It’s always been a lot easier for me to promote a band or film than to promote my solo acoustic stuff. I think a big part of that is because a band and a film are both collective endeavors – I’m not just promoting me, I’m promoting us.
It’s easier to say “hey, go like my band” than to say “hey, go like… me.” And that’s how it feels in my head sometimes. And it’s kind of weird.
Also, one of the human traits I find most abhorrent is arrogance, and I don’t want to be even remotely misconstrued that way.
So therefore, the closest I’ve come to having merch with my name on it – other than CDs – was some small stickers and buttons. Never went the t-shirt route because in my head I’ve always thought “why would anyone want a shirt with my name on it?”
(Even with the stickers and buttons, it said, “I ❤ Josh Carples’ music” because at least it didn’t say they love me, right?)
But as I’ve continued as an artist, I’ve been lucky to have friends that genuinely support me – from streaming my music to buying my albums to sharing events and statuses when I’m looking for actors or locations for projects. And that means the world to me. (Thank you. For real. Thank you.)
I think sometimes it’s hard for artists – especially those with a history of depression and/or regularly use self-deprecating humor – to realize that there are people who genuinely want you to succeed and genuinely want to support both you and your art.
And this post isn’t to say that I have arrived at some epiphany and have magically changed my thought processes. Oh no… it’s a very slow process with ups and downs that go between “Hey, look, some people seem to like me” and “I suck at everything; why do I even try?”
Hashtag the struggle is real.
I recently started an account on Teespring to put up some t-shirts. It’s on-demand printing, so orders and fulfillment are all handled by them online, and I don’t have inventory. But I did, for the first time ever, design some shirts with my name on it. And yes, I still think “why would anyone want a shirt with my name on it?” But for anyone that does, there are currently six designs available.
Thanks for reading my stream-of-consciousness blog posts and for the love and support you’ve shown me over the years.
And a quick reminder: my new album Carry the Wounds is out March 6!
There. I’m done with self-promotion and the weird feelings that come with it for a while.