I want to thank you guys for your encouragement regarding the direction I'm taking the blog. It's definitely inspired me to keep writing, but on my own timeline, with no pressure from brands, or even readers, expecting me to post a specific type of thing, at a specific time. I want to honor my inspiration and let it come as it pleases, not forcing it to manifest in one way or the other. I didn't know what to expect from readers, but so many of you have reached out with encouraging words.
I've been thinking about the future of my blogging, and there are so many things in store, not just for this space online, but beyond. Wildbride retreats are just the tip of the iceberg, and I can feel the universe tuning in to my frequency saying, "yeah, this girl has good reception, she's ready to receive the ideas and bring them to life." In some ways Wildbride is a culmination, but more than that, way more, it's a beginning. I love my online home and I love inviting people in opening it up to anyone (because, well, that's how the internet works, yeah?). Mid 2016 will mark 8 years of public blogging. EIGHT YEARS. That length of time is like... high school through college. It weirds me out sometimes to think of how long I've been logging in and crafting blog posts for whoever wants to take the time to read/look at them. Stepping away from brand sponsorships means this space is, again, something I do for the love of it. And I invite you guys into that. Please, come in! Grab some tea, get cozy, explore.
When I first opened my blog up to paid sponsorships, it was because I was looking for a way to make an income while on the road during my first Brave trip. And eventually it became a way to be able to blog full time and be compensated for the hundreds of hours I spent creating fresh content for Delightfully Tacky. Now, without sponsorships, I feel so free from the pressure to write or photograph things for other brands. I feel free to explore new ideas, write about what I'm dealing with in life, share photos that maybe aren't pretty enough to be in a clothing ad, but still make my heart sing. It's a different game. And I want you guys to be a part of it, like you always have. I want this place to create more connection.
If you love this corner of the web and want to help keep the lights on here, I want to offer you guys a way to be even more involved (and get some extra special goodies while you're at it) . My blog will always be free for anyone to enjoy, but I wanted to give the option to anyone who felt like giving back and supporting. How can you support? A few ways:
1. Become a monthly patron on Patreon. You can sign up to donate a fixed amount monthly and your patronage gives you special access to free digital art downloads, secret discounts for the shop, and other special things that only patrons have access to. You can stop your patronage at any time so there's no pressure to continue if you're not into it. But you can imagine this face every time one of you becomes a patron... which, now that I think of it, might dissuade you from becoming a patron. Just picture a very excited and thankful me.
2. Donate just once. If you're not stoked on a monthly patronage scenario, you can donate just once, however much you want $1, $100, $5, $0 it's up to you. It's like when you high five someone but you secretly have a buck in your hand and you pass it off real cool like. Basically exactly like that. Only on the internet so decidedly less badass. But I will imagine it every time. Scroll to the (almost) bottom of my sidebar and you'll see the little donation doo-dad. Just enter whatever amount you feel like, and click the "support" button!
3. If you're more into stuff, but aren't into the monthly patronage sitch, my online shop is always open and has digital art prints, digital downloads, and e-courses. Nothing in the shop is over $32 and there are even small things for only $2 so you can show your support and simultaneously get something rad.
4. Keep reading. It's free! For just 3 low (LOW!) payments of $0.00 you too can keep reading Delightfully Tacky same as always! I'll do my best to get involved in comment replies and foster even more of a sense of community here, because that what it's all about, really. (and sorry for radio silence while I've been on the road, I forgot how horrible campground internet can be!)
5. If you want to stay in the loop and get email updates, sign up for my Brave Society newsletters! You can sign up in the sidebar and let me know if you want to get updates on Wildbride, Shop news, and/or receive love notes! It's another way to stay involved without any monetary commitment.
I want to emphasize that this is a no pressure scenario. Delightfully Tacky will be here all the same with or without sponsorship or the patronage of readers. The world is changing for artists, writers, and, well, pretty much anyone who creates stuff. The internet's ability to connect people and give you access to a limitless stream of amazing, stimulating, informative content is unparalleled in history. It directly connects writers and readers, musicians and listeners, artists and art appreciators. It's also broken down a lot of the old ways, or rather modern ways, of compensating artists for work. Everyone is still trying to figure out how this all works. How do we support art in a way that allows artists to survive while also creating the work we love? How do we support musicians when we can listen online for free. Even within the blogosphere the tides are changing and things are shifting and settling. But one thing I know for sure: where there is art, there will be people to take it in. Where there is music, there will be people to listen. Where there is writing, there are readers. And that connection from one person-- the creator, to the other person-- the looker/listener/reader, is what is important. Direct support is important, and I believe, an act of love. Sure, I create things (whether it's a photo, or something I've written, or a drawing or painting) because it fills my soul with some ineffable fuel, but more that that, I do it because it takes a small string and connects me to you. And then after a while, there are lots of strings, so many that the connection cannot be broken. I think that's what it means to be a human being.
Regardless of whether you decide you want to support through patronage or not, I'm still thankful for all of you all the same, and I'm honored you choose to come here and read along. These 8 years have been a privilege sharing my creations with you all.