Amanda Palmer has asked the people of the Internet to tell her how they’ve even been funded, mainly how artists have had their art funded (http://amandapalmer.net/blog/20140305/). If she has a question, I try to give a suggestion or at least try. This time, I have nothing to offer.
I have never once have I ever been funded for what I do. The truth is, I don’t even know how one goes about getting funded. The only thing I think I have a talent for is making dolls of people and characters. I’ve even done one of Amanda herself that I’m extremely proud of because it came out the way I wanted it. People tell me all the time that I could make a fortune off of them. Really? Who wants rag-dolls? I have an extreme passion for making them, but I pay for them. I collect fabric scraps and old clothes, and get inexpensive yarn. I’ve made a few zombies that my brother ended up buying, but I’ve never sold any beyond him. Just today, an acquaintance just backed out from buying a zombie doll I made that she had requested.
Another passion is writing poetry. I’m repeatedly told that no one wants poetry. Yet, I continue to write. The difference is I don’t expect anything from the writing other than the satisfaction I created it.
Quite the opposite of being funded, I’m actually taken advantage of more than anything. The worst offence was when I made this gorgeous gown for a friend, at the time, who wanted a Belle dress for a play we were in together. I designed it, put many hours into it, but got nothing more than the cost of the fabric for it. Before that I thought a scant $50 for a pair of velvet houppelandes that I had designed and made was rough. I have countless times where I’ve helped someone in a pinch without apt payment or trade. I don’t mind helping and volunteering, but there are too many cases of blatant theft of my work.
It’s not all doom and gloom. For years I would rake in a pot of change altering and creating costumes for the dance studio I worked for since it was rare for all of the costumes to fit all of the girls. Last year, one of the dances I did all the costumes from scratch nabbed an award for the most unique costumes of that particular competition. For even longer, I’d volunteered my time and talents altering and making costumes for the local theatre troupe. This was my contribution to them as I couldn’t possibly donate monetarily. I always was prouder to see my name under costumes than as an extra in the plays. And, occasionally, I do get a friend who purchases one of my creations, for which I am eternally grateful!
I always think that one day I’ll be known for my creations or my writing or my baking, or even my knowledge. At this point, though, as it has been all my life, I have no idea how to see this being possible. I’m 40-years-old and I still don’t know what I want to do when I “grow up”. Perhaps I’m bound to be a perpetual child, but I would like the chance to grow at some point.