Opening thought: Maybe it’s time for someone to redefine art. Bridge the gap between art, product, and progress, as a society.
Art redefined? Now there’s an interesting thought. What is it to create art? Recently I’ve realized myself that art… is…. progress (I could, and I likely will, get into a whole blog about that by itself, but for now I’ll keep it short). It is the very definition of progress, in my eyes. Realizing this, I found it to be the redefinition I’ve been looking for. But how do I make a living off of this? What am I doing wrong?! Why haven’t I gotten it yet? Well… what I believe to be part of the answer, was elusive, but the simplicity was astounding. I’m not treating it like a business, if I want to make money, treating it like a business is how it’s done. Period. End of story (except not). Now that I realized that simple truth, how on earth do I motivate to do all the stuff that has nothing directly to do with the stuff I love?!
I start thinking to myself “Well, all I love doing is making music and performing music, I don’t want to learn the business stuff, I don’t want to do any of the other stuff, just music and perform”. And the more I learned about that, the more I realized I couldn’t be any more wrong in by not wanting to learn about business, but WHY was I reluctant? Because I would feel like a sellout? Because the business side is a drag? Because the that side does nothing for my creative side? Will I be seen as not a true artist? AHHH! (Head explodes!) Then, Randall happened. In two sentences he blew my mind.
Randall flipped the my perspective on its head. I had never felt like I genuinely deserved to get paid for what I did, just sat there thinking how will I get paid, not why I should be paid. Once I now realized that I actually DID deserve to get paid for the value I bring to people’s lives with a performance, a song, or the entertainment we’re giving night by night, it made motivating to learn about music business much easier.
For example, lets say you sing songs, and play guitar, and you and your guitar can entertain people for hours. You’re there doing what you love, and making others feel good too, do you deserve something from creating that night, that atmosphere, those feelings? Do you deserve to earn a living from the work you’re putting in to master that skill? That’s what was rattling around in my head for weeks after he mentioned that to me. Then I realized, if this were a business, and I were putting my time in, I would absolutely expect to be paid for it, so why’s this any different? Because it’s viewed by many to be a hobby? Because there are so many people who don’t value it? I don’t know that answer, but I know that now I think I deserve to make a living off of being an entertainer. Not in any lofty way, but at least enough to pay bills and continue to do what I love. Gotta keep it humble (though I do have big dreams personally).
I started thinking about any other product that people buy, and why they buy it, and what it takes to get that product from someone’s brain, into a tangible product, and have someone exchange money for that product because they value having it in their life, for whatever reason. I began to start thinking of my songs, music, and performance as a product that someone would buy, again, because they value it. It’s the soundtrack to their lives, isn’t that something valuable?
At this point, I now am grabbing every book
I can get my hands on, even wrote about some of the ones that affected me most positively, because the more I can do to educate myself, means that I’ll be in a better position to benefit myself. Luck favors the prepared, so now I see it as my duty to be the most prepared, therefore always increasing my luck. Though to be honest, I don’t believe in luck. I only believe in hard fucking work. So get out there and prepare yourself to know as much about ALL areas of your craft, business included, because you’ll see the difference faster than you think.