I think I can safely say that most of us have favorite artists. And each of those artists have projects that they are working on. As much as you want to support them and show your appreciation for their work, you've got your own life and your own bills.
Let me be clear, no artist wants you to jeopardize your well-being. However, without your support, it is very difficult to continue to create new works and realize new projects.
So, I will give you a few budget-friendly approaches to support your favorite artists! Please note that the links I provide are for informational purposes only just in case you were curious about the services. No spon-con here!
From free to affordable, the ways you can show support are:
1. Engage With Their Content!
Like, follow, subscribe, applaud, share, comment, tag, etc. Your engagement is more helpful than you know! It helps your artists' content get ranked higher, which will bring them even more fans!
…you can dislike too, if the platform allows. It helps, but make sure you leave a way that they can improve their content as well.
2. Participate in Their Events!
Is your favorite artist doing a show? A stream? A contest? If you have the time, you should join! The more people they can get to participate, the better it is for them! If they have a community (Facebook group, chat, email list, etc.) consider joining! Not only is it really fun to hang out with people who support you, but the reason artists put on most of these events is to connect with their fans! Keep up with their calendar/blog to participate when you have time!
3. Buy a "Revenue Share" Membership
I'm sure there is a more technical term for this, so someone please let me know.
Basically, you (the fan) purchase a membership and engage with your artists' content. At the end of the month, each artist you engaged with gets a portion of your membership fee.
I only know of a few right now, Medium, Flattr, and ProTip, but this may be for you if you follow many different creators.
4. Pay What You Can
When artists use a "donation" or "pay what you can" feature, they are doing it to make their art as accessable to as many people as they can! I say, if you have a bit of extra spending money, go on and show some love! They'll really appreciate it! There are also services like Loots and Gawkbox that allow you to watch ads to make a sponsored donation! (the company showing the ad pays the donation on your behalf)
5. Use Their Affiliate Links
I think this is the most mutually beneficial approach. You (fan) get to interact with the work of your artist and get something you need in the process. The artist gets engagement and a small percentage of what you purchased.
While many artists prefer not to use any affiliate links, if they do, please consider using them if the store interests you.
So, these are some ways you can support your favorite artists without breaking the bank! This is not an exhaustive list, but it's a good starting point!
Thanks for reading!