Struggling Artists Unite!

So I’m about to rant.  I know…you’re saying to yourself, “Oscar, you always rant.”  But this is going to be a special kind of rant.  I’m going to unburden myself with all the reasons why artists need to be supported. In every way, emotionally and financially.  We don’t live in an age of benefactors!  If artists are going to be the voice for the under-heard and disadvantaged, then we need fuel for the fire, we need people surrounding us and giving us the energy to keep fighting.

So first off, if you want me to give you a freebee then come at me with a genuine curiosity about my literature. I’m happy to share under those circumstances and have emailed free copies of my stories to many of my followers on this blog.  Because many of my followers are artists themselves and understand where I’m coming from.  I support them as much as they support me.  It’s called reciprocity.  But don’t come at me like a privileged little shit and expect me to give you a freebee because you’re an over righteous douche bag.  Don’t approach me like I’ve violated you because I’ve attached a meager 99 cent price tag on a short story.  I’m sorry you have to walk all the way to your car in the driveway and dig out 99 cents from your console.

Alebrijes in Oaxaca, MexicoSecond, I went to college for six years to obtain the degrees I hang on my walls, to write provocative stories that are meant to help you grow as a human being as much as entertain you with my tribal culture.  I’m not an ethnographer.  I’m an artist.  I’m not here to get rich, but it’d be nice to eat more than just ramen noodle soup sometimes.  I’m sure my kids would appreciate that as well.  I’m not working out of a multi-millionaire’s purse.  I don’t have a benefactor paying my bills.  I work fulltime.  I’m a fulltime, single father.  And I write fiction.  My drive to realize the benevolence of this literary profession is the reason I write.  I believe in the literary field’s ability to transform people to better understand each other, like I believe in America’s will to give people the freedom to figure out how to live cohesively.  All of that faith and effort takes time and energy.

Lastly, if there is any spirit left in this mass consumption society, we, the artists, possess it, and remind you with every word and every painting and every sculpture that you too have spirit and you need to go seek it out and find it.  There is a reason people are drawn toward literature, paintings, sculptures, music, etc., etc.  When you hear that song, when the words in a story make you pause, when a painting makes your mind quickly move from confusion to problem solving it’s complexity, you are remembering your own spirit and connecting to your own spirit.  Once you have that feeling you want to find it again.  We, the artists, give you opportunity to engage with your own spirit.

So please don’t come at me like I’m a brutish millionaire sucking the pennies from your pocket.  I’ve somehow, through symbolism, packaged a piece of my spirit for you to consume.

Support a Native owned Etsy shop, Allies United, where I offer unique merch for allies of social justice movements, like MMIW, Native Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter. Take a look inside my Etsy shop here:


  1. This is brilliant and sums up exactly how I feel as an artist oftentimes.

    What drives me crazy is when people to create a sculpture for them and then when I tell them the price they get all offended and try to tell me I am charging too much.

    My time, blood, sweat, tears and effort go into every single piece I create. I sculpt stone for god sakes….it’s hard work!!!

    Anyway thanks for writing this and expressing what so many of us feel in such a witty and relatable way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Paul. I’m glad you identify with the post. It’s an education process for people. I think their is a lack of understanding of how much effort goes into a piece. Just the brainstorming process alone can months if not longer, depending on the piece.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, absolutely. As artists, we’re not only here to create, but we’re here to educate, as you said. People will only gain understanding through education and it’s always nice to see other artists taking responsibility for educating others.

        Liked by 1 person

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