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.
One of those creators to take the stage was a singer-songwriter and YouTube content creator Gabbie Hanna. “I am extremely honored and humbled to be sharing the stage here tonight with so many inspiring artists and creatives,” Hanna says as she welcomed the Patreon Assembly crowd and a few of her friends. She was joined on stage by artist Elli Moore and Indiana-based string quartet Sileo.
On questioning everything: Hanna kicks off the performance by recalling a difficult phase last year, when she started questioning everything. “I wanted to give up completely, not just on music, just give up.” she shares around the 0:44 mark as she starts playing her 2018 single, “Monster.” “It was when people were telling me I was a terrible writer, a terrible artist, a terrible singer, and a terrible person. A time where I was made to feel like a monster.”
The importance of mental health: Mental health has been a priority for Hanna after that dark phase in her life. As a creator, she recommends having a community around you to avoid self-deprecating thoughts — something that she has built with her Patreon page.“You talk to yourself, and when you talk to yourself, you're living in an echo chamber of negative self-talk,” Hanna says as the violin starts the melody for her song “Sleepyhead” at the 5:45 mark.
Medicating a broken heart: Can you medicate a broken heart? Hanna asks the crowd around the 10:56 mark as she dives into the darker, more poignant tune, “Medication,” out of her EP 2WAYMIRROR. The lyrics spell out the journey of numbing the pain through medication and interactions with doctors.
Being grateful for heartbreak: Around the 15:35 mark, Hanna discusses how mental health and learning to be grateful for any pain or heartbreak has fueled her creative process through music. “It's an opportunity to change, to grow, to create trauma. It causes all sorts of energy that a lot of times, we tend to store away in our chest or throat or heads. And what if we just let it loose and turn it into something great?”
Finding opportunities in a bad situation: “Every bad situation is random, but it's an opportunity. [...] If you take nothing else from here tonight, take this. Do not let your pain go to waste,” says Hanna at the 16:09 mark about channeling your experiences into something bigger — whether it’s music, painting, or helping your community.
Getting to the other side of darkness: She ends the performance set by playing a new folksy tune at the 16:48 mark and circling back to that dark moment a year ago around the 19:30 mark, and how she came out the other side with more support than she ever imagined. The creator continues to support her most recent EP. “Today, I'm on stage singing my own songs, singing my heart out with the truest friends I could ever ask for cheering me on,” Hanna says with a big smile. Watch the full set above.