I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, there is something heartwarming about success stories from your hometown. Seeing someone that you went to high school with or saw regularly around your neighborhood make their dreams a reality is an enjoyable experience. The feeling of happiness for these individuals is even stronger when they become successful in a creative field. For me, this feeling extends to local artists in my city. These artists are a part of a culture that I have grown up in and have come to love and appreciate. As I’ve stated before, creativity covers more than one medium. To me, an artist is more than painters and singers, it’s authors, photographers, chefs, spoke word poets, and many more facets of creativity. I am fortunate enough to live in a city where there are a plethora of artists, known and unknown. These local artists are, in my eyes, what form the culture of not just my city, but any city they happen to inhabit. So, how does one go about supporting local artists?
Go to Local Shows
The best way to find local artists is to go where they preform or show case their work. In regards to painters, many cities have art shows. I know the place I live and city that I lived in during my time in undergrad had monthly shows for the artists in the area. Both of these cities had art shows that displayed artists that were students and as well as artists who had made a name for themselves. Going to these types of shows is a great way to learn about the various artists that inhabit your city. It’s similar for singers and musicians as well. Going to “open mic nights” is how I got to know a few singers in my city. Another way to be exposed to local singers is to go to smaller concerts. At small scale concerts, you’re likely to meet a local band, singer or rapper since they would be the opening performances. An example was when I went to a Santigold concert, I was able to see a rapper that had made a bit of a name for herself in my city. Frequenting places like this or areas that are exclusive to your city is the best way to meet local talent.
Buy their Merchandise
Once you’ve gotten to know that local talent and artists, the most direct way to support them is to buy the product that they give. As an aside, I would definitely just do what is within your means. The “product” could be an album, an art piece, the food they make, a book they’ve written; pretty much anything that their craft was used to create. Another thing to remember is that some local artists you meet through social media. One of my favorite YouTubers, Tessa Violet, is a singer that has made my city her home, even lending her talents to other creators that are from my city. To show support, when her album was released (“Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled”) I bought it on iTunes. Doing things like this is a direct way to support local artists.
Follow their Endeavors
I brought up social media earlier as a means to support. Social media is the best way to see the endeavors of the artists in your area. I knew of Tessa’s release date because of her announcement on her YouTube channel and on twitter. If a local artist you want to support starts a YouTube channel, I would definitely suggest that you follow that. If an artist you want to support is going on tour, if it is in your means, then try to go to one or more of the cities that they are visiting.
Making it big in a creative field is very difficult. Supporting them is one of the ways that we can help them get there! It’s also beneficial, at least to me, to see the talent that make the culture of your city.