Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there.
Out there – in the deep dark void that can be scary and mean and just not nice. Sometimes out there is even better than you could have imagined. I suppose you just can’t know.
This weekend I was hanging out with a great friend and were discussing (like we always do) the inertia that fear creates in our lives. Every once in a while, fear is a truly important flag keeping us from being really hurt. Most times it’s just in the way.
Who knew that one of the world’s most prolific street photographers never shared a single photograph during her lifetime and her brilliance was found out by accident through an auction of her belongings after her death (we found this story via TVGawker.com– once you get past the cliche announcer it gets pretty good):
Whether or not she was a brilliant photographer doesn’t even matter – look at how gorgeous her perspective is in the photographs! So stunning – some of them are lovely stories in a single frame. But think about the hundreds of photographs that were ugly and awful – the shots that came between the beautiful ones.
You have to give yourself a shot no? I mean – seriously – wouldn’t it be better to benefit from your efforts while you’re still alive – instead of waiting for someone else to acknowledge and benefit from your efforts once your dead? (However, it’s obvious that Vivian Maier was an extremely private person and artist – but you have to wonder whether it was fear or privacy that drove her to keep her story for herself).
Just give it a try! That’s what everyone keeps telling me. A wise man once said- inertia’s a bitch. The tortoise in me is moving one step at a time. But I have to keep moving. I have a ton of entrepreneurial friends whom I really admire – they just do stuff! Even if they’re not quite sure what it is they’re doing….they are willing to give it a try.
Also, you have to do the stuff you’re not so great at over and over again, until you get really good at it. As a musician, at first I always found recording to be really scary – I mean it’s going to be recorded forever! But then, after recording little by little, it’s now easy-peasy! But currently, shows are really scary, but they’re exhilarating too! A great show can really make you feel like you are a part of a story – or – that you would like to share your story. I’ll be doing my best going out there and doing these scary things – feel free to join me- it’s nice to have company when you’re scared. 😉
Sing Bandana Singh performs Thursday January 13th at the El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave. Toronto). Doors at 7pm. Performance at 7:30pm $10. 19+.
In my last few posts I’ve been obviously obsessed with combining the ideas of art and business.
Do art and business always go hand in hand? Of course not! But there are times when they do. Everyone should have the ability and a safe space to self-express and business has little to do with that. (Self-expression is not exactly the same as being an artist or creating art – if you want to argue with this please feel free). Business is really an exchange of goods or services – forget the dollar sign if it makes you uncomfortable. Think of business as a way to fulfill a need that you have (instead of a want which is what we do in consumerist culture). Cool? Cool.
Artists and entrepreneurs share similar characteristics and our work has similar properties:
- We both have great passion
- We move from initial concept through stages of development to a final product or work
- We are constantly looking to explore and learn
- We have to deal with a lot of constructive (and not so constructive) criticism
- Financing or Funding our dreams is a hefty aspect of our work
- We find what we do very satisfying
- We are willing to invest emotionally, physically and financially into our projects
- If we fail (or deem something a failure) we will eventually get back up and try again or try something new
- We are risk takers (even if the risks seem small)
If you are a CEO or a COO or a HR Manager or a Team Lead (essentially someone who is allowed to make final decisions) you should consider hiring more artistically inclined people to your teams. Artists aren’t sensitive – we are critical and analytical. We synthesize great amounts of information and see patterns and themes in disparate ideas. Business leaders always tell their teams to think outside of the box and then put them in a closed bare walled boardroom to brainstorm. I have no idea why so many brainstorming sessions (even in creative industries) take place inside of board rooms – this is brainstorming not contract negotiation. You would actually have to be a very skilled artist to make use of a blank space like a boardroom to create brilliant ideas without external inspiration- and let’s be honest the vast majority of your staff are not creatively inclined. Alternatively you could provide time or encouragement for your team members to express their creative sides or propose ideas which are tangent to your business.
Artists – we need to be more business saavy – the world of the record label, large gallery, movie studio or television network, essentially the idea of big media business currently is in pieces and in future will be replaced by the Apples’, Googles’ and Yahoos’ of the world. These companies are not made for artists – they are entrepreneurs – they use art, music, literature to further their businesses – but they are not in the business of art. Google is not really interested in meaning – they are interested in information – these are very very different ideas. And in practice Apple is not interested in creativity – they are interested in facilitating creativity. Now of course, inherent in the Apple process are aspects of art and design – but they use these as tools for their software business (as discussed by Colin Gibbs in the post “As Always Mobile Music faces Uncertain Future” Jul 17 2010 on GigaOm.com).
The profitable and meaningful media future will require a hybrid in the media industry. A hybrid company that has the brains of a technology based corporation and the heart and soul of a community based artistic organization. Any thoughts on building the foundations or staples of the a sustainable new media ecosystem or the real ticket – the business model to support that ecosystem? If you have the monetization aspect down – I’d love to treat you out to coffee ;).
I usually blog and have something new every Monday but this week I have been tardy. It’s unusually warm this summer in Toronto and I have to say the heat got the better of me at the beginning of the week. I’ll be sure to keep hydrated and I’m sure it won’t happen again!
We have some new stuff coming along and wanted to keep you in the loop:
- More awesome content from FStop10 (you guys really like her stuff and she’s hoping to post more often! yay!)
- More new bloggers who will be posting once a month! (Quil4 – keep an eye out, and one more 90% confirmed blogger [I was just too excited])
- Mon July 12th we will be uploading our interview with Manu Sharma from Stanford University regarding the Natural Capital Project (we finally got some time together and now I’m just editing down a 3hr long conversation into lovely bits of nutritious info!)
- More technology + art based blogs from me…..I’m taking a bit of a break from my own art and doing a bit of research about all the new models for media, art, content distribution. There’s just sooooooo much going on!
In the meantime here is one more addition to my last post about working with virtual teams: Action Method Online….I have the “offline” organizers but the new online project management system seems to be pretty rad so far. I love the interface and the ease of use – and you can even ‘nag’ or ‘appreciate’ your team mates! Ha! I love it!
Action Method has been developed by Behance – an company that helps to keep creative people organized. I very much have enjoyed perusing their many sites however I have found that their creative network (where you can upload and share your portfolio of work) is geared especially towards creatives in the visual fields, such as graphic design, animation and photography. They also have CREATIVE BASED JOBS listed! How exciting! Even artists need to work! Artists and Entrepreneurs aren’t all that different you know…we both attempt to move our passion from concept to reality, all the while attempting to find funding or financing for our endeavours. I feel a new post coming on!
Stay hydrated this summer and try not to exhaust yourself! If you are working hard – take a break! Have a cupcake with a nice cup of light tea and find a buddy to chat with about your passions and dreams. (Lord knows I’d probably have gone mad by now if I didn’t have other artistically minded people to interact with!)
If you don’t have a buddy to chat about such things – you can chat with us!