Hey, I'm Jess! I'm making D.I.Y. Music Videos in 2020. If you're wondering what D.I.Y. means, it's this:
I write the songs
I produce the songs
I mix the songs
I design the video
I build a performance
I film the video
I edit the video
Yeah, it takes a lot of time. Yeah, I do it for free. But yeah, I believe I create something of value. Art is the thing that moves us, changes us, and inspires us to do better. So...I would like to offer something of value on a regular basis. Maybe once a month, maybe twice a month. And if you'd be excited to pitch in 5 dollars here and there if you happen to be moved by my work, you will help cover materials and studio space so I can continue making more!
Here's a little more about my video making history, and why it's so important for me to create this year:
I never considered myself to be a visual artist, but for some reason, I have really strong opinions on how I want things to look. I love color. I'm really in to ordered chaos. I also remember a much younger version of me hanging My Little Pony's on strings around my bedroom as a kid (which, if you've seen any of my earlier work, tracks).
I started doing videos like this about 5 years ago when I realized that I was never going to have a budget to produce real music videos or hire a full band...and it was the happiest I've ever been!
Then it got weird when people in power thought they could make money off of them. When people I loved said they only liked when I made music that made them feel good. When I was coached into believing that relevancy and attention was the only thing that would make my videos matter.
And then I got weird, because I tried too hard to make all of this happen - to get financial support, to fulfill that need for "positive content", to get noticed, etc. (And we all know how well the world responds when we try too hard, yeah?).
As a result, my art, angry at me for doubting it and trying to use it to GET something, hid away for a long time. Losing my art was losing my soul, my sense of self, and my faith in everything.
It took a lot of work, time, and therapy, but I got it back...and this time, I'm never letting it go.
So this year, I'm just gonna do it for me. No ulterior motives. Art for art's sake! Hey - if my art ends up moving you to buy my music, take a lesson with me, commission a song, or book my nonprofit, that's wonderful. But in my mind, there is now a clear distinction from the art that is ME, and the businesses that I have built around myself to support it.
In the midst of all this, I'm going to be moving to New York with my partner, who has work out there. I'd love to be able to pursue my own work, and a big part of that will be investing in materials for these videos and a studio space where I can teach voice and songwriting lessons while I continue to build these videos!
This gofundme will be up all year. If we end up exceeding my materials budget for videos of $2000 (oh my goodness THANK YOU!) any other funds will go towards studio space (May-December $4000...oh my goodness THANK YOU!).
10 percent of funds raised will go directly towards bringing The Major Lift, a nonprofit that helps people find positivity and resilience through songwriting, to a community in need for free. www.themajorlift.org
At the heart of it I just wanna make art without any strings attached...and no matter what, I'm gonna make it happen at all costs. It would just be amazing if it were...less cost :).
You're amazing. Thank you.
- Keaton W
- Marianne Walker
- Brad Miller