Saturday, May 12, 2018
I get it. But get out of the way.
Connecting people and facilitating collaborations is a natural part of my mental muscle memory. But I am a professional artist and I want to see some attempt at professionalism in other artists.
As long as you describe and treat your art as your side thing, it's hard for me to take you seriously.
I get it. It's hard. It's an emotional struggle. It doesn't pay your rent. Your parents don't get it. You don't think that last mix is quite good enough to release. Your logo isn't quite where you want it. You can't figure out how to make a website so you end up just chillin with the crew for the rest of the day. And then you feel bad about chillin with the crew the rest of the day but you just can't find the motivation and that sends you down into another guilt spiral.
I. Get. ALL. Of. That.
I've been there. I'm still sometimes there. But there are some really basic things you can be doing if you want to be taken seriously by professional artists and professionals in general. And that is to take yourself seriously.
And to be honest, it's totally fine if you don't see what you're doing as part of your career path. But when you don't take your shit seriously you're hurting all the rest of us. You contribute to the image in society's heads that artists are all flakey and it's not a legitimate way to make a living. You're making it harder for younger artists battling depression and loneliness as they try to find their way in the world. All this half-assing hurts the field as a whole. Sometimes, when I'm feeling impatient, I want to yell the same thing I yell while I'm driving in traffic and someone's been signaling for five minutes and hesitate on changing into the lane they're trying to get into: Make a commitment or get the fuck out of the way!
Let me clarify what I mean by "seriously." Because, oh my god, the last thing I want to do is take anything "seriously."
What I mean is stop making it difficult for people to find you and promote your work and give you money. Stop waisting everyone's time taking forever to respond to emails. Stop making me look bad when I recommend you for a gig and you don't have a press kit to send over or, when you do, send a bunch of instagram photos. I know you have better photos. You're not sending the better photo because you think you look fat or you don't like your hair in it. So you're sending the shit ones someone shot on their phone at a random event because you think you look more fuckable.
Stop hating every step of this. Stop convincing yourself that because you're really going to enjoy that DJ gig, it's not a priority because your desk job is the priority.
Stop canceling and rescheduling your photo shoot. If you're scheduling your shoot for Friday afternoon because it's the end of the week and you need the rest of the week to get all the "real work" done first before you're allowed to enjoy something, you're communicating that you don't see value in your brand. And your art.
But also... Stop obsessively redesigning your logo if you haven't even released a track or two yet. Stop drafting your marketing plan if that's stopping you from creating the art you want to create.
If you're a writer, start blogging. If you're a filmmaker, start shooting. If you're a musician, make some god damn music.
And put it out there!
Every little piece of this stuff is a puzzle that comes together that makes you and everyone else's lives easier.
Make the art. Do the work. Make it easy for people to find you.
If you're art's not up to your standards yet, it's fine. Let me see you work through it.
If you're work isn't amazing yet, it's fine. Make it consistent so I know you won't leave a crew hanging if we book you.
If your website isn't responsive, it's fine. Give us a centralized place to look you up and see your art and your work and be able to send you a god damn message.