It’s extremely noisy out there, I know. I feel it. It seems like, on top of the news and toilet paper memes, everyone is launching online solutions and online classes and online everything. It’s often generous and sacrificial. Some of it is because artists and others are scared and don’t know what to do. On top of other fears, they’re afraid of losing their livelihoods. I know. I feel it.
It may literally be, “a time to refrain from…embracing,” but we can give a metaphorical group hug to artists right now.
Authors, musicians, and other artists will be one group impacted by this pandemic. There are many others, and I encourage you to follow your callings in loving all around. But artists will struggle in this in their own way and I am asking us to remember them.
I know our small family business is going to lose a significant part of our income as it has become wise (and loving) to cancel the next stops on the book tour we just started to promote my new book. It’s very likely more of the tour—perhaps all of it—will be cancelled. This tour was supposed to be in support of the finale to my Green Ember series and a culmination of over five years of work. Bummer!
But I’m not alone. Not alone in a few ways. I’m not alone in that other artists are seeing losses and pain points, and need backing. I’m also not alone—none of us are alone—because we have friends (readers/listeners/fans) who care about us and will keep supporting our work during this tough time.
Of course, there are more ways to help sustain an artist’s family than to buy their wares. You can review their books or music on iTunes, Amazon, Goodreads, Audible, and elsewhere. You can share their work with friends in a creative way. But I am specifically thinking about using our money (if we are able) to support artists, many of whom have families to care for.
This doesn’t have to be BIG. A lot of us doing a little will go a long way. I’m genuinely delighted just thinking about the mere existence of someone who has gotten this far in this note. Thank you! I wish I could hug you. (After this thing passes, maybe.)
So, you care. I care. And I have an idea. Let’s each back THREE artists in some tangible way, then share the love around.
I’ll share my three targets for Pandemic Patronage, with a brief word about each. Remember, I’m buying something here. I’m receiving something—something special! This isn’t what we commonly call “charity,” but an exchange that is rooted in love. We need art. It isn’t a luxury. Artists need to eat and buy toilet paper. Win-win.
So, let’s do this. First, support your three artists! Buy an album, a book, a print, an original. Buy something from an artist. Then…
…I’m thrilled to be writing these next four words with this meaning.
Here’s how it spreads:
Post this note. Copy and paste the web address in your own new post. Don’t “share” on social media by clicking the “share” button—no one sees those. Make it a new, original, post. Include your three artists, the aim of your patronage, in your post. Tag them if you can.
Use the hashtag #PandemicPatrons and we’ll see each others’ posts and be moved to support others.
Lastly, try to enjoy their art offline! Try to listen to music, to read books, to contemplate and enjoy art of all kinds away from computers, phones, and televisions–if possible. Away from the noise.
Here are mine.
Slugs & Bugs
Randall Goodgame is “slugstarting” his new record. He is the sweetest man, and an incredibly gifted artist who is creating the best family music in history. I LOVE that his new record is a return to intense silliness. Exactly what kids and families need right now.
Scott is an infectious disease doctor, an elder at his church, and a wonderful author of family books. His new picture book, Where is Wisdom, launches on March 17. I love it. Wouldn’t it be great to see that book soar up the sales charts while he is literally on the front lines of fighting this virus? Yes!
Okay, who’s with me? Go team!