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The Importance of Supporting Independent Creatives, Big or Small

www.peachesonfleek.com

It takes true courage and vulnerability to chase your dreams and express your passions to the world. Whether it be through fashion, photography, blogging, music, art, etc., opening yourself to criticism can be one of the most daunting realities from young and old creatives in any industry. Independent creatives are individuals who have decided to pursue their passion in the interest of self-fulfillment and self-expression. These people aren’t expecting a fortune, and they certainly aren’t producing content as a means of satisfying as many consumers as possible. They are taking the chance at doing what they love.

So why is it so important to support them?

Supporting independent creatives validates their hard work, recognizes and respects their vulnerability, as well as promotes creativity to all content consumers. When you buy a product, comment on a post, or commission an artist, you are consuming something that is original and made with passion. So where can you find independent creatives? Easy, social media.

Before the advent of the internet provided us access to content from all over the world, it took months, maybe years for content to spread across the globe. But now, we are in the age of what I like to call “the internet renaissance.” Media and content of all categories, those with a large interest group and those who cater to only a few people in the whole world, can be shared on a universal platform, accessible to anyone and everyone.

Unfortunately, massive corporations also have access to these resources and tend to overpopulate our feed with highly funded advertisements and tempt independent creatives with promotion and sponsorship. There is no shame in the paid promotion of a product, especially when an independent creative is trying to make a career out of their work. However, I want to validate those who refuse promotions and sponsorship in order to remain true to themselves and promote authenticity.

Although malicious ploy that many corporations use is the exploitation and copyright infringement of the content and products of Independent Creatives. Let’s say a young creative comes up with an original quote, tagline, or saying and decides to create merchandise relating to it. There have been many instances where companies will snatch these self-produced ideas from creatives and mass produce them onto their own products, and never be called out for their copyright infringement. For instance, the iconic “eyebrows on fleek” vine created by Kayla Newman (also known as Peaches Monroe) took off and became a sensation on the internet. While the public enjoyed her new tagline and supported her work, corporations began to use this saying without her permission, profiting off her creativity and not their own. Despite these major setbacks, Newman has used a GoFundMe to start her own multicultural beauty brand; a wonderful example of a young creative continuing to create and produce even after corporate exploitation.

While it is amazing that media has given independent creatives the opportunity to become famous and successful, it’s still important to actively seek out those who are newer to the game. If you’re feeling generous, go donate to an independent creator’s GoFundMe, Patreon, or support them by buying a piece of their work. By supporting independent creatives, you support small business and take part in dismantling giant capitalist corporations. What could be better?

What do you think?

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Written by Rebekah Harding

Rebekah Harding is an aspiring journalist from the Washington D.C. area with a passion for disability advocacy, social justice, and goldfish.

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