Tiny Giant

Creators of Tiny Giant Spencer Krull and Zo Willow stand inside The Bay for a portrait on Dec. 2, 2017, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

After a period of inactivity, Lincoln-based art collective Tiny Giant is restarting its LGBTQ-friendly organization this Saturday with a show at The Bay. Tiny Giant faded away for a while due to the heavy workload founder Zo Willow was doing alone.

Tiny Giant is throwing a party for its relaunch coming Saturday, Dec. 9 at The Bay. Local musicians Laser Lotus, Zo, Hexweaver, Gnawstic, Dominique Morgan, Death Cow and The Morbs will perform.

In addition to music, there will also be local artists and vendors such as Michael Johnson, Kat Morrow, Rachel Tomlinson-Dick and Common Root, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing a welcoming, supportive environment, according to its website.

Tiny Giant’s return brings several changes for the company, one of which is the inclusion of a subscription service, Willow said. By giving a monthly payment to the company through donation-collecting website Patreon, supporters will be able to see new art, artist interviews and other behind-the-scenes sneak peeks.

“We’re hoping that through our Patreon, we can generate enough money to start paying freelance artists to let us promote their stuff,” Willow said.

Another change in the company is Spencer Krull becoming an equal partner of the business.

Willow and Krull met at the Bourbon Theatre while both performing at the venue. The night was important for both them as it was Krull’s first show with their now-defunct band This Machine Kills Vibes and was Willow’s first show in Lincoln, marking her coming out as transgender through a song called “Namesake.”

Around July 2017, Willow approached Krull to see if they would be interested in coming aboard to help with Tiny Giant, which Willow refers to as her passion project.

“We spent a lot of nights just hanging out trying to figure out what we wanted to do with it,” Willow said.

The name for the art collective came from a phrase bouncing inside Willow’s head.

“I really like how it can relate to minorities,” Willow said. “Sure, there’s not a whole lot of us, but we’re still very important. We’re still giants.”

When Tiny Giant first began Willow dubbed it as a record label, but it has since shifted into an art collective.

“I don’t want it to just be music,” Willow said. “I want it to be all queer art.”

According to Willow, Tiny Giant plans to host quarterly events. Past events the collective has hosted involved music, paintings, photography and food, and both Krull and Willow hope to continue hosting events like these.

“We really like to bring artistic mediums together,” Willow said.

Willow said as of now, it is not a main goal of hers and Krull’s to own their own space to showcase work. Instead, she and Krull hope to hold their events at an already-established venue.

“We’re actually kind of eyeballing The Bay for that,” Willow said. “It’s a really great all-ages space, which is important and hard to find.”

Tiny Giant does not have a set way to get in touch with artists, but does it mostly by being present in the music scene and going to different shows and events.

“There is kind of a blossoming queer scene in Lincoln,” Krull said.

Willow and Krull said they met many artists they wanted to pursue a business relationship with at Queerfest, a daylong event in October at The Bay showcasing queer music and art.

“We almost accidentally recreated the Queerfest lineup,” Krull said of the bands and artists slated for the Tiny Giant relaunch party.

Tiny Giant has been a longtime dream for both Krull and Willow, but it comes with difficulties such as finding a balance between creating their own music and working with other artists.

“I always feel guilty if I feel like I’m spending way too much time on my own art instead of looking into other artists,” Krull said. “There’s always like that itching feeling in the back of my mind like ‘What if I’m not doing enough for these people?’”

According to Willow, she is often not asked to perform unless it is a specifically queer event. To avoid such exclusion, Tiny Giant is geared toward queer artists as well as to allied artists.

“We didn’t ever want to tell someone they weren’t queer enough,” Willow said.

arts@dailynebraskan.com