5 Bitter Truths

Being an artist doesn’t pay—up front anyway.  You should have a good day job, one you can tolerate and that will allow you the freedom you need to pursue your art.  Because you’re going to have to put up with crappy turnouts, non-existent sales, and people always wanting something for nothing.

Let’s go over several Bitter Truths that an artist has to swallow to still hold the ol’ head up in society.

  1. Life owes you nothing. Work hard and do your very best even when no one appreciates your efforts.
  2. People only like you if you can do something for them. If you aren’t adding value to someone’s life, then they aren’t going to pay you mind, give you time, or shell out their hard earned dollar.
  3. People want you to let them in for free, give them a free copy, take them to dinner, and tell them what wonderful fans/promoters/producers/et al. they are.
  4. If you want to play at a venue, have a signing at a bookstore, hang your art in a gallery, or whatever, you’re going to have to shell out the cash to make it happen. Even if the promoter thinks you’re cool.

And if you don’t believe me about #4 then read this: How Much Does It Cost To Make A Hit Song?

Sometimes, it really does feel like this is an artist’s target audience…

Hard to swallow, isn’t it? But I think it’s always been this way underneath the surface. This is why sheer talent isn’t always an indication of stardom. Some people are wildly talented and never go anywhere, at least not until after they die. Some people are talentless to the point that they are anti-talent, but they are wildly successful while still alive.

Is it a matter of wanting it more? Yes, but that isn’t the whole of it. Some people are so charismatic, so cunning, and have just enough talent that it becomes a winning combination. Madonna comes to mind. There isn’t one way of doing this, but you have to ask yourself, is it the process or the end result that matters most to you?

If it’s the process, then you can’t help but make art. You will be making art until death puts you in the ground. It’s like a fever inside. Even if you aren’t generating the physical product, you will always be creating.

If it’s the end result, then you will be promoting yourself. You create to have something to promote and that too is its own fever. You may not have talent, but you know a lot of people and you can get the money you need to fund your projects.

If it’s both, that’s where I think the winning combination is. I’ve heard too many artists who are more process-oriented complain about the promotion necessary to get the work to the public. I’ve seen too many artists who are more end-result-oriented unable to generate truly moving creations. You have to have both fevers to be successful and even then:

Bitter Truth #5:  Success Isn’t Guaranteed

Do You Have What It Takes?

Happy Holidays,.. from Me to You!

I.O.’s Aside: Wow, people who can do art like this amaze me. It’s imperative that we support the art we love (music, writing, film, dancing). That means we have to shell out something in exchange for the effort the artist has put into creating such beauty-such meaning. Effort counts, getting the word out counts, and investing in the art counts. I’m broke, trying to survive by selling my art, but I can at least get the word out. Something amazing this way comes…

The flies are in the kitchen, the beans are in the soup

I.O.’s Aside: This woman is crazy. The good kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that I would love to bottle up and sell. Read every word. It will all make sense in the end. She writes like origami, all those folds and stuff and you’re like WTH, this makes a panda??? And lo, a panda appears at the last fold. Mind boggling.

Your Story: City stroll

I.O.’s Aside: Seth’s Snaps are always inspiring. He is putting together a calendar which is available on his site sethsnap.com.

sethsnap

It’s been a long time since I’ve had you write me a story. So, I think it’s time we hear from your creative mind.  A few weeks ago, I had a meeting in downtown Columbus.  It was cold and I was short of time but I was able to get a few snaps.  Create a story for me.  One week left to buy your SethSnap 2014 Calendar. 

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Between the Rage and Fear

I.O.’s Aside: The seeming randomness of our tragedies gives me pause. It’s times like these when one questions if there is a Universal Intelligence/God. I wonder what answer you will come up with when you’re are standing at the edge of the abyss.

Deborah J. Brasket

800px-Indre_Fure,_StadtlandetI spent yesterday in the hospital with my son, who had overdosed on heroin.  I’d found him that morning unconscious on the bathroom floor. I can’t tell you what it felt like to see him like that, a gray shadow of himself, limp, seemingly lifeless.

He has recovered.  Physically, at least.  But spiritually, mentally?  I don’t know yet.

I wrote about him here, My Wild Child, less than a year ago, when I thought he’d finally made it.  He’d been drug-free, working two jobs, happy, healthy, for over a year. He was in love with a beautiful woman, they had a new baby girl they adored, they were planning to marry.  He was an attentive, tender, sweet father who was his daughter’s main caretaker while her mother worked days, he nights.

I was ecstatic with joy.  My daughter had just married, and now my son, whom I had grieved…

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Circle return … kind of … with all new lineup and hellacious new record ‘Incarnation’

I.O.’s Aside: And here Arkerfeldt (Opeth) was concerned that metal fans (and that includes the artists who make the music) want their Happy Meals served to them. It’s stuff like this that gets me all excited. Surprise me! Go forth and mutate!

Meat Mead Metal

Circle cover
There are those bands that, no matter how much music they release, you always know what you’re going to get. If that’s a good or bad thing, that’s up to you. Then you have those that change things up as they go along and kind of keep you guessing as to what they’re going to try on each new recording. Then there is Finnish band Circle.

Anyone who knows anything about this band knows you can’t expect anything when they put out a new album, except for music in some form. Over countless recordings (good luck trying to figure out how many they actually have, though I saw the number 27 full-length albums somewhere), this band that specializes in what they call New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal does whatever they want. It could be anything. Power metal, thrash, Krautrock-splashed rock, prog, you name it. Whatever they’re feeling at…

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