I’m a follower of Paul Kim, who recently put out a single [link here to the MV!].
This single is fabulous. When I visualize the song coming out of my speakers, it looks like something soft and beautiful, curled and rising. Now, I usually don’t buy things that I don’t absolutely need, being the broke person that I am. But I bought this single not only because it’s good, but also because Paul Kim obviously invested so much personal time and money into it despite the fact that he’s not backed by million-dollar agencies that give him mass-media attention and a pat on the back. I think he deserves the 99 cents I paid for this single, and more. (In a way, it’s so good that I almost wish he put a higher price on it).
I think his music and personal endeavors in the music industry feel more meaningful to me these days because I have started to put myself out there with my writing and visual art. I’ve been steadily gaining followers and both surprisingly and unsurprisingly my visual art has been much more successful than my written works although I have a major in English. It’s a struggle in both fields, though. People will come and enjoy what I wrote or drew, but they usually will take the enjoyment with them and not give anything back – not even a half second click to “like” my stuff. It can be very personally demoralizing to know that people with enjoy my works then just leave me in the dust. I, like any artist from any given place or century, am realizing that it is just so difficult to get a following and to get people to care about you and your continuation and growth in the art that you’re pursuing.
I think part of the reason it’s so hard is because a lot of people forget that artists are humans with human needs, including moral and monetary support in the form of money (duh), sharing, commenting, liking, and following.
We need monetary support in order to buy the supplies we need, never mind pay off the rent and bills. We literally cannot afford to continue in our artistic endeavors – to not only continue but improve in our fields – without money.
Of course, if you can’t afford the stuff artists put out, then I understand – I’m not exactly rich myself. But then it is a responsibility – yes, a responsibility – to share what you have enjoyed with others. If you enjoy something that SOMEONE ELSE HAS SPENT TIME IN CREATING, I think it’s mandatory courtesy that you support them somehow. Just because artists put out stuff in free, easily accessible forms does not mean that we want you to enjoy our creations to your full and just leave. It just means that we know that we can’t build a following without putting some things out there freely and the whole reason we go as far as to put things out for free is to eventually get something – even just moral support – out of it.
People also don’t realize that artists are not machines. We are emotional people, and we need moral support in order to feel like it’s all worth it. Of course, our love for our art is the biggest reason we pursue it, but if we try, try again and no one gives a rat’s ass about the project we spent all night and day on, we can’t help but get discouraged. WE ARE HUMAN. We need to know that there’s someone out there who saw and got something out of our efforts. We’ll keep climbing up that rope, but if there isn’t someone pushing us from behind, we’ll eventually fall off from pure exhaustion.
An artist may be the sole creator of a wonderful piece, but the creations will stop without a supportive audience. I mean, it’s ridiculous how people just watch all the talent they want then walk off these days. People complain about how mainstream music is stinking to high heaven, that giant entertainment/art corporations are gobbling up everything, that too much limelight is shed on really stupid people who make a living based on their messed up lives, infinite monetary funds, and no talent, and that everything from movies to fashion is starting to look and sound the same.
Yet, how many of the people who make these complaints actually take the time to support the artists who actually do things for the love of it and not for the profit of it? So many people who make those complaints don’t even bother with the five minutes it takes to make a blog or Youtube account so that they can’ “like” whatever they liked. They don’t share meaningful works they found on their Facebooks (biotch, cute kitties and puppies are less important than meaningful art), they never post any encouraging or constructive comments on the artists’ pages, they won’t even spend 99 cents to support the artist. They just laugh, or cry, or smile, or enjoy to their heart’s content and leave the artist to deal with the funds, the time, the effort, the emotional and physical diligence it took to make the work that instigated so much meaningful reactions in them.
The bottom line is, guys, the world is dominated by mass-marketed idiots who go off of good looks and money rather than intelligence and talent because we don’t support the people who matter – the people who are actually worth our money. Such people are usually talented because they actually had to work to get better and noticed. The downside of that is: they usually had to go through obstacles because they had no help from bigger people or even people like you and me.
Also, it’s our responsibility to learn what art should and should not have – to have a well-rounded opinion on what good art is – whether music, literature, or film. A lot of people only pay attention to useless mainstream because they’re ignorant of what good art really looks like. Instead of knowing and supporting worthy art, people go for looks, sensation/scandal – basically, a lot of worthless or superficial attributes.
Coming back to Paul Kim, I really want more music like his coming out of my speakers when I turn on the radio or tv – music that relies on vocals, not machinery and relays some kind of human emotion other than horniness or drugged ecstasy. Also, I really want to see him continue to improve. It’s important to support artists you see POTENTIAL in as well as the ones who already have it made. Everyone has to start somewhere!
I want more people who visibly care about their art and are brave enough to devote their lives to it. I want more people who go off of talent, not money and connections. I want more people who are blinded by their passion, not their profits. I don’t give a F*&! if they’re featured on Youtube or MoMa, on the street or at billion dollar parties; if they’re good, then I want to support them.
You should too.
PS: You can start by liking and sharing my blog and/or posts on blogs or Facebook and following me on Twitter. Check out and favorite my art on Deviantart. EVERYTHING IS IN THE SIDEBAR. THE SIDEBAR EXISTS FOR A REASON. I’m going to work hard so that I’ll be worth your attention! Make sure to check out Paul Kim and buy his single! It’s only 99 cents, and a great track.