Thanks to all of the people who make the free shit. To the artists that write, draw, compose, publish or just plain make great stuff. Thanks to those who do amazing work and then release it on the internet for free.
Free art is an interesting concept. Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s good. In fact, to many people, it could mean the opposite But free makes things accessible. It’s a low barrier that allows for people to have an introduction to you and what you do. If it’s good, we pay attention. If it’s not, we won’t remember you in five minutes.
But thank you. Thank you for putting yourself out there. For trying to create something.
And artists like to create art that’s free as well. In the words of Bill Cunningham, “If you never take money, they can’t tell you what to do. That’s the key to the whole thing.” By shipping art for free, you retain control. You can experiment. You can try new styles, new rhymes, new hooks. You can walk the grey line of stealing stuff that would normally get sued for if you were making money off of it.
Like the mixtape scene in hip hop. Artists – big or small – drop free albums for their fans to download. If you’re small, you have the potential to blow up. Kid Cudi and Mike Posner both broke out into the mainstream through the success of their mixtapes. If you’re already big, like Eminem or Ludacris, it gives you a creative outlet to try new material. To continue to create art. To keep your shit sharp.
You don’t stay creative by keeping all of your good ideas inside. You get creative by letting them all out. By releasing all of them into the world, so that you have to come up with more. You develop your creativity by producing.