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Creativity is Power with Jack Conte

Jack Conte talks about the future of creativity and empowering artists to have sustainable careers.


We gathered some of the biggest names in film, podcasting, art, activism, music, and media for Patreon Assembly, an afternoon of storytelling and performances. Through personal stories from their own creative journey, our guests shared how they leveraged entrepreneurial spirit, artistic control and their relationship with their audience to build successful, durable creative careers.

Our final speaker was Jack Conte, Patreon CEO, musician, and creator of music videos. After sharing what he personally took away from the conversations of the day, Jack thanked those who attended via the online stream and in community sessions.

On deciding to be an artist: At the 3:32 mark, Jack jumps into his “hopes for creators” out in the world. Jack remembers the exact instant where he made the decision to be an artist—standing on the sidewalk between two dorms in college. He called it almost a depressing feeling, knowing that he was going to be poor his whole life, but that he had to be an artist. “It should’ve been exciting…but it wasn’t. I was scared and worried.”

On deciding to leave school and follow his dream: Skip a few years and Jack found himself with the choice of staying in school or joining a pop band. Facing this decision (and parents that absolutely wanted him to stay in school) at the 5:08 mark Jack tells about how he decided to call a meeting with his parents. Before he even started his own meeting, his mom said this: “Jack, wait. I want to let you know that you can tell me anything you want right now. Anything you want in the whole world…as long as you tell me you’re still going to school.” Jack also remembered his uncle telling him “It’s crowded at the bottom. Don’t be an artist.” Clearly, those voices didn’t dictate Jack’s future.

His hopes for creatives: As a successful musician and creator, Jack defines his hope for creative people at 6:36, sharing, “Here is my hope for creative people. In 2019…you can be a professional, full-time creator and make more than a living. You can make a killing. You can reach people if you have something to say you can say it. People are there, they listen, you can build a community, you can build a business. Artistry is changing.”

On making art a lucrative career: At 7:58 Jack shares one last hope. I hope that kids 10 years, 15 years from now, when they are finishing up school, I hope they think about being a podcaster like they think about being a doctor. I hope they think about having a video stream like they think about being a lawyer. I want it to be an option for creative people. The people in this room, the people in this community…you’re doing that right freakin’ now…Thank you for doing everything you do. Thank you for creating. Keep it up.”

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