Artists' Pact

A silhoutted hand holding a pen, hovering above a contract. Photo from Pixabay on Pexels


In light of creating this blog and starting a YouTube channel, I set out some rules for myself so that my online activities do not dominate my life. You may also find them useful.

Note: I use the term “artist” to refer to anyone who regularly engages in the act of creation—especially those who share their work online—whether through writing, music, vlogging or running a business. Feel free to adapt this to suit your medium.

Artists’ Pact

I, Alex Maplestone, hereby pledge that:

  1. I realize no matter how passionate I feel about my art, I am not my art, just as I am not my work (see Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.)

  2. I understand that art is not created in a vacuum, and I will give credit where credit is due (see Show Your Work by Austin Kleon).

  3. I will value the people closest to me above the success of my art. I will take seriously their concerns when they tell me I spend too much time online or my ego is too large.

  4. When seeking feedback, I will only accept it from those who care about me and my art (see Chapter 8 of Show Your Work). I will ignore “seagulls” (essay by The Minimalists), use their negativity as fuel (vlog by Cody Wanner), or use their dislike as validation that I am doing my art right (blog post by Derek Sivers).

  5. I will not subject my audience to unnecessary advertisements. I will instead accept donations and proceeds from my work (see Derek Sivers’ blog post on money as a neutral indicator of value, and The Minimalists’ essay on ads—epsecially the paragraph on alternatives).

  6. If I accept sponsorships, I will make my sponsored art as creative and valuable as YouTuber Andrew Huang’s sponsored videos, and I will always put my art above the endorsement.

  7. I may make changes to my art, but not to gain more likes, shares, or views. I will do so in the spirit of creativity, play and betterment.

  8. I will support my fellow artists, especially lesser-known ones, and will not expect anything in return.

  9. I will set a daily internet time limit so that I can spend less time consuming and more time creating (essay by The Minimalists).

  10. I will recognize the many forms that Resistance takes, such as procrastination, distraction, and fear, and will fight daily to overcome it and create my art (also from The War of Art).

Signed: Alex Maplestone

A side profile of a woman working intently on her painting. Photo from Burst on Pexels

Written on September 10, 2018