can support the non conformist. There are people you know right now who are selling their photographs, paintings, candles, waist beads, party favors, candy tables, a finance class, etc.... You name it.
2. If you don't know anyone personally, the internet is your friend. Go on FB, IG, Twitter and find what you're looking for from someone who is local or just an independent artist you'd like to support. Connect with them. There is power in supporting those you have a connection with. If there is no connection, create one.
3. Go to street fairs and night markets and introduce yourself to some artists and vendors in attendance. If you are a collector of scarves, find the vendor(s) that sells scarves and find out more about how it got started, who designs them, where are they made, etc.... In this instance you are putting a face to the brand making your drive to support that small business and artist more personal and engaging.
4. Money. I know buying personal work can be expensive. My prints themselves can range from $60.00 to $300.00 and beyond. The money you spend on a piece like this compared to one from Walmart is hugely different, but its the experience and support that makes it worth while.
5. If you truly feel the work or service is out of range financially, aim at negotiating or bartering. That's the upside to working with entrepreneurs and artists. The profit goes to them and their life to continue creating.
Start reaching out to those you know who are changing the world. Help them continue on a path of non conformity so the everyday person can have art, music, movies and shows to go to. These are the people making your joy, motivation and adventure a reality.
Care to share which ways you are supporting the non conformist? Let me know about it.