Blog / 2020 / Hug Your Artist Friends

September 15, 2020

Okay, so maybe don’t do it physically, at least not while we’re still in the grip of COVID, but do send them some properly distanced support. Send it to your friends who are self-employed professionals of all kinds, because a path that has always been hard is only harder now.

Any time you try to build your own place in the world—any time you’re doing something besides working for a company or institution—there will be tons of people lined up to tell you NO.

I mean, I was told I needed to be a scientist to do this project and a photographer to make this series. My ABC book was all wrong because I decided to embed first names into the artwork.

making of mixed media Cookie Monster fan art

My recent body of work, Lifesavers Fan Art, has been attacked by virulent anti-maskers and self-appointed copyright compliance officers alike. But every time a hater or “concern troll” gets all NO-ing at me, my first response is:

Kitten! It’s adorable that you believe you are the first to question my work.

Most of us are imbued with a extraordinary capacity for negative self-talk, meaning that any difficulty that naysayers identify is almost certainly something the artist or freelancer has already agonized over.

The vulnerability of doing independent work—especially when that work is not very lucrative—is massive. It’s always hard to believe in yourself enough to get it done, but, in a pandemic that is killing small businesses as well as far too many people in the US alone, being self-employed feels impossible.

Please hug the artists and freelancers in your life.

Sesame Street fan art of Cookie Monster wearing a face covering because of the pandemic
Gwenn Seemel
C Is for COVID
2020
acrylic, colored pencil, and marker on paper
8 x 8 inches

The original Cookie Monster painting is for sale for $150 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks. I can’t make prints of C Is for COVID available through my Redbubble shop because the print-on-demand platform is a good little lap dog to licensing companies, but, as soon as more of the series is done, I’ll make a set of Lifesavers Fan Art postcards available through my mailing lists: sometimes, all the time, or Patreon.


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