It’s amazing what you can do with next to no money behind you. You get inventive, because you have to. You call in favours. You work with people who get what you’re doing and are happy to give their time and their skills for the friendship, the banter, and the craic, for the satisfaction of helping create something new and vibrant and sending it out in to the world.
Even so, every now and then I find myself dreaming of what it must be like to have a budget to promote my work. In those what-if-I-won-the-lottery moments I dream of buying advertising space for all the artists I know who produce wonderful work without a fraction of the publicity they deserve. I dream of hiring a PR person who’d know the right words to put our work in front of the right people in the right way and at the right time. Above all I fantasise about employing an assistant who’ll book me gigs, keep me supplied with coffee, and answer the phone while I head off exploring somewhere new on the motorbike.
As it is, like so many other artists i could mention, I’m reliant on doing it all myself. On mustering what publicity I can, and placing more responsibility than is wise on social media and the hope that friends will choose to like and share my work. That’s less easy than it was since facebook grew obsessed with monetising everything they can get their hands on. But don’t get me started on that.
This week, I’ve finally uploaded my new video to Youtube. It was filmed – again – by a mate who offers his talents for free. In place of a budget we had oodles of inventiveness and a shedload of determination. We found a council who gave us access to a flat in a tower block due for demolition and didn’t charge us for the privilege. We finally managed to book a date in our diaries when neither of us was away working. We bounced ideas around and watched the project take shape. And then we got on and did it. The total cost for this video was the cost of hiring a camera for the day. And you can see ithere. If you want to.
Don’t get me wrong, a budget would be lovely. But even with next to no money behind you, you can still get things done.