Amanda Palmer is a musician, writer and all round artist. Her relationship with her fans is legendary and intimate- she will sofa surf at her fan’s place and she was one of the first artists to fund an album via Kickstarter. Just do a quick Google search to see how contentious she is – she does tend to divide opinion. She is an avid user of Patreon and for a while I supported her through that, but I had to stop – primarily because she makes me deeply uncomfortable and I observed her output with my hands over my eyes, peeping through my fingers, figuratively speaking. I’ve written about her before, here and here.
I think there are several reasons for this – she is so open with her emotions, she wears her heart bleeding on her sleeve and writes so eloquently about it. She is explicitly political and doesn’t care who she upsets with her proclamations. She just seems to do what the hell she wants with her art and music, while at the same time supporting other artists through her Patreon.
She is clearly deeply passionate about life and art.
Maybe it’s because I am so damn British, reserved and deeply introverted that I find her uncomfortable.
I watch her videos and writing dumbstruck at her sheer effrontery and truth. Because she does seem (as far as I can tell without ever having met her) to be utterly genuine. She is who she is and doesn’t care what others think, while caring deeply about people and music. It’s an odd combination. I think she is essentially herself in all her glorious magnificence.
I think the uncomfortableness is jealousy and horror at the same time.
There have been huge gaps in my posting here as I struggle to find the right balance between personal and ‘professional’, whatever that means.
It is clear from her blog posts (and I no longer have access to the more intimate Patreon posts) that she feels everything deeply, that she is affected by everything that happens and her art work comes from that suffering and that she is driven to share it.
I guess it is interesting for me to think about why AFP makes me so uncomfortable, to see if there is anything I can learn. I really don’t want to start dressing like her, or living my life like her, but I would love to be a little freer in my writing, and photography and I’d love to hold my music less tightly and just enjoy it more.
Don’t get me wrong, AFP has had a lot of issues – like I said do a Google search, ‘most hated’ comes up more than once. I don’t think she would be upset at my blog post! Oh and the F in the middle of her name….. Fucking. Yep, she actually claimed that as her name. Astonishing.
None the less, I don’t think AFP should change what or how she does what she does. I think she is awesome, the uncomfortableness shines a lights on me and how I work…