Who it's for.
When I started working on Creatives Learn Money, it was out of a desire to share what I’d learned about how to alleviate the pain that many creatives feel in their relationship to money. This is a pain that I know intimately from my own creative practice. It’s the thorn in my side that eventually became so inhibiting to me doing my best work that I hired a coach—and then became a coach—in an attempt to overcome it.
After years of working on a new way of being with money, I enthusiastically set out to help other creatives do the same. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the folx I was longing to help couldn’t afford to work with me one-on-one. What’s more, as much as I love private coaching, I wanted to be able to reach as many of the creatives who would benefit from this work as possible. So I pivoted and started to build my first online class.
One of the tricky things about living in a capitalist culture is that it might not be immediately obvious how you can be of service to the people who matter to you. There’s also a good chance that you’ll be actively discouraged from solving the interesting problems that will elevate and liberate those who need your art the most. Because, while it doesn’t always feel like it, you have the ability to disrupt and redesign the way things are.
As a creative, you are always playing with the tension between making, relevance, and impact. The muchness of that balancing act can be understandably overwhelming. Not to mention the ever-present temptation to participate in the spectacle of now. The immediate gratification of stunts and gimmicks can feel like success, but only for a moment and only for you. The folx you want to help need you and your work to stick around longer than that.
I often come back to the concept of 1,000 true fans in my creative practice. The idea is that all any of us need to have a healthy creative practice are 1,000 folx who believe in us and our work. And then everything we do, we do for them. The number might vary and the point is to build a following that will invest in your art so that you’re able to continue making it, pay your bills, and save for your future.
The art you’re making matters. And the humans you’re making it for matter most of all. They are the ones who will keep showing up to support your creative practice. They are the ones who are longing to be seen through your work; who, thanks to what you make, are reminded of their humanity, dignity, and potential. So you must have faith that your work is needed. You must finish what you set out to do. For yourself and for them.
Who is your work for and why do they matter to you?