Today I ask that you perhaps do this one thing to make it easier to have people support your studio practice or projects.
I have been lecturing a lot lately on fundraising for artists in multiple forms; direct hand-written letters, emails, applications, and with Kickstarter or other crowd-funding sources. There are more ways than ever for artists to raise money for exhibits, long-terms projects, studio practice and more.
I once read Elie Weisel writing that “the most generous thing you can do is to receive everything.”
For me, that phrase was so hard to understand at first, it seemed to go against so much of my thinking. I had always been told “it is better to give than receive” and I know I’m not alone there.
I came to realize that Elie Weisel was talking about something else perhaps, that the idea to receive something well, meant to understand and be able to receive something with grace and gratitude. For example, if you give someone a present, and they say “no, you shouldn’t have.” or similar phrases, and they even feel a bit guilty they didn’t get you a present as they open yours, it is the opposite of what Weisel is saying. If the receiver of your present feels “you shouldn’t have” then you probably won’t the next time.
Here is another example. Let’s say you take someone out to a beautiful and expensive restaurant. When you pay the bill and insist it was your treat, they receive protests, then gives in, finally saying “the next one is on me.” That last phrase, “the next one is on me” removes the gift entirely, turning it into an even exchange and robbing the giver of the pleasure of the gift of dinner. As opposed to “thank you, that was very nice of you, I loved this meal.”
For artists, this can translate into unnecessarily discounted work to a friend or hesitate to send out a letter asking for support, sales, or funding for a large scale project.
While this is all psychological terrain that you have to navigate on your own terms, one step to receiving more is having the technical ability to actually receive money. What if someone wants to donate money to you or buy a recent work? Perhaps you have prices listed or not, but how do they easily pay? Making the process of paying as easy as possible encourages donations. If you are getting emails from campaigns like Hillary or Bernie for president, you know they make it very easy to donate – usually in one or two clicks.
Your version of that is PayPal me. It’s a service by PayPal that gives you a personal link so that people can send you whatever amount they wish. In this complex process of receiving, there is one thing you can do today, and that is to make it easier for people to give you money if they wish to, or if you are asking for it for a particular reason.
Go to this link and simply fill out the required fields, and if you have a PayPal account, this will take less than a minute and it will give you a simple, personalized link.
This is the link to make it happen – https://www.paypal.me/
And this is what my personal link looks like when it’s done – https://www.paypal.me/Brainard
It is a small but easy step in the process of receiving everything 🙂