Are you a Maker?
Today, I want to write as a self-proclaimed “maker” to other Makers. I’m talking to all you artists, painters, sculptors. To all you, musicians, singers, producers. To movie makers, designers, chefs, inventors and many other creatively focused hobbies and professions. This is as much as a reminder to me, that I hope it is to you. But stereotypical, artists have a great feeling of being misunderstood and yearning for something new. So, we create it. But if you’re anything like me. This drive to create and be a maker often leads to some discontent feelings when you have trouble sharing your latest idea or even a way to manifest your feelings into your project.
Maker’s Making it Big
I think we all are often inspired to make by other maker’s. For musicians, listening to your favorite album might make you want to make an awesome cover off one of those tracks, or even give you ideas to play your own music. For any game designers, I think we see a magnificent game and think to ourselves “I want to make something this amazing” And the same is true for books, movies. and many more.
And this feeling can be incredibly strong especially when we look at our influences and think “THEY GET PAID TO DO THIS?!”
This often sends us to our Maker’s studios and we furiously throw our heart into everything we do and get something we love and throw it out to the world and we wait. We watch our YouTube views, Facebook likes, shares, etc. and if you’re anything like me you look at where you are and where you want to be. And I start thinking to myself, “I’ll never be famous doing this, I’ll never be able to do this full time.” And what my head knows, that often my heart forgets… is that its totally okay.
Why are we here?
That can be a deep question, but I think ultimately as makers, the real answer is because we want to share. And right now we are sharing. We won’t lie to you, there is nothing wrong with the mindset that you could turn your hobbies into professions. And I mean, if someone decided to start paying us for what we are doing, we would most likely accept. But at the end of the day, I really enjoy writing my ideas down. I enjoy having discussions. And I like to think that there is at least 1 person whose day is made just the tiniest bit brighter/easier because of our content creation. There was a great video that a friend shared to me. And it struck home and reminded me that the reason I do this is not primarily for money or fame, but because its simply my hobby.
How Makers can Improve
I want to recommend a book to you that is likely an unlikely source. Last summer I listened to an Audiobook called “The Art of Asking” By Amanda Palmer. Amanda Palmer is a fantastic musician and all around interesting person. I won’t go deep, but I highly recommend you experience her story. She speaks of how she views art/content creation. But a large aspect of her book is ASKING. When you have a creative spirit, it gets fulfilled by someone consuming it. Music needs to be listened to, a painting needs to be looked at. That is hard to do if no one is around. . Its okay to ask. Right now as the Goblin Gazette, my ask for our viewers is simply that you read our content, connect with us in conversation, and share it with your friends. And I hope you can honor that request.
How Others Can Help
Some of you may not be makers, just consumers. Or you might be a maker who wants to help other makers.
The obvious is consuming. If your favorite maker makes art, Look at it, comment on it, buy it if its for sale. Twitch streamers need viewer, become a follower, participate in their chat. If they have a unique request, see if you can help. Maybe they want people to contribute ideas or fan art or questions and comments to supply to the larger community. One of my most recent hobbies is to frequent kickstarter.
Obviously, probably the most valuable contribution to most makers is MONEY. I don’t need to explain why. Also discussed in the Amanda Palmer book, but two popular sources for fundraising these days is Patreon and Kickstarter.
Patreon is subscription based giving to your favorite makers. You can set an amount to pay the maker based on content released. Instead of releasing a whole album, a musician may have donations based on songs. So for every song released I can give $5. And to make sure the Makers don’t abuse this system, you can set a limit on how much money you give per month. I honestly don’t have much experience with this one, but I know a lot of people use them.
Kickstarter. I primarily use to browse video games and board games, but believe me there is just about EVERYTHING. from small business ideas, to DnD dice. Photobooks, documentaries. Kickstarter allows Makers to advertise a project and ask for a set amount of money to fund said project. For my experiences, donations work like this. If a game is being funded, backers may donate any amount with various amount of rewards. For example, A game I’m backing is Dinosaur Island. Anyone who donates under $60 is simply helping. If you donate $60 they promise you a copy of the game and $80 for a deluxe version. Many campaigns, because they achieve their goal, can move on to improve the game even more with “Stretch Goals” for hitting additional milestones. This might mean adding additional content, or updating you plastic pieces into metal.
WARNINGS to makers and consumers.
Kickstarter campaigns can fail. If the goal is met, that doesn’t always mean you get the game. Sometimes there are crooks, sometimes just unfortunate circumstances.
Makers, you owe it to your fans to take care of them. Consumers, you need to understand the risk and be okay with that. However, I think most of the campaigns make good, or at least will work with their backers worst case to reach some compromises.
Go forth and make
Well, I hope this has inspired or encouraged you to keep making or go support other makers. If you haven’t followed us on Twitter do so. #teamgoblin is a group of content creators we’ve crossed paths with and we all help each other get the word out on our blogs, join the fun and share your stuff. Go find something cool on kickstarter.
But most importanly, be awesome. Keep gaming and make the world a little more nerdier and make something cool.