Renaissance artists often had patrons.
Organizations or individuals who supported, encouraged and bestowed financial aid upon them, so that their creative work could collide with the outside world.
These people were the original angel investors, sugar daddies and fairy godmothers, and without their crucial role, many of our finest works of art never would have seen the light of day.
Davinci himself even had a number of powerful patrons over the course of his career, including kings, scientists, clergymen, politicians and other influential members of the community.
Of course, that was several hundred years ago. These days, there’s a very low probability of a wealthy noble darkening my doorstep with a suitcase full of money who says:
Young man, I like the cut of your jib. Please accept this gift of several million dollars to help underwrite your weirdness. No contracts. No strings attached. Just send me a signed copy of each piece when you’re done, and we’ll call it even. Good day.
Too bad. Sure would make life easier to have a patron like that.
And so, we have to be smart about providing for ourselves. We have to find a way to fund our own projects. We have to underwrite our own ability to make art. And we have to be willing to make whatever arrangements are needed to assure that our work reaches the world.
In short, we have to become our own patrons.
Because nobody else is going to give us the financial foundation to prove how talented we are. That’s our job.
I’m reminded of interview with one of my favorite performers. Rollins reminisced about his history of initiating his own projects, about being the producer of his own work, and his advice to young artists was:
Don’t ever factor in anybody ever helping you.
Which sounds like petulant, cynical, selfish advice, but that’s not the point.
Henry wasn’t trying to be anti dependent, attempting to meet of his needs and wants himself, refusing to be vulnerable and open to the assistance of others.
He just wasn’t banking on it. He wasn’t waiting to be tapped on the shoulder.
And so, he just hired himself and got to work.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you rearrange your life to become your own patron? * * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
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