Hello, I am composer and cellist, Cymphoni Fantastique. I am not an especially prolific writer, but this is a topic dear to my heart. It has particular importance in the rising arts/creative economy, and we need to do more to address it. For clarity, an artist is anyone involved in a creative endeavor. Music, painting, dancing, sculpting, writing, cooking, etc.
I guess the most important thing you can do for an artist, especially if you are close to them is take an interest in and/or encourage their work. It’s really difficult working in such a subjective trade. There are a thousand voices saying you’re amazing, do this, do that, I don’t like that, you’re (insert insult), but those voices are dwarfed by the voice of someone they have a bond with. Wanting to know what an artist is up to or giving them a compliment can help keep them productive and from slipping into depression. Don’t pressure them, but just let them know you’re in their corner.
Another thing you can do is promote them and their work, especially if you happen to like it. That doesn’t mean hire a social media team. It can be as simple as mentioning them to a friend or colleague. Remember when your school had the fundraisers? It’s kinda similar, but much less pressure. This is helpful not only because it boosts their career, but it can also lead to opprotunities and it takes a little bit of work off of their shoulders.
Be honest, not harsh.
One last important thing to remember is to be honest, not harsh. If an artist asks for your opinion, it does no good to lie or be overly critical. Artist spend a lot of time on and with their work, so it’s important to have input from someone with a fresh outlook. You might need to be ready to talk a little while depending on the artist, but it makes for good output and a fun story to tell.
Naturally, there are many more ways to support a budding artist that I haven’t mentioned. I hope that this has been an insightful read and that some artist out there can benefit at least a little. Thank you for reading!