So I started to crowd fund for my first book of poems, Not Just a Housewife, last Wednesday. I have raised 86% of my total amount. I have had moments of elation, joy and doubt, but most of my time was spent in gratitude - feeling grateful to my patrons, more believers in me.
I chose to crowd fund in India, a country still unaware of the perks of crowd funding. I find it a very promising way for any artist to put their art out. It builds community patronage around the artist. Even Shakespeare had The Earl of Southampton as a patron.
The reason I am crowd funding is twofold:
1. Art can be sustained only when people show public support to the talent and voice of the artist. Artists should be encouraged…imagine how much richer life would be with more schools of thought, more views on life. Artists capture the moment and mood of society, contributing to its history and culture.
In India, where everyone wants their children to be in safe and secure jobs, what about poetry and artists who want to work without a publisher or a market need in mind?
Remember India also has a rich tradition of the performing arts and literature. Performers and artists were often seen in the courts of kings. Even Devadasis were promoted as artists; they were educated in the fine arts.
When did we stop looking at art as something not worth investing in?
2. You are supporting alternative voices, especially women’s voices that really need to come to the public cultural sphere.
I write poetry, but a publisher will not touch me, because I don’t have a market that knows me. I am just another woman who writes. I am a middle-class housewife, not a ‘literary’ enough voice to be heard. I cater to a niche market that might not buy my book of verse. I do not expect much from a country that does not have a single online resource that caters to cataloguing female Indian poets.
But I am bold, stubborn and unafraid to let my voice out of the bag. I know it will pave the way for future artists, particularly woman artists to come out, take stage, adorn homes with words or paintings, or play with puppets - with the kind support of our patrons, of course.
Society should honour and support female poets, writers and artists to reclaim literature and art. We need to be included, heard and seen. Your patronage is vital.
To contribute to my book of poems ‘Not Just a Housewife’, please go to: https://ketto.org/notjustahousewife