An Artist


Does not give the audience what it wants, but what he/she wants.

Refuses to repeat him/herself.

Is interesting in satisfying him/herself, not fans.

Are cutting edge, they lead the audience, not vice versa.

If someone doesn’t hate what you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong.

Challenges the audience.

Acts on inspiration, not desperation.

Runs on emotion, not intellect.

Will hear no more than they hear yes.

Are constantly told how to do it by people who can’t do it.

Doesn’t self-judge based on the money they make.

Knows when they do something great, they don’t need the audience to validate it for them, they already know.

Stretches. To repeat oneself is emotional death. And since an artist runs on emotion…

Refuses to look back unless they want to. Once you play to nostalgia, it’s hard to push the creative envelope once again, the world has labeled you a has-been.

Needs help to make it but must push back against that help.

Is inherently tortured. Needing to get their message/soul out. They don’t fit in. Their goal is to express raw humanity so that people can connect with it, they channel the zeitgeist.

Are always ahead of the audience and the critics. People are confounded by artists who do something for the very first time.

Don’t stay in their niche.

Are people first, not factories.

Are tuning forks. Their goal is to have their work resonate with the public.

Don’t change based on blowback or criticism. You must have a strong heart and ego to pursue artistry. As soon as you blink, you’re done. And the audience is unpredictable. Give people what they say they want and they often reject it. The artist wags the tail of the audience, not vice versa.

Is not a business, man. Unless their business is business.

Focuses on their art to the exclusion of almost everything else, they must do this. They have to surround themselves with people who get it/them. Because when the inspiration strikes, you’ve got to be able to work. And you oftentimes work at strange hours, when everybody else is already asleep, because you need to get rid of interruptions and the noises in your head to lay it all down.

Know the difference between selling and creating.

Is looking for a manager who will pave the way, obliterate distractions, convince intermediaries to allow the artist to do their thing.

Are abused. Because the artistic personality doesn’t fit in with regular society. The key is to have enough success to do it your way and only your way. To exclude the audience completely is unacceptable avoidance. The artist’s goal is to influence society, but this can only occur when there is intersection of the two. Sure, you can cut off the outside world, but this only works if you don’t complain about the lack of attention and money.

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