I really don't remember how I discovered The Dresden Dolls, but I suspect it was through a friends Facebook status asking for a coin-operated boy. However it was, that's how I heard of Amanda Palmer, the Doll's lead singer (among other talents). Quickly the Doll's albums, and Amanda's solo effort, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, became some of my favorite music, and continue to get a lot of play. Particularly when I'm writing or being otherwise creative.
But it's only recently that I've started following Amanda Fucking Palmer's blog.
I'm not much of a fan boy. If I like someone's work, I'll promote it to my friends who share my tastes, and maybe mention it here, but not much more. I'm a quiet fan. I follow the artists artistic output, invest my money in the output I want to own or participate in, and encourage fellows to do the same, but that's the extent of it. I'm not a gushing, twitter following, fan-art making fan. It just doesn't work for me. If I follow an artist on Twitter, odds are I'll get pissed at narcissistic irreverence and nonsense and stop liking them. Same for a lot of blogs. For me to enjoy engaging with an artist I like in that fashion, something has to be different. I like artists who blog smartly.
I particularly like artists who talk about art, and the processes behind it, and within it. Whatever their art may be. Even better, artists who talk about the future of their art. Best, an artist who can talk about these things in a manner that's as inspiring as their art.
This is why I'm actually reading AFP's blog, and have linked it at right. She's fucking brilliant.
She's thoughtful, and puts a lot of her energy into her words, making the blog both enlightening and inspiring. It's something a lot of artists just can't do – Their blogs end up narcissistic or dry, or narcissisticly dry. AFP is engaging, funny, energetic, and smart. She also regularly displays a firm grasp on current, and emergent, trends and offers insights that more people should really be paying attention to.
Some of her recent blogging in particular has been excellent in terms of trends and things people should pay attention to. Her ideas and comments about how she, as an artist, is making money and the necessity of doing the work, and how others are succeeding, or can succeed, are great.
More artists need to embrace the entrepreneurial opportunities afforded by the current state of technology and communication. More artists need to stop being shy about cultivating a fan base, being involved with that fan base, and making money from that fan base. Making money is not dishonest, it doesn't dirty up the work. Everyone has a right to try to make a living from what they're passionate about. Go read, seriously. AFP is talking from the POV of a performance based artist/act like a musician, but if I find it valuable as a scribbler and metalsmith, other artists should as well. If you're a musician, video artist, writer, pounder of metal, any sort of artist who wants to make a life an an artist, her ideas are worth a look.
I find her commentary very much in keeping with my recent ideas on writing/publishing, markets and marketing there-for, and making use of available technology and the memes they enable to achieve success in genres and as artists.
On top of that, she's awesome and I enjoy her work, and the things she has to say.
(As a note: I'm thinking about putting up something for each of my recommended reads, who I haven't mentioned before at least, but don't know if I'll get to it. My recommended reading, and the blogs I follow (see profile) are all recommended, or they wouldn't be there. You should check them out.)