Supporting Small Creators and Why it’s so Important

Hey pals,

 

This week’s post is a bit of a PSA and a request for creators to not see each other as competition all the time, but also for non-creators to support their favourites. It is particularly important to help raise voices of marginalised creators to normalise us and start celebrating us equally.

 

This is a general ‘trying to cover all the bases’ post. A lot of artists and creators have their portfolios of work online and sell items to help fund their creative endeavours, and when you are a smaller creator with a minimal following, supporting yourself can be greatly difficult. I will be addressing as many points as I can across most types of creative and explaining how fellow creators or followers of the work can help bring more people to the art.

 

Creators is a pretty general term but I feel like it’s a pretty good one considering all the different types of artists we have now on the internet. Traditional artists, comic artists/writers, clothes designers, filmmakers, YouTubers, musicians, photographers, script writers, fanfic writers, novelists, short story writers, poets, performers, actors, comedians, tattoo artists, dancers, it really does go on. Every category has a sub-category and so on.

 

The world we are brought up in, particularly for millennials, makes you feel like everyone is out for themselves and lifting other people up means losing your clients or customers… If you’ve not succeeded by 25 you’re a loser and will always be a loser. The best thing for small creators to do is to shout out their fellow small creators and acknowledge what they are doing, send some of your following their way. Most of the time this will be reciprocated and if it isn’t you haven’t lost anything in the process. There are other ways of helping your fellow small creators and that is usually offering your time and skills to assist them with a project. It is also okay to ask for payment for your time, or for a favour in return. Really it feely like we are all stuck out on different rocks until we get to a certain ‘popularity level’, it would be nice to make it feel more like a community than an aggressive LIKE4LIKE SUB4SUB spam-fest it tends to be when you’re starting out or trying to boost your following.

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Now onto the people who don’t make content but enjoy consuming it.

If you have FRIENDS who create content and you know work really hard to make quality stuff on the reg, give them a boost! They’re your friend and friends should be doing what they can to boost your status. Even if their content isn’t your thing, do what you can, there is so much on the list below you could do that wouldn’t disrupt your day at all. It’d be great if you could SHARE what your friends are creating once in a while…

This is my all-encompassing list of things anyone can do to support creators!

(if I miss anything, my bad, leave it in the comments!)

 

Writers:

  • write a review (you can do this on any social media, or more specified websites like goodreads or amazon if you purchased the book there)
  • go to the library and request they purchase the books
  • vote for the book on goodreads lists
  • recommend the book (to any one in any way, even lend the book to someone)
  • talking about them or their books on social media is always good promo, also while you do this putting in some links is helpful. Maybe a link to merch, the book itself or other ways the writer can earn some money.
  • Vote for them to be nominated for awards, or vote when they are nominated for awards. Being able to say you won an award as a writer makes people take you a little more seriously.
  • If you’re at a university, see if you could pay the writer for a guest lecture from your course or society funds
  • For fanfic writers, leave kudos! Or comments. Share the link around.
  • These things go similarly for graphic novels btw.

 

Music Creators:

  • Anyone with music on a streaming platform (apple music, spotify… etc.? even YT actually) play their music on repeat whilst you sleep, put it on mute if that’s better for you, and their music will get 8ish hours of play/watch time every night (this would also work for filmmakers and YouTubers)
  • Requesting the songs on radio. I’m not sure how you go about doing this but I know you can still do it, it gets the music out to a more mainstream audience and I think the radio play means something cool? Sorry, I don’t know I’m not a music person…
  • Buy their merch and make sure it’s from the official musician’s seller so they actually get paid.
  • Buy their music. Seems pretty straight forward but, I think it needs to be on here.
  • Some musicians are able to do small jobs like creating jingles etc. so if you need a jingle or short song for some reason, ask.

 

YouTubers

  • Similar to the music one. You can literally click a button to play all videos on a channel, or lots of YouTubers have playlists so you could select to play one of those. Stick it on mute or have it on whilst you do something else. Views are important.
  • Along with views, likes and comments are also important. So wherever you can, give videos a like or leave a simple comment. Doesn’t take up much time.
  • YouTuber success is highly based on interaction. So do as much of that as you can! And please subscribe even if you’re not a big YouTube watcher!

 

Artists

  • Commission work from them. If you like their style but really want to see them do a specific thing, you could probably commission the piece for a price. It’s a cool way of getting a unique poster for your room or presents for friends.
  • Artists often have shops open with their creations available for purchase so go shopping for things they have already made. This could be anything from drawings to graphic novels or even things like tote bags.
  • When you receive your items you’ve purchased, it’s really cool if you take photos and share them on social media. People want to see what has been made before and what other buyers think of the product!

 

Photographers

  • These guys should be pretty good at giving you a headshot if you work in an industry where you need one. So hiring them to do some work for you in general would help if they’re local. Find out what they’re best at, have a chat with them…
  • Buy prints of their work. Again, obvious, but needs to be here.

 

General Performers (writers, musicians, comedians, dancers, etc.)

  • If you work for some kind of event planning job role, do what you can to book performers! There are so many different types of performers, you could find a singing juggler if you wanted, but not many events make the effort to hire performers or a mixture of different types. Universities are a great example of an institution that has the space and time (and sometimes money??) to have events like this!
  • If you can’t hire them, how about starting a regular open mic type event where local creators can come perform to build their portfolio. Plus if you’re a really small creator, it’s a good way to meet other local creators and iron out the wrinkles. It’s beneficial to many people even if it isn’t a paid opportunity.

 

 

Lots of creators now have Patreons. It’s different for everyone but if you pledge a certain amount a month to a creator, you get to see content no one else gets to see! For example YouTuber bloopers, Musicians’ behind the scenes of music videos, Writers’ old works, or just being able to communicate with the creator in a way you wouldn’t normally!

 

This is my list compiled of as many things I can think of! If there are other things I have missed, please let me know in the comments and I might update this post at a later date for everyone to use as reference.

 

I hope this has helped some people to see this differently or find new ways to support small creators! See you next week.

 

~ Artie

Why I Take Magnesium Pills

Hey pals,

 

I wanted to talk through my experience of taking Magnesium supplements and why I now take them alongside multi-vitamins.

A few years ago (I say few because I have no concept of how long ago this actually was), my mother and I saw a Kinesiologist. It’s a very bizarre experience, a lot of moving my limbs and tapping. She told me I am very low in Magnesium after listing everything that was wrong and the symptoms linked. She prescribed me Magnesium, another pill and selenium drops. I didn’t really feel any benefits from this back in the day and once I ran out, I stopped.

One thing I remember her saying, “Magnesium is needed for pretty much every human function,” and that definitely stayed with me.

I have always have problems with sleep, constantly feeling fatigued, and have had bouts of really bad anxiety. Earlier this year alone I struggled to leave my uni house to do anything. That was before I started taking Magnesium again.

I’ve googled the benefits of Magnesium on-and-off since seeing the Kinesiologist and debated going back on them or even seeing her again.

I’d recently seen a YouTuber I really like (Melanie Murphy, before you ask) starting to take Magnesium along with a selection of other vitamins and minerals and she said it has really helped her anxiety and she felt so chill! So I thought, “Hey, maybe I should give it a go?”

I could always do with better sleep, more energy, less anxiety, less pain even. Magnesium helps relax muscles and has a lot of anti-inflammatory benefits. At this point, with my chronic pain, I will try anything once.

Melanie mentioned that women (lets ignore the self-misgender, because we are talking bio sex here) should be taking/consuming around 300mg of Magnesium a day. I’ve looked this up, females aged 19+ should take 310-320mg a day. So I looked at Amazon to begin, and decided I would rather buy from a company I can completely trust to give me what they are claiming to sell.

I now buy all my supplements from Holland & Barrett, because that’s their thing. I looked at the highest dose they sell, which was only 250mg, but I decided to give that a chance. Maybe I don’t need to be taking 300+mg a day, but I definitely think I need to be taking some.

 

It’s been a bit over a month now, it’s not a miracle pill but it definitely has made a lot of my above issues easier to combat. I may not dose off at 9pm every day, but getting to sleep before midnight is and waking up between 9 and 10am is becoming a habit. That’s pretty crazy, considering my previous sleeping pattern was 2am bed and 11am wake up. I have more energy and more cognitive ability. My pain is hit-and-miss but it always is. And when it comes to my anxiety, it’s pretty non-existent at this point; I’m capable of just taking things as they come.

If you’re thinking about trying Magnesium supplements, I say go for it. I did read that it can affect medications so double check with your doctor or pharmacist. But I’ve experienced a pretty positive change in my health and hope it continues to get better the longer I take them.

 

I’d love to know about your experiences!

 

~ Artie

 

What I take: https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/holland-barrett-magnesium-tablets-250mg-60005830?skuid=005830

Financially Not Great

Hey pals,

 

I had a lot of my plans fall through recently, which was pretty distressing to begin but now I’ve just accepted that it has happened. It has given me some new life possibilities that I would have never even entertained. For example, going abroad. Whether that’s to work, an internship, or just some travelling time, doesn’t really matter. I had to do everything with someone.

I’ve always thought myself independent (except not entirely when within romantic relationships) but having to start over from my Mother’s spare bedroom has given me some thought and clarity. A new perspective, one I really didn’t think I’d ever have.

I love living in the UK. I haven’t explored enough of it for one, but I like how it works (ish), I like what I’ve got here (sort of), and I’m pretty bloody useless at learning and remembering languages (I’ve tried, and I would like to try again). I think mainly, I don’t have to pay for my health care or prescriptions, which is pretty sweet.

I’m often flooded with the realisation of how big the world is, and how I haven’t seen hardly any of it. I want to change that. I’ve been thinking of the different options that might exist. I see groups of school kids from other countries over here during summer, meeting new people but in a safe environment. Considering I’m an anxious mess when it comes to travelling (and many other things that aren’t relevant right now) I wanted to see if I could find a way to travel somewhere with or meeting a group out there with secure accomodation. I clearly can’t trust anyone to do anything with me, OR they don’t have the money, so I do want to do this by myself.

I actually had a brief moment where I thought, ‘wow, who’d have thought I’d be happy to be single?’ because, sure, I was comfortable being alone, but for this reason I was actually happy about it. I would never (and I mean never) gone abroad by myself whilst with someone, I wouldn’t have put that distance between us, that strain. And it’s very freeing to realise that.

I originally wanted to go away somewhere or like everyone does inter-railing, but with a group. Or then I thought, I’ll just go to one place and travel out on their transport to other areas nearby. Then I saw an ad on instagram.

How about

~ an internship ~

So nothing is decided right now, I’m still doing my research. Unfortunately, any of these options would cost a lot (particularly the internship, this actually blew my mind). So, I’ll apologise now, but I’m going to put below ways you can help me with funds, there’s a selection so please don’t click off just yet! And anyone who has done, or is planning to, do something similar, please let me know your experiences in the comments! I’d love to hear more!

~ Artie

 

 

Here is a selection of ways you can help me raise the funds for something like this:

  • I have a Patreon with behind the scenes type content, stuff that no one outside of Patreon would have access to seeing in a selection of levels.
  • I am a brand affiliate of Geopetric.com, they are a vegan, cruelty-free, and fair wage company in the U.S for pet products. With my affiliate code you can get 20% off, and not just once you can use it on every order you make on the website. So use our code: LAYLABARKSALOT20
  • You can make any size donation to my paypal.me link
  • I have a depop where I sell a selection of items (preferably only to U.K residents as postage is awful) find me with @amiexdelisle
  • I do tarot card readings online via email for £1 (or whatever is equal for your currency) just hit me up on any of my social media for more information.
  • and finally if there isn’t anything you can do money-wise, then sharing would do a big help. There’s one of these posts on basically every platform I use.

Handwriting Sample & Dyslexia

Hey pals,

Browsing through the internet, staring longingly at beautiful stationary and even more beautiful handwriting, I came across someone’s handwriting sample. So, I don’t know, I wanted to do it and discuss my handwriting a little with you guys.

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Can I just say how impressed with myself I am for this photo? It looks like a scan!

Anyway, here’s my writing sample. I want to talk about the big ugly scribble first. Why didn’t I just do it again? Because I wanted to make this realistic.

I’m dyslexic.

What has that got to do with handwriting? Well, everything actually. My brain doesn’t work as seamlessly as others when it comes to anything written. That includes numbers, letters, English, other languages, all kinds of words or written communication.

I had a re-diagnosis test for literacy the year I started uni (actually it might have been technically the one before? Either way, 2014/2015) I learned that my reading speed is ‘average’ and ‘university’ reading speed was two speeds higher than mine! And I found out that my comprehension and short term memory wasn’t super great either, it was better with things I actually liked and found interesting (shocker!) and since this test I’ve found it deteriorates with stress, sleep deprivation, boredom… I’ve never been a good sight reader either (though actually I found I was quite good compared to my university classmates?? This may be where my drama training helped me develop skills I lacked).

My brain skips words, reads pages and pages without taking any of it in, ‘learns’ without retaining (hi, what’s a verb?? says the Creative Writing degree graduate…), it swaps round letters and misreads 90% of fonts (BECAUSE THEY DON’T MAKE THE LETTERS LOOK DIFFERENT ENOUGH!), assumes words based on the beginning and ending letter… learning how to spell sucks (you don’t need to know how many spelling mistakes I made whilst writing this post alone), and it generally works faster or slower when it’s most inconvenient. Oh, and don’t get me started on trying to figure out how I learn best, coz it changes every time I think I’ve got it.

Now I’m getting to the point! If I try really hard (which I did) I can make my handwriting look somewhat passable and legible. But writing notes… my writing is kinda ugly (see the sentence I wrote out above? That’s still far nicer than my usual writing). So the big ugly scribbles are where my brain went too fast for my hand. I also mix lowercase letters with capitals all over the place, I’ve heard this is actually really common amongst people with dyslexia. I don’t have the capacity to write in cursive, I’ve tried many times and it looks God awful even though it was part of teaching when I was in primary school.

I struggle using a keyboard (note: I still can’t touch-type due to my dyslexia, I just can’t remember where the letters are) and though I love writing in public or having study dates, everyone knows when I’ve made a dumb typo. There’s lots of head-shaking, eye rolls, and most often face-pulling.

This post started as one thing in my head and became something else after I wrote up my sample.

My handwriting is ugly, but not in the typical and somewhat cool way where it looks like chicken scratch and a doctor or university lecturer could have done it. That kind of ugly handwriting is linked with intelligence… which is the opposite of how I felt growing up with dyslexia. I still feel pretty stupid to this day sometimes because of my dyslexia. Everything has been more work.

If anyone reading this relates to what I’ve said, let me know your experiences and if you’d like to hear more about my battle against dyslexia. Or if you can see some of the above signs in your children, I suggest taking them to be tested and really push for the extra help (not everywhere is good at providing support when necessary).

I hope you enjoyed reading this spontaneous piece.

~ Artie