Supporting local creators is a must because audience engagement serves as motivation to continue working hard and is a means of measuring the quality of their work and the distribution of it.
The creative endeavors that hail from any city or state are a huge part of what defines its artistic identity.
It is undeniable that the creativity of an area — be it music, food or any other form of art — is a monumental part of that place's identity. The stacked hip-hop scenes in both New York and California during the 90s, boasting icons like Tupac, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Nas is one of the most iconic examples of this.
However, it is often felt by creators in the Columbia area that South Carolina lacks the defining creative imprint that many other areas possess.
"When people are thinking of how much places or certain areas contributed to certain cultures and art forms, you don't really hear South Carolina get brought up in the conversation like that," KaváDee Campbell, a local podcaster and streamer who serves as one-half of the "TrackField" podcast, said.
Campbell said that when people think of artistic achievement, South Carolina isn't mentioned often because it hasn't been known to produce talent reaching the level of notoriety as many musicians and entertainers from cities such as Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles.
This perception of the state can be changed with increased support from those who live in the area. Audience engagement is extremely important to creators, especially local ones, as they aren't yet on the same scale as bigger acts in their respective spaces.
This sentiment is echoed by another podcaster/streamer, John August, a third-year visual communications student, and one-third of the "Meme and Die" podcast, who is better known to many by his stage name "Muzi0h".
"Audience interaction is huge, I would say. It's probably one of the most important things about the entire career path," August said.
Audience engagement is vital because it not only supports creators but also serves as a means of judging the quality of their content.
"If you keep doing something and no one is giving you feedback on it, you don't know if you need to change something, if you need to do something or if what you're doing actually resonates with anybody you're involved with," Campbell said.
With the value of audience engagement and the way it helps creators establish themselves, there comes a question: With the proper amount of support and engagement combined with opportunity, just how far can the creators of South Carolina go?
To answer this question, look no further than Corey "Roc Bottom" Davis, a local comic book writer and artist, who has published multiple titles including "Jet Boy" and "Lion's Den Revolution," as well as many others.
Davis has even gone as far as collaborating with Netflix, having some of his art featured in the Netflix original show "Outer Banks."
"It was a pleasure working especially with the guys at Outer Banks," Davis said. "They were the first ones at Netflix to give me that platform to show my stuff when they needed stuff for season two."
This exposure would prove to be quite helpful in regards to introducing Davis and his comics to more people than ever before.
Davis described this opportunity as fantastic in regards to the increased exposure it rewarded him, helping further build his brand.
Davis' work is proof that if given the proper support, creators from the Palmetto State can achieve levels of success typically not associated with South Carolina.