As I did last year, I’ve put together a little round up of some of the creatives I’ve supported this year. My reasons for doing so are to celebrate these people, to share their work with you, and to show some concrete examples of what support can look like. I believe that if we encourage and help the people who are bringing more kindness, creativity, and truth into the world, their impact will expand exponentially.
A quick note before we dive in: There are obviously many other excellent people we can support in addition to “creatives.” You know, like activists, teachers, minorities, children, journalists, single parents, small business owners, HelpX hosts, musicians, immigrants, etc. (Ugg, I strongly dislike labeling/categorizing people in the first place… maybe next year I’ll do a “cool people” post instead.) So keep in mind the ideas below can be applied to anyone; support whoever feels good to support in your life!
How to Support Creatives in Your Life
Support comes in many shapes and sizes. Many of these actions can be done in just two minutes, but their effects will ripple out farther than you can see. Here’s a starter list:
- Comment on a blog post / Instagram post. I can’t tell you how meaningful written comments are—whether it’s on a YouTube video, Medium piece, or blog post, for example.
- Write a letter/email of encouragement. This doesn’t have to be long! Shooting off a quick email with encouraging words to a friend, role model, acquaintance, organization, or stranger on the internet can not only make their day, but have longer lasting effects. (Here’s how an email from a Spanish TA in college has impacted my life.)
- Recommend an encouraging book/post/podcast/community to your creative friend.
- Share one of their articles/creations/event info. on social media or by email. (My friend Ashley wrote a beautiful and relevant piece called “A Bad Date” back in February after the Aziz Ansari date article came out, so I shared it here.)
- Collaborate in a way that’s beneficial and fun to both of you.
- Send a gratitude or fan letter. Here’s how to write a six-minute fan letter—see #1.
- Provide monetary support. This could mean supporting their Kickstarter, pledging to support them via Patreon, or making a Paypal donation.
- Purchase one of their creations. And for those of you who don’t need anything, would this person’s creation make a cool gift for someone you know?
- Attend their shows/performances.
- Leave a positive review / offer testimony. If you order something on etsy and have a good experience, leave a positive review in the seller’s shop. Know someone who wrote a book? Write them a raving Amazon/Goodreads review!
Creatives I’ve Supported in 2018
Alchemy: An Artists’ Cooperative
At this point in my life, I like to buy postcards or printed cards at galleries/co-ops when passing through a town. It’s fun to mix up my snail mail supplies, plus I get to support artists even when I can’t yet afford one of their original pieces. This summer one of the places where I picked up cards was at Alchemy, an artists’ co-op in Lander, Wyoming.
Alexandra Franzen has been one of my brightest guiding lights for several years now. I share her encouraging articles with friends/family when relevant situations arise, have her in my shoutouts/gratitude pages on both of my ebooks, and just generally gush about her whenever I can.
Alexandra’s latest work is the novel “So This Is the End: A Love Story,” which centers on the question of how you would spend your final day if you only had 24 more hours to live.
Amy Maricle – Starting Your Art Journal
When I first ventured into art journaling early last year, I came across Amy Maricle’s Mindful Art Studio. After reading tons of useful posts and feeling inspired to create, I noticed she had an ebook for sale: “Starting Your Art Journal.”
It was a no-brainer to buy the ebook! The purchase felt good in every way, since I valued Amy’s message and the work she’s been bringing to the world. If any of you are interested in art journaling, definitely check out her site/blog and offerings.
Brent Clark – Brent Goes Outside
Brent is a friend who loves to travel the country and take digital photos of nature (among many other interests!). Not only is his photography stunning, but having watched Brent unfold over the past decade, I especially admire his dedication to hone this craft and his mindfulness. He shares his work through the site Brent Goes Outside, which is where you can order prints, support him via Patreon, and sign up for his quarterly newsletter.
It was actually while putting this post together that I thought of Brent and then realized I hadn’t concretely supported his photography work this year. But I wanted to! So I visited his website, which led me to Patreon—where I was able to make a small pledge of support.
Candace Rose Rardon – Moment Sketchers
I hope this is a familiar name for regular readers here, as Candace is another guiding light who I highlighted alongside Alexandra Franzen in that “Influences and Inspiration” section of my latest ebook, “Compass-Directed Moments.”
She is the founder of Moment Sketchers, a global sketching community who values slowing down, sharing our world, and supporting one another. (This is basically the reason I got Instagram last fall.)
I participated in the Moment Sketchers sketching challenge most months this year, and am quick to recommend Candace/the Moment Sketchers community to people I meet. (Speaking of, have you read Candace’s illustrated essays “Home Is a Mug of Coffee” or “Home Is a Cup of Tea” yet, by the way? Put the pot or kettle on and treat yourself!)
I can’t wait to see what 2019 will have in store for the community!
Donovan Beeson and Kathy Zadrozny – Letter Writers’ Alliance
I became a member of the Letter Writers’ Alliance (LWA) in 2012, and am still reading their blog today. It’s where I get most of my snail mail news (like postage rate changes, stamp releases), learn about cool snail mail projects (like 12 Days of Love Letters, prison pen paling), and am reminded to be a conscious citizen (i.e. free/2-day shipping costs someone and the planet!).
It’s been many years since I’ve bought a rubber stamp or stationery from their shop, so this fall I got my sister an LWA membership and stationery as a random “just because” gift. Win-win-win!
Earthly Compassionate Organization
The IG post above tells you everything you need to know about this interaction. I found out in the local paper that some high school students had formed an Earthly Compassionate Organization, so I wrote a letter of encouragement to the club.
Jessica Brogan – International Card Deck Swap
Jessica Brogan’s International Card Deck Swap is unfortunately no longer, but I’m so glad I could participate in one edition this spring when I was home. Participating in the swap cost $30, and I found it such a unique and worthwhile creative/connective experience.
Julie Wilkins – Forever Fused
Julie Wilkins is the woman I can thank for getting me in touch with my body post-spinal fusion! She founded Forever Fused in 2015, and most recently has been building a Forever Fused School of yoga courses for spinal fusion. This fall I bought two new courses (Happy Hams and Healthy Hips!) and am really enjoying them.
Luke Thering – “Ballads for Buddha”
Luke is my younger brother and this is his music website. While in RMYC this summer, I bought his relaxing (and 100% improvised) album “Ballads for Buddha” on Bandcamp. Before that point I’d admittedly only listened to the tracks when I was at a computer, on YouTube (the horror!).
I listened to the album a ton this summer and fall—often to fall asleep or rest, but it was also great music out in the woods when our crew did a reflective writing activity near the end of the season. Yoga and meditation would go hand in hand with this calming music as well.
(Luke, how else can I support your creative work?)
Meg Kissack – Couragemakers / That Hummingbird Life
This is not the first time (and it won’t be the last) you’ve heard me mention Meg Kissack. She’s the woman who created and runs That Hummingbird Life and the Couragemakers podcast. I support the podcast via Patreon and continue to recommend Meg’s work in a variety of ways.
Word on the street is that Meg will be opening an etsy shop in 2019, and I can’t wait to check it out!
Nathan Ventura – Pucker Up
I became friends with Nate while working together this summer and fall at RMYC. He’s super creative—writing music, poetry, fiction or sketching—you name it. Musically, it was a treat to hear him practicing or playing anything on the guitar and ukulele at camp.
Partway through the summer I bought two of his albums on Bandcamp: “Jerry Blindfold” and “I Want to Suffer.” I was both surprised and delighted at how much I enjoyed his music! Like, I really had no idea I would like it so much. It had also been such a long time since I’d gotten new music, let alone listened to it on repeat and let it become the soundtrack to a chapter of time.
If you’re looking for original new music to soak up, check out Nate’s stuff. (And if you want an original drawing for album artwork or a gig poster or whatever, hit him up!)
Nicole Antoinette – Real Talk Radio
I am a huge fan of Nicole’s podcast and writing. (Her Friday newsletter called “Notes of Grit and Grace” is one of the few newsletters I receive, and it’s such a treat each and every week.) I’ve supported her on Patreon all year; recommend her in my holiday letters, ebooks, and in any other relevant ways; and occasionally hit reply on a Friday email to send back some gratitude or a “me too!”
Rachel of Simply Zero
Rachel was recommended to me by my friend Emily when I got interested in zero-waste lifestyles the end of last year. I most appreciate her thoughtful Instagram posts, and the values/awareness that shine from her words. Here’s one as an example:
I’m also inspired by the in-person events she’s been having in Cincinnati, and recently I let her know about all of this admiration via some snail mail love. Here’s her Simply Zero website if you want to see more!
Rhea Abramson – Mail More Love
Last December I treated myself to a 3-month subscription of “Mail More Love,” which meant in December, January, and February I received a box with three greeting cards and a special gift! It was fun to support the artists who made these cards, be surprised when I opened each month’s box, and to then send the beautiful cards to friends.
Sarah Van Der Linden – Mirglis
I know Sarah from our #MomentSketchers community on Instagram, and she’s been such an inspiration this year. Her Instagram posts are full of creativity, her strong love of nature, and French! Each post gets me excited to create or go outside, which are both great feelings. (The painting in the post below is now on my desk! Incredible!)
So I’m thrilled I’ve been able to order from her etsy shop this year, “mirglis.” Her latest addition to the shop are these magical pendants with tiny watercolor paintings—jewelry I would totally wear!
And that’s a wrap! Who is someone you’ve supported this year? Have any new ideas of how to support cool people in your life in 2019?
>>> Past “Creatives I’ve Supported” Roundups: 2017