I've been ordering books from various small-press authors and occasional prints from...let's say, some with a...unique? quirky? something like that, anyway, way of expressing themselves...and yes, there's overlap between the groups there. A Venn diagram would look rather like an egg, I believe.
And now I've started tipping/sponsoring/donating to a couple of poets/authors/artists I first found on LJ. And then there are the birds -- Lady Val and company (Royal Gauntlet Birds of Prey). For some reason, these actions feel pretty good. Am I totally off kilter if donating toward a new set of paintbrushes so many people can keep enjoying someone's work actually makes me happier than giving the same amount to a panhandler? (Yes, I still make and donate the hats, and collect cell phones for the violence shelter, and the other things I've been doing all along.) (And if anyone has a no-longer used cell phone, hopefully with a charger, I'll gladly take it to the shelter for you. And I'll take yarn and knot the scraps together to make another hat!)
ETA: This is not about me asking for approval or head-pats; I feel like I get more from the stuff I donate to than I give back. It's just...I feel that by sponsoring the artists, even in my very small way or by getting their work and spreading it around, I'm contributing more to "the sort of people I like to hang around with because they stretch me."