Lana Johnson has been an artist nearly her whole life. Suffice it to say she knows how difficult it can be to get a project funded and off the ground. An oil painter by trade, Johnson taught herself watercolor painting and owns Come Alive Studio, where she sells prints, greeting cards, and calendars featuring her works. Thanks to winning the weekly Apollo Creator Contest, where creators can enter themselves to win a cash prize to fund their work, Johnson now has over $12,000 to put towards her next project. And so could you.
Johnson’s art is rooted in nature, finding her inspiration in organic patterns and textures. Much like her subject matter, she strives to make her work sustainable. In her Creator Contest video submission, Johnson says that for the past few years, her focus has shifted from working commission to commission and towards creating the art that she wants to make, “and then making products out of that artwork.”
In a report conducted by Vibely, an online creator forum, 51% of creators surveyed had anxiety resulting from the “hamster wheel effect” of constantly needing to create content to stay afloat in an online environment. With the ever-pressing need to produce, making art fueled by creative passion is a waning resource. The need to reach commercial success to stay financially afloat often pairs with the trope of “selling out,” which seems as enduring a concern for artists as any. But one of Apollo’s primary missions is to remove that worry.
“I’ve really tried to make my art career not just a creative whim,” Johnson tells us. Instead, creating a sustainable art career means asking: “how do I make it more sustainable for my family, for our time, and to continue to get to create the things that I want to create?”
Johnson makes her mission clear on the Come Alive website: “I strive to create art out of the discarded, overlooked, and fleeting objects of everyday life,” she writes. “My desire is not to add to the consumerism of our culture, but instead create beautiful, timeless, and useful artwork that can be enjoyed for years to come.”
Going into the Creator Contest, Johnson had already had her eye on her next big project for years. A nature-inspired matching game for children, it’s been a long time in the works. “The biggest challenge has been the financial capital that I need upfront to put this game into production the way I want to do it,” she confesses, and we know creators everywhere can relate.
The biggest challenge of being an artist in today’s landscape is creating something marketable and monetizable without sacrificing a creative vision. For Lana Johnson, that means developing durable, eco-friendly, and beautiful products. “It’s been hard to do that without having the financial backing…or the financial stability to put all this money into it up front,” she says. That’s where the Apollo Community comes in.
By entering Apollo’s weekly Creator Contest, Lana Johnson won $12,510.83, fueled by the Apollo Crypto Community. Lana finally has the financial backing to make her matching game a reality without sacrificing quality. You can read more about how to apply to the Creator Contest here.
The Apollo community is passionate about creators, and everyone who joins the community can benefit from the supportive framework that Apollo provides. Before she won, Johnson spoke of the space Apollo offered to creators. “I just really appreciate the opportunity that I have to get to speak to a new audience that has never seen my work before,” Johnson said. “[A community] that is just passionate about supporting other creative people out there.”