Stop Shaming Artists For Asking For Donations
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Stop Shaming Artists For Asking For Donations

Why shouldn't they ask for some voluntary compensation from their supporters?

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Stop Shaming Artists For Asking For Donations

If you follow any artists or creators on social media, it's likely that you've seen some of them asking for some form of crowdfunding or donations. While many artists use platforms like Patreon to provide exclusive content for people who donate, some take direct donations on sites like GoFundMe. While the response is usually largely positive on the part of these artists' supporters, this support is often accompanied by people who shame artists for asking for "handouts."

A recent example is Maud Acheampong (@daintyfunk on Instagram), a makeup artist and poet. After posting a GoFundMe in order to help pay for their student debt and fund their art, Acheampong was met with a slew of people telling them to "get a real job and work hard for their money" or saying that "everyone has student debt." Others suggested that the GoFundMe was a "scam" or questioned where the money that wasn't covering the loans would go.

One of these issues with these comments is that they suggest that artists' work is not "real" work or a "real" occupation. The fact is that we consume art everyday, whether on social media, in advertising, or in any visual material that we encounter in our everyday lives. The work of artists shouldn't be diminished, and they are absolutely deserving of pay. Furthermore, people complaining that artists asking for donations are simply looking for "handouts" need to consider how much time these artists put into their social media alone. These people who are complaining also take for granted the fact that these artists' work -- which undeniably took a great deal of time and labor to produce -- is available to them on social media for free. Artists on social media post their art for people to consume at no cost with no consistent profit for themselves. Why shouldn't they ask for some voluntary compensation from their supporters?

It's also important to note that artists are not forcing people to pay them. Anyone who comes across their inquiries for donations are not actually obligated to donate if they don't have the means to or if they simply don't want to. Donation is completely voluntary -- artists who choose to use GoFundMe or Venmo aren't even restricting any of their content to people who pay them. If you don't want to donate, then don't. There's no good reason to be rude to these artists, nor is there anything to be gained from shaming an artist.

Ultimately, shaming artists who ask for donations doesn't achieve anything. No one is going to get a pat on the back for calling out what they think is a scam or questioning someone else's work. These artists have a right to ask for money, especially when they need it, and anyone who wants to donate has the right to do so. One artist's GoFundMe doesn't really have any negative impact on you personally, or anyone for that matter. If you don't want to pay them, then just move on.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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