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Art Is Not Struggle

Another short post for today!

In our culture, we have a narrative of the starving artist. The tormented artist. We believe that extraordinary greatness in artists like Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Janice Joplin comes with extraordinary problems.

When assessing your artistic spirit, realize these few things.

  1. You are not better than someone because you are worse off than them. I hear this SO much from whiny producers on Facebook. “If only I was a hot chick then I would get booked more.” “If only I had money to buy my way into the blogs like he does.” There are certain cards we are dealt with in life. It can be rough, but you have to make the best of the hand you have. If the assets you are seeking are time and money, there are almost always ways to increase both in the long-run.
  2. You don’t have to be a tormented, introverted person to be creativeI am a blazing extrovert. In high school, I thought I had to be introverted because I liked to make music and spent waay too much time on tumblr. I was miserable because I was acting outside of my natural character. There’s a rumor that good creatives are introverted and suffer from some deep loneliness or insecurities. You can be yourself and make music, or design, or art. You don’t need to fit the mold of anyone else.
  3. Use your story for good. If you do have a struggle in life that you overcome, use it as fuel, not critique. Tell your story to increase your brand, while remaining humble enough to recognize that people who do not share your struggle are also valid. We are so quick to think that enduring more bullshit than the person next to us is a badge of honor. Don’t believe me?  Ask a friend if they’re tired; then tell them you’re more tired. If they slept 6 hours, say you slept 4. You’d be surprised how far people will go to convince each other that their lives suck. Tell your story, don’t expect other people to live up to it.
  4. Being technical isn’t always a replacement of being creative. Sync buttons. Every DJ who learned on vinyl hates them. Every DJ who learned on controllers doesn’t. DJs who beatmatch stand off to the side of the booth and shake their heads at newcomers. If you have a technical skill, particularly a technical skill that is being outdated, realize that it doesn’t make you any better than people who don’t. In the end, the product is what matters. If a big-name DJ gets on stage and plays a pre-recorded set, and 50,000 people love it, then so what? The fans loved it. In the end, that’s what matters right? After all, we create and share art to improve the lives of others, not to puff up our own egos. Simply put, creatives bitch about process when they can’t match results. If you have a technical skill that assists in the final product, then great! Use it. But don’t use your skill as a way of measuring if others are less than you.

    Also, if you play on CDJs, don’t hate on people playing on controllers. Also also, you are not better than someone because your genre of music is more “underground” or less popular. Rant over.

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