HomeArticleOn Art, Integrity, And Crowdfunded Creativity

On Art, Integrity, And Crowdfunded Creativity

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Regular readers may have noticed I’ve been posting a bit more often than my usual once per day. I’ve been experiencing an influx in creativity lately and I remembered that I’m my own boss so I can post as often as I like, and I just wanted to bang out some thoughts for the hell of it about my and Tim’s thing here to share with any readers who are interested.

I don’t think I talk enough about how cool our setup is here. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to be able to write and make anything we want without an editor, but, more importantly I’m coming to see, without the extrinsic motivation of money.

Of course, I could try to make things to please more people, and that would make more money, but that has never ever been my goal. My goal has always been to do my part in healing myself so I can see more clearly and speak with more clarity and consciousness about what’s happening in our world, how we can fix it, and what possibilities lie beyond this vale of tears.

I also realized very early on that having integrity meant also being all of myself, and not keeping all the various parts of me that don’t conform to people’s idea about what a journalist is out of the picture. That was embarrassing at the start. People would spit out “soccer mom” at me like a smear.

I’m pretty kooky, I get painfully shy, I am virtually skinless when it comes to my emotions, I’m probably on the spectrum, and yes, I spend a lot of time in the car driving my kids around. I’m also fat, I’m on the wrong side of 40, I have every kind of stretchmark from carrying kids, and also sex is a huge part of my life.

Also, my setup is weird. I am not one writer, I am two. The articles and art are the product of the ongoing conversation between me and my American husband Tim Foley. I need to talk about that regularly or else people get the idea that I’m some kind of superwoman, and other aspiring indie media workers could get discouraged about not being able to be as prolific.

So in business terms I’ve made integrity my brand. I’ve made my primary goal to not be needed anymore because the world will be so conscious that my efforts to bring consciousness will be redundant. I have switched all extrinsic motivators off. I give away my stuff so I can’t just rest on my laurels; I have to keep returning to my own healing so I can find fresh inspiration. And, because of the two-handed author set-up, I don’t even really feel like any of this is “mine”. People say such lovely things to me about this work, but the ego candy is minimized because it doesn’t feel like it’s directed at me personally.

Being crowdfunded, my income source is very diffuse and I would go nuts trying to keep all my patrons and supporters happy; that was clear from the start. So blocking out the badgering of others is something I had to learn. What it means, though, is that my only boss is my gut.

All these decisions have meant that trying to make more money by gaming or competing wouldn’t work, and would most likely be to my financial detriment if anything. If you shape your business model around your integrity, then ditching your integrity is going to fuck up your business model.

A side benefit of that though is that making art has become healing to me again. After years of doing graphic design for others, I’d lost that long ago. My inner critic was very noisy with the ideas of other people, and I lost what it was to sit down and amuse myself just to amuse myself. But because I’ve been free to make what I want for quite a while now, I remembered how to use art like a kid does — to explain things to myself, to explore my emotions, to re-visit the scenes of old wounds, and to have fun with myself.

For example, that “Joelene Versus The Landlord” piece was incredibly healing for me. It got me thinking about some of the more traumatic events in my life, and let me resolve some of my grief around those times. I would never ever have been able to make that if I was stuck at an outlet answering to some asshole named Greg who spends more time looking at my boobs than looking at my copy and “well, actually”ing every single novel idea I have.

Fuck Greg. Fuck the gatekeepers. Fuck capitalism for taking the most potent healing tool we have — art — and making it into just another hustle. What’s happening for me now is really amazing and I want it for everyone. Everyone should have this freedom.

Thank you all so much for making this possible.


My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi or . If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at  or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded,  to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, 

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Latest comments

  • Be careful Caitlin. When power brokers can’t get to you through their usual money channels like they do most people they will try to sue you out of existence. Keep up the good work.

  • You must have read some of my poetry or something I have written sometime, somewhere. I would like to talk. Do have an email address? — Gary Lindorff

  • You’re so entirely welcome, Caitlin. I’m very glad to be a part of your support. You actually give even better than you get 🙂

  • I found this post on another site, and thought Australians here would appreciate knowing this:

    AVN has just discovered that there are plans to use the data from the Australian Immunisation Register to inform State Governments of who is and is not vaccinated for the purposes of bringing in a vaccine passport within the next 2 months.

    What we were not aware of is the fact that we can opt-out of allowing the government to share our data with any third party including sharing it with whomever will win the tender to operate the passport system.

    Time is short since the federal government has already said they have everything ready to go for the vaccine passports and are only waiting on the States to complete their end.

    Please visit this website – https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-pr… and fill in the form IM017. It cannot be done online but must be printed out and mailed – we recommend you do this by express post and also if you don’t mind spending a few dollars, paying for the proof of delivery so you have the signature of who has received it should they claim they never got it.

    Please share this as widely as possible since it is urgent that we opt out now while we still can.

  • Congratulations to you all who have found a niche within this exploitative system. I have never been so lucky. I ran out of options a long time ago. Most “jobs” don’t appeal and my musical talents don’t seem to be able to be monetised, although that also sounds pretty awful a prospect. Anything I could do is either evil ie. is killing the planet or fucking someone over or is banal to the point where my preference would be to stare at a wall ie. cleaning or what have you. So staring at a wall is what I do a lot of (and read Caitlin’s site) these days. My preference would be to just “be” but the system says no. Apparently I need to contribute to this giant shit show despite it being a shit show. It’s very isolating living on the fringe. My lack of employment excludes me from things like going out to dinner or seeing a movie. So I sit here and wait for death. Looking forward to the change.

  • There was something about you early on that made the “shadow self” of those around you uncomfortable. You were probably targeted by the worst of these. Severe child abuse is common leading to innocence lost, the underlying objective of these dark forces.

    Part of your life was spent seeking the approval of others. But then you began to realize that makes you easy to manipulate.

    Now too much appreciation causes conflict just as negativity. You fear regression of your spiritual development by getting too caught up in their adulation. You also wonder if they’re playing you just like in the old days.

    But your curse of feeling things too deeply and the inner pain it causes flows from the same wellspring as your insights. You are a paradoxical miracle that you may never fully understand on this side of the curtain. You are a damaged empath.

    Welcome to the party. Just keep going and don’t overthink it. You will be given what you need when you need it. Believe that.

  • You have a family near and dear to you. You have a life. You are a human being. You have flaws. You have qualities. To write about politics, refugees, wars and on using your real name. This is not a small task. People know you. Different from the rest of us here where we have the comfort to criticize and to praise being anonymous. The world is a better place having people like you and your family. Certainly you do what you can in your own way and limitations. This task writing about this historic time need a loot of people writing and speaking. It’s a collective effort to swim against the tsunami narrative of the worldwide media and establishment. Keep it on.

  • Thank you, Caitlin, for being who you are. You and Tim have something unique and wonderful. I am always amazed at your ability to keep coming up with things I wish I had said. Live long and prosper.

  • Whatever I can do to help in any small way, it is my pleasure. The world needs more journalists speaking their minds, trying to get “civilization” on track to sustainability.

  • While there are areas/aspects (atheism/woke …) of substantial differences, I would like to write that you are, nonetheless, truly appreciated. People across the world are inspired, daily, through your reflective and activist expressions. And, your shared light is as welcomed as it is needed.

  • I don’t know when it was that I first stumbled upon one of your posts, suffice it to say it’s been quite a while now. you were still in the “sensitive” phase, i.e. you’d show your hurt when some jackass would try to make you look bad. I immediately recognized your talent and integrity and have not missed anything you’ve put forth to us readers since that first day. You’ve only gotten better. About a year or so ago I began keeping a lot of your posts, the ones I refer to as gems, to share with friends and family later on.
    YOU are a gem Caitlin.
    Don’t change a thing.

  • Caitlin, I enjoyed your article very much. If you had a corrupt dad such as Hunter Biden has, you could be a millionaire overnight by selling your paintings and arts to guys who are laundering their boodle. Hunter Biden couldn’t care a fuck about art. It’s not about “healing” but only money. Stay as you are; “a little bit kooky,” very productive, and critical of predatory capitalism, the evil of our times.

  • Thank you Caitlin. And thanks also to Tim, I guess.

  • I am a 72yo ex-artist/ex-L.A. County firefighter. I had given up on humanity after trying for two years on social media to make people aware of the reality of the system that they live in. Then I came across a couple of your articles on RT, and that led me to this site. I have never found another human being who, so far, I agree with everything they write. You are an inspiration to anyone in pursuit of the truth. And it is with heartfelt admiration that I hope and pray you will continue to be a beacon of hope for the future. I wish you and your family the very very best. Thank you for being you.

  • Integrity is indeed your brand! I wish I had some money to contribute.Sadly, hardly enough to sustain my own “integrity website”…LOL. And my two cats.

  • “I also realized very early on that having integrity meant also being all of myself, and not keeping all the various parts of me that don’t conform to people’s idea about what a journalist is out of the picture.”
    A potent realization Caitlin. Your work is an exercise in integrity—sheer honesty, infused with personality and that indefinable human touch. Beyond that, you are one smart cookie and a helluva great wordsmith. Many thanks for what you do. Surely, you are loved and appreciated beyond what is possible for you to know. May you feel some of that love and be encouraged to strive evermore. Best to you, Tim, and your family.

  • Wrong side of 40? I thought I had you pegged as someone OVER 40. Go figure. The Internet will fool you every time.

  • Ah, Ms Johnstone, Integrity! Being true to your true self is not worth a cent in monetary value; but it is absolutely priceless to the maintenance of anyones bottomless soul. Keeping your Integrity is something other humans try to make you give up on because they themselves have lost theirs!
    May The Heavens Always Bless You And Your Loved Ones! Humanity and this planet needs your beacon of light from the darkness!!

  • Caitlin you really are fun when you get all vulnerable, feely, and revealing.

  • It is “vale” of tears, actually, not “veil”.

  • This system is not capitalism. Our rigged money system deserves your anger instead. It is the root cause of virtually every problem you rail against on this site.

    List one problem in the world which seems unrelated and I’ll do my best to connect the dots. Please.

    THOGEN / JULY 28, 2021
    Ms. Johnstone:

    Please consider my comments regarding capitalism and sound money. I (respectfully) believe you have that puzzle piece out of place. In my opinion, that piece, the sound money part at least, is the ONLY way to end the empire and the devastation and destruction it endlessly creates.

    The Bitcoin/cryptocurrency community, although well intentioned, is moving us in the wrong direction. The central banks are using them to build the digital infrastructure and will soon issue their own digital currencies while banning all of the non-government issued options. At that point the empire will have the power to effectively silence their opposition by simply turning off their money. Caitlin Johnstone wrote what? No soup for you!

    Here is my original post, your reply and my response:

    THOGEN / JULY 27, 2021
    “Capitalism is responsible for the historically unprecedented level of human thriving today. Also, anything you say to criticize our current system is invalid because this system isn’t real capitalism. Both of these things are true for me somehow.”

    Criticize our current system all you like, but don’t call it capitalism.

    There are no bailouts in capitalism. And there is no central bank manipulating interest rates in capitalism. The former US capitalist system was lost when sound (Constitutional – Article 1, Section 10) money was abandoned (after JFK’s assassination, but officially in August of 1971).

    The gold standard restrained government spending because you cannot print gold & silver out of thin air. With Constitutional restraints removed, money was printed freely to finance wars, bailouts, interest rate rigging and whatever else was needed to finance this corrupt system.

    Returning to sound money is the path to a far better world.

    You don’t get to claim the successes without also owning the failures. If you won’t call the current system capitalism then you don’t get to give capitalism any credit for the advancements of the modern world.

    THOGEN / JULY 27, 2021
    I am saying that the former US capitalist system ended when Constitutional money ended. Credit that once great system for the successes and prosperity which existed at that time.

    It is no coincidence that the 1964 minting (only weeks after JFK’s 11/22/63 death) was the last Constitutional (silver) coinage. Kennedy’s assassins substituted cheap alloys in place of (expensive) silver, essentially robbing citizens by issuing counterfeit and pocketing the difference.

    Google “melt value of 1964 quarter” and compare that to 1965 and later coins. It’s value is about $4.50 per pre-1965 quarter today and just $0.59 for 1965 – 2014 coins. By the way, the 1964 minimum wage was $1.25 (five of those quarters) the equivalent to $22.50 per hour today.

    Dollars were also counterfeited as the Constitutionally required gold backing requirement was ignored. Read about the wonderful French leader back then, Charles de Gaulle. He famously exposed how the US cheated the world and used the proceeds to finance the Vietnam war.

    Returning to sound money would end the empire.

    The war machine would screech to a halt without funding. Without the ability to print money, financing wars would require taxation which people would resist. Do you think George W. Bush would have been able to sell the Iraq war if at the end he asked each citizen to fork over $20,000 for their share of the costs?

  • Creativity, like Love, comes from the heart.
    Many of the world’s great artists, well known and unknown, often struggled with their inner demons and the demon of poverty.
    Art, like Love is not a choice, it’s a compulsion.
    When we are compelled we are acting in the NOW without motive, desire or wanting.
    We are BEING.
    Never stop Caitlin.

  • Caity… You are a treasure. I couldn’t imagine these last several years without your voice of sanity. Not a day goes by that I don’t look forward to hearing you speak your mind and share your creativity.

  • That resonates with me if that means anything to you and really I’m sorry for hogging the “bandwidth” sometimes, but sometimes I just can’t remain quiet cause I have something to say, but I know this your forum and god bless you for being such a good a host.
    I plan on sending some funds your way, but it will be a private transaction between artists if I could take the liberty of saying that.
    Keep on keeping on Caitlin – you are the best and we have your back!
    We are watching every little thing and we know good journalism
    when we read it and we want to keep hearing what you have to
    We love you.

    • A simple suggestion I have, and point it out to me if I have missed it, is allow for a “one-time” contribution. Have an evident link for those of us who don’t want to sign up for an ongoing subscription.
      I would like to send you a contribution of $1000 in honor of all those whistleblowers who were discouraged when they saw their comrades sent off to prison, it would be sent out of respect for the 1 in a thousand chance of their being a whistleblower who “could not be silenced”.
      So tell me if there is link for this, but if not, in your leisure create such a link, and then I will send the funds. I’ll send them knowing they were well spent. What the hell else do I have to do with all the US $ I have accumulated over my life of good work in so many industrial facilities, many of which, it saddens me to say are now no longer in business.
      Have we lost our sense of justice I ponder sometimes, but then when I come here and read your wisdom I know that all hope is not lost and that is why I want to send you a thousand buck.
      I’ll do it eventually even if it is not easy, but I’d prefer to do this the easy way if you know what I’m saying my favorite Australian named Caitlin.
      Ha, ha.
      Thanks for so much,

      • Buffalo Manny. You can’t just help yourself, isn’t? blah, blah, blah, blah.

      • I sent in the 1st of 4 potential payments towards my pledge above. I sent a little note with it.
        Thanks for being like a 1000-times better in journalism than most other places. It has saved me a lot of time.
        (ha, ha….

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