What Amanda Palmer taught me about the value of art


Last night I was listening to a podcast by Amanda Palmer, an artist I admire greatly.

She described how she learnt to accept money from strangers when she was a street artist playing a living statue called The 8ft Bride. She realised that there are always people out there who are willing to pay for the arts and developed an ability to ask her community to support her in making her art.

She famously left a recording contract and launched a Kickstarter campaign to make her own album, to which thousands of people contributed.

But Amanda made a point that really resonated with me. She talked about how tricky it is for artists to ask for financial support.

Even though there are so many amazing platforms through which to support artists – such as Kickstarter and Patreon – creative people invariably look embarrassed and uncomfortable even asking for the smallest amount of money to launch an album or pay for their craft.

Why is it that?

In my opinion, it’s because many creative people don’t truly value what they do and the impact it has on others.

For example, I coached an actor who literally spent years of her life studying her craft and yet feels intimidated when emailing an agent asking them to take her on.

When we delved deeper into her experience, she described how she loves pushing herself to the max for her art – working herself hard until she’s satisfied she has created amazing theatrical experiences to wow an audience. Yet her critical brain underestimates the financial value of her skills, because her art really is fun.

I think many creatives feel a sense of guilt for asking people to give them money or funding for doing what they love, because they underestimate the huge value that art can add.

So how has art made a difference to your life?

Personally speaking, I could tell you that there are some musicians that literally got me through bouts of real sadness in my life. I remember playing Beatles ballads for weeks as I wrestled with heartbreak.

I remember watching musicals as a kid and literally being transported to another realm. West Side Story made me feel alive as the music was so rich. The story was so powerful, I would watch it over and over again.

I flew to Australia in my early twenties and felt very isolated travelling solo. It was going to an art gallery that helped me feel a connection to myself again. Somehow, seeing an artist’s emotional expression made me feel less alone.

And this is one of the reasons why I’m co-hosting an event with my Trailblazing Creatives partner Bev on 23rd May at the Library private members’ club in London called One-Minute Pitching for Creatives.

Pitching can be an off-putting word for creatives because it stands for selling an idea or asking for something in return. We hate to condense our passions, our projects and asking for help, but to be successful commercially and get paid for doing the work that connects deeply to your joy, we believe that this is a skill that you need to master.

This event is aimed at helping the people in our creative community to value what they do and learn how to express it with full power.

I care about our community and want you to step into owning your worth and pitching from a powerful place.

It’s a warm and loving environment to practise talking about your work in a way that has impact.

Do come along – we would love to meet you and celebrate your creativity with you.

Early bird tickets are just £15 and you can book your place HERE

Nicky Moran xxx

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