It’s tough out there being an artist, don’t let anyone tell you anything to the contrary. Nevertheless if you’re a true artist and by that I mean someone who is true to themselves you have to do some searching. And you have to do some serious searching, it’s not a one off task, you need to be constantly searching, looking to see where you are today and more significantly where you are going tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes to those who embrace yesterday. The reason it needs to be a constant, as John Lennon so rightly said is ‘Life gets in the way.’ All sorts of obstacles and setbacks will present themselves along the way and searching and finding out who you are and where you are makes you more able to adapt and change. Be the innovator not the procrastinator.
I love artists, I never was one but sometimes I think I understand them better than they understand themselves. Giving people advice is one thing but it becomes increasingly frustrating when people approach you with a ‘What do I do now?’ If you have no idea what to do how can you expect to achieve anything? Would you get in a car, slam your foot down on the accelerator pedal, glance across hoping someone is there and ask, ‘What do I do now?’ Personally I’d have the same answer to both. Steer!
Artists need to ask themselves from the very start, what is it I want out of this? If you honestly believe you want to make a living from it then map out some sort of plan. Set yourself goals, realistic ones that aren’t, ‘I am the next American Idol.’ If you’re one of those convinced it will happen because you’re passionate then join the rest of the line for a lottery ticket. No one ever finds anyone who hasn’t discovered themselves. Direction for an artist nowadays is more important than ever. If you’re the one in a million who gets a record deal you still won’t have someone guiding you like they did when I worked in the music industry. Artist development is a long term task. It doesn’t happen today because it takes time and time is something record companies don’t have. If someone was to give you that they wouldn’t have a job because the person over their shoulder is looking for a return and long term doesn’t matter. Short term keeps them in a job.