Amanda Palmer

Performer, writer, giver, taker, yeller, listener, love-lover, rule-hater and author of The Art of Asking

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON August 25, 2015

Discussion

Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
**ALL DONE** thank you guys for wonderful questions...and thank you producthunt folks for hosting! a few links to leave you with: the patreon (where i'm doing all my shit now): https://www.patreon.com/amandapa... and a reminder that "the art of asking", my book, is coming out in paperback this fall...watch for it. love to you guys....xxx AFP ........... HOLA! I am Amanda fucking Palmer, writer, pianist, ukulele-slayer, general performance artist, communicator, weirdo. i was in a band for a long time called the Dresden Dolls, then I went solo, then I did a big TED talk about kickstarter, then I wrote a book called “The Art of Asking” which hit the bestseller list. I’m also 8 months pregnant. I don’t hold back. Ask me anything. Editor's note: To see more of Amanda, we chat with her on the Product Hunt Podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/product-h...
seriously hilary @seriouslyhilary
@amandapalmer I don't really have a question at all I suppose, I just want you to see me. Is it wrong to care more about some people seeing you than other people, even if you have never met those people? Reading your pregnancy has made me think a lot about my own three years ago, makes me ache for a little baby. There is nothing in this world better than my little boy, your heart will burst with love when you see yours for the first time. Then your boobs will burst, but you won't mind. I'm having a back operation in November, will be stuck in bed for 4-6 months, buying lots of books, made an art-of-asking secret group on fb to ask my closest friends for help if I need it. Thanks for that. Thanks for understanding people and sharing heart. You are important.
John Sweeney @johnmsweeney · Founder & Chief Kindness Officer
@seriouslyhilary I see you too. Hope the operation goes well. Use the time off to be kind to yourself. :)
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@seriouslyhilary thanks :) and i see you. hi.
Suzie@softheartedfool · PhD student
@seriouslyhilary I see you. You can ask me, or others in this community for help too! I'll send you books if you like!
Vasili Frankos@vasilifrankos · Musician
@seriouslyhilary Thanks for warming my heart with your words here :-) Much love to you and to Amanda for creating spaces where kindness and sincere warmth get to dance together around the web like this.
Hash_tag_jeff@jeffumbro · Book Marketing and PR - get in touch
How awesome is it being married to Neil Gaiman?
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@jeffumbro @amandapalmer do you find a trend that many successful creatives marry other creatives? or not really
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@jeffumbro hahahahahahaha. today it's awesome! some days it's a pain in the ass! how awesome is it to be in YOUR LONG TERM AND COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP?? exactly. neil is wonderful. i have no regrets that i wound up with him as my swashbuckling life partner.
Hash_tag_jeff@jeffumbro · Book Marketing and PR - get in touch
@amandapalmer I love my long term and complicated relationships, romantically and otherwise. That's what makes life worth living.
Hash_tag_jeff@jeffumbro · Book Marketing and PR - get in touch
@eriktorenberg I personally don't, but I do see a lot of really smart people ending up together because smart people seem to surround themselves with smart people. I look at creativity as another form of intelligence.
Gabe Rios@fatfullstacks · Marketing Director - LTC
@amandapalmer Would you say that your particular (awesome) kind of relationship (poly right?) has helped in shaping your philosophy about the freedom to just ask and to give freely or the other way around? Its always interesting to me how such things filter through various aspects of life.
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Hey Amanda! Thanks for joining us. You've achieved a ton, and I understand no regrets, but what's something in your life that you are _not_ proud of? Would you have done it differently? Conversely, what's something you've not yet achieved that some part of you (however small) you won't feel complete until you do? (besides the baby of course, congrats!)
Félix Marqués@felixmarques
@eriktorenberg A good way of rephrasing this is probably “Where did you fuck up, and how do you think someone else can avoid doing that?”
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@eriktorenberg hey erik!!! i don't believe in regrets. i've had them (the college i went to, the songs i never finished, the fact that i still cannot find time to care about spending more than 3 minutes on my hair at any given time)....and i let them go. i'm here now, and happy. as far as achieving more things? i have things i'd like to do, projects, but i don't think they'll complete my life. i refuse to take myself that seriously. i want to make a french album, and a german one, i want to write more theater, i want to play more classical music for shits, i want to write some music for film, i want to finish all the hundreds of songs i've never finished, i want to be laurie anderson, i want to tour brazil, i want...to do a lot of things. but i'm not worried. i'll...do some things. and probably not others. and then i'll die. and it'll be fine.
Suky-chan@midnightwriter
@amandapalmer Please, do come to Brazil! My mom loved the idea of you couch surfing with your fans!
Vasili Frankos@vasilifrankos · Musician
@amandapalmer Is there any particular classical music or composer that recently inspired you?
Laura@lauralucca
@amandapalmer oh that brazil tour you MUST do <3
Vasili Frankos@vasilifrankos · Musician
@amandapalmer In an interview with Leonard Lopate of WNYC, Neil Gaiman was asked if you have influenced his writing. He said you have especially influenced the book Ocean at the End of the Lane. He says you've influenced his attitude with how you "love, value things like human emotion and human interaction." He said when compared to him, plot tends to be less important to you. As a busker (solo viola is how I busk), I identify strongly with this. I wonder who people are in the very moment I encounter them. I feel less compelled to know thier story, and more interested in who they are being in that exact shared moment. Will you speak a bit more about this?
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@vasilifrankos ha. well - i DO care about plot....but probably not as much as a fiction writer who writes 700-page novels. i've found my lifes work veering me in a direction that has more to do with what i can do to connect with other people - how much i can expose myself without making myself or others unsafe, how much i can say without fucking shit up, how honest i an be without harming anything. i feel like if i can get those things mastered - in any media - i'm moving towards something like progress as an artist. neil sits around trying to create new worlds, and i spend more time thinking about how i can honestly reflect the one i'm already in. it's very yin yang when you think about it - it's almost the same job, just with a different filter or setting switch.
Vasili Frankos@vasilifrankos · Musician
@amandapalmer Thanks so much for your generous thoughtful response :-) You are a huge inspiration to me. You've helped me affirm my work as a muscian-artist, teacher, and society-participator. I completely identify with what you are saying about Neil and the Yin/Yang nature of the kind of work each of you do. In fact, the only long term relationship I've had (almost 8 yrs) started out, in part, with your brilliant song "Coin Operated Boy" coming up on a mix CD she gave me. I stopped my car and called her to express my excitement at hearing the song and being so inspired. Her mom is an English teacher, and she reads a lot of fiction. As I would report my various busking stories "out there" on the streets, she would report on some of the stories that dance inside of her from pages of fiction crafted by incredible writing artists. One supports the other -- one becomes the other. Yin/Ying inseparable. I'm sending my love to you and the little one inside you, too!
FUNPOV@funpov
"how honest i can be without harming anything" this is really good stuff
Monica H@demonicasj
Did the baby kick as you were a statute/art last week!? :D
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@demonicasj funny enough, no. i think the baby got the gist that mom was working and was like: shhhhhh.
Monica H@demonicasj
@amandapalmer what a good baby!
Athene Numphe@athenenumphe
@amandapalmer Is the baby kicking now? Mine is.
Julie that's me@julieduranie
How about a presidential run? Amanda Fuckin' Palmer 2016 or 2020?
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
Bob Schimpf@bobby_rockit · Ukulele Player
@amandapalmer My 16 year old son loves Bernie! He's talking me into him
Sherry L Vitolo@cordial_wheat · publications assistant
@amandapalmer I love him!
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@cordial_wheat FEEL THE BERN
Claribel Tejeda@claribeltejeda_ · Filmmaker
Hello Amanda, hope you are well. I wanted to know how you do time management when it comes to your art, music, everything. As a creative who just finished school, it is difficult for me to organize when I no longer have the structure of school to guide me.
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@claribeltejeda_ it never ceases being a bitch, frankly. i've overdone and underdone it for years and i think the key ingredient is to be forgiving about the fact that when you're a self-emplyed artist, you're bascially NEVER going to get it right. you're always going to feel like you're slacking or overworking yourself, and as long as you can forgive yourself and carry on, that's fine. oh, and lists help. real paper ones, that you can cross shit off and feel satisfied. i make daily lists (answer this person! tweet this shit! finish this song!) and sometime big-ass long-term lists (clean up my email inbox! fix my fucking website! find inner peace!). it's amazing how it can help just LOOKING at what you think you have to do.
Suzie@softheartedfool · PhD student
@amandapalmer I'm a science PhD student and I struggle with time management so much, and it's so hard to forgive myself when I get it wrong. I think it's one of those problems most people suffer from.
John Sweeney @johnmsweeney · Founder & Chief Kindness Officer
@amandapalmer This is class. :)
Molly Kupfer@mollykupfer
@softheartedfool ^Literally in the same boat.
Andie Katschthaler@thegrumpygirl · Founder, Grumpy Girl Communications
@amandapalmer I'm doing alright on the short term lists (fortunate that my wife is a wonderfully organised person and has helped me with that), but it's the long term shit that never gets done, like fix the damn website etc. How do you manage it? Do you set aside time for the non-creative (or less creative) and more organisational stuff?
Krista N. Dalton@kristandalton
@amandapalmer who is your favorite feminist author?
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@kristandalton i have MANY. i literally just started the last chapter of "how to build a girl" by caitlin moran today. it's a hilarious coming of age story (thinkly veiled memoir basically) with no holds barred on sex and thoughts and what it feels like to be lost and 15 and horny. i kept reading thinking HOLY SHIT I AM EXACTLY CAITLIN MORAN EXCEPT I GREW UP IN AMERICA AND DIDNT HAVE SIBLINGS WHO HUGGED ME. highly recommended. her book "how to be a woman" is also hilarious.
Krista N. Dalton@kristandalton
@amandapalmer I read Caitlin Moran's "How to Be A Woman" after seeing her in your recent uploaded show on youtube! Thanks for the recommendation!!
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@kristandalton you're welcome
seriously hilary @seriouslyhilary
@amandapalmer *adds-Caitlin-to-reading-list-for-bedriddenness* #thanks
Nikos Dunno@dunnogr
how are you feeling today?
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@dunnogr thanks for asking!!! i'm TIRED AS FUCK. i have mostly been in bed, with occasional trips to the fridge and toilet. i've heaard about this happening in the last few weeks of pregnancy. but it's CRAZY. i feel like i have level 10 jetlag and am being sucked into the center of the earth. i considered it a triumph that i opened the unopened mail that has been on my desk for three weeks. I WAS PROUD OF THAT. that is how tired i am.
Yen@yendraws · Illustrator
@amandapalmer All that potential energy is just collecting itself for the awesome expulsion in about a month Ka-BABY
Krista N. Dalton@kristandalton
@amandapalmer WOW thank you for being here! I wish I had something to offer you, but maybe some sleepy sloths in solidarity?
Leanna Heffner@leheffner
@amandapalmer and yet here you are on the interweb for an hour typing in answers to our random questions. if i were that tired i don't think i could rally like you are....hot damn woman! ;)
Baukje@gompieb
@amandapalmer and that's how should be. You're an incubator... A really good one! <3
Carson R.@carsonmurasaki · Student
@amandapalmer Are there any people you've met recently who have really set your world on fire?
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@carsonmurasaki yeah. i met kenyatta cheese a few weeks ago. @kenyatta on twitter. impressive human. i wanted to talk to him for hours.
Paper Lotus@awedjob · artist | activist | athlete
How was it to dust off your living statue skills after so many years?
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@awedjob pretty wonderful. i miss being a statue sometimes.
Reggie Retro@reggieretro · Writer
@amandapalmer Hello. Thanks for doing this. My wife and I are both great admirers of your work. I was wondering if you had any advice about confidence. My wife is an amazing artist, but allows fear to prevent her from really committing to it, and putting herself out there. Do you have any advice for her? It would be an immense help, I'm sure. Thanks again.
cathy green@starrlamia · Student
@amandapalmer as a birth nerd just wanted to say I hope you have a lovely birthing experience. I think I heard you mention having a midwife, are you having a homebirth?
Krista N. Dalton@kristandalton
@starrlamia @amandapalmer I second hearing more about any details you'd be willing to share about the birth! *taking notes*
cathy green@starrlamia · Student
@kristandalton glad I'm not the only birth nerd here!
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@starrlamia i am! no drugs for amanda. just ecstatic pain :D
cathy green@starrlamia · Student
@amandapalmer awesome! thanks for answering, wish you all the best :) (i'd offer advice but it seems that pregnancy is somehow the universal sign for offering advice to random strangers so I'm sure you've heard it all before!)
Maia Villa@buzzofmaiabee
@amandapalmer hi! young theatre artist here (actress & writer). have had a great time collaborating with all sorts of people in many theater spaces for about eight years now, but have found that i have a TERRIBLE time collaborating with friends. it's my own crippling embarrassment/shame coming alive, probably because i'm afraid of the people i love not liking my art and thus rejecting/not loving me. does this make sense? and do you have any advice for on how to get over embarrassment/shame when letting those you love see your truest, most vulnerable self? (more than just: practice doing it more!) thank you!!!
Jaxx@jaxx24kisses · Writer
@buzzofmaiabee I'm no afp - but I would say that often collaborating with friends is not the point. Finding the person or people who will do the most justice with the work/piece/Thing/creation and working with those will create new relationships and not risk old ones over something that didn't quite fit.
Maia Villa@buzzofmaiabee
@buzzofmaiabee (also a big reason why so much of "the art of asking" really spoke to me -- showing vulnerability with strangers through art but having a hard time being vulnerable "asking" lovers...thank you for every lesson explored in that book, of course!)
Maia Villa@buzzofmaiabee
@jaxx24kisses i appreciate the input! the issue is not collaboration with friends in general. the issue is when those people who DO do the most justice to great pieces are ALSO the best friends. when they're the friends, i just shrivel in the rehearsal room. it's odd.
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@buzzofmaiabee collaborating with friends is a truly slippery slope. there is a very weird balance about caring about the friendship vs caring about the outcome of the art. i've burned a few friendships putting the art-vision first, and i've wound up with some slightly lame projects as a result of putting the friendships first. it's one of the reasons neil and i will never write a musical together. we're too smart to go down that path of hell with one another - we'd prefer to come home at night and be able to pour a glass of wine bitching about our difficult collaborators. :)
Kaitlyn King@thekaitlynking · Graphic Designer, BIG
In the face of recent personal grief, has returning to the recording studio with your father proved to be a positive experience?
Amanda Palmer@amandapalmer · love-lover, hate-hater
@thekaitlynking YES. it was not only wonderful to get back into the studio after not having made a real-ass record since "theatre is evil", but the quality time with my dad was ace. i just listened to all the final mixes last night. i'm really really really happy with it. it's unlike anything i've ever recording before - it's so MELLOW. perfect rainy sunday music. but there's something nice about that. (if you want more info on this one, folks, here.... https://t.co/bTqtIzITbF)
Shannon Hebert Waldm@shanhebert3 · Student
What values, if any, have you found from your liberal arts education as an artist who has learned so much outside of academia?
Aimee Waters@amynoamy · super woman - uk
I'll throw my question into the ring! I'm a counsellor/therapist and I always get super excited when people talk about therapy as every conversation about mental health and therapy, makes a little bit of stigma wither and die. You've mentioned it once or twice (that I know of) can you say a little bit about how has therapy helped you, or if its the case, hindered! Thanks
Amy Sawyers@ginger_swizzle
@amandapalmer not a question but I'm half way through The Art of Asking and I think it's helping. Thank you.
Bob Schimpf@bobby_rockit · Ukulele Player
@ginger_swizzle What do you find helpful about the book? Just curious
Amy Singer@knittydotcom · editor, Knitty.com
@bobby_rockit You didn't ask me, but can I answer? Amanda was so very transparent about everything in the process of growing as an artist and as a businesswoman, and it's helping me personally by validating the thoughts I'm having, the questions I'm asking myself, and the choices I'm making as I try to make my own business stronger. It's as if she's mentoring me by example. Thank you, @amandapalmer.
Amy Sawyers@ginger_swizzle
@bobby_rockit I have always tried to control and micromanage everything creative that I do. Without other people's skills and advice I always end up giving up. I didn't realise that I was actually afraid of asking for help and afraid of involving other people in what I'm doing. Amanda's book is helping me see that and will hopefully help me overcome it and actually complete something of substance!
Bob Schimpf@bobby_rockit · Ukulele Player
@ginger_swizzle Thanks! That's really helpful. I think I need to get that book!
brittany braswell@brindl7 · insurance/office coordinator, dental
you have been one of the most influential women in my life. your strength and independence inspired me to accept myself and find love for myself. i have struggled with severe anxiety and depression. i began integrating yoga practice and meditation into my day to day and my sense of self awareness has truly blossomed and yet i still struggle to make friends, open up and make myself vulnerable. i was elated to find you enjoy similar hobbies and as i envision you as having all of the friends in the world i wondered do you have any wisdom you might share? thank you for being so approachable and singing the songs and presenting the stories that can be hard to digest but are so important for healing. here is to hoping my anxiety doesn't translate into creepiness! :)