Happy New Year!!
As a part of promoting my new songs, I have been writing articles for online magazines. As I write, both songs and prose, I try to be authentic in this crazy world of mostly trying to be perfect... How is that for a conundrum? I thought the text of the article below is pertinent to some of the less seen challenges of being an artist, and pertinent to how much I appreciate your support of me and of the arts. And perhaps it is also pertinent to our beginning a new year, with a dream of learning to love and grow as interconnected human beings.
I was asked this question: what is the greatest thing you feel you have learned as an artist? Here is my answer:
The music industry is full of up’s and down’s, in’s and out’s and roundabout’s. I get carsick just thinking about it. I can become completely stressed out trying to figure out how to score my next gig, grow my email list, post the killer pic on insta, or write the perfect song. Am I singing that Bb in tune? And should I microblade my eyebrows??? I barely even HAVE eyebrows. Can anyone take me seriously as an artist without them??
It is so easy to completely drown yourself in all the craziness this industry demands. I have often ended up feeling frantic, drained, bitter and alone. All of those consuming “tasks” completely suck the heart out of my art. So why even try?
After being on the brink of quitting about 800 times, but for some reason always returning to my music, what I have learned is this: if I stay true to the following statement, and if I find love in the relationships I develop along the way, I never need to search for a reason to continue to create.
Am I keeping true to myself as I grow and communicate as an artist, and am I leaving someone’s world better for it?
As musicians and as professionals we need relationships- with our fans, with other musicians, with friends, with the world. We are SO not alone, and so much better for our work together! Concentrating on integrity for ourselves while honoring relationships with others feels like a much more rewarding path then freaking out about likes on a Facebook post (which I have done!!). Patience, honesty, open-mindedness, accountability… all of these traits are good to practice. We are all works in progress and we are all human, and have so much to learn. But of this list, the greatest and most helpful to me is LEAD WITH LOVE.
When I approach my world with empathy, kindness, and commitment, I improve my life and that of those around me. I communicate more clearly, because I care about what I am saying, and to whom I am saying it. THAT is success in art! Maybe not the kind that will fill my refrigerator, but the kind that has led me to inspiration, opportunities and relationships that will! So LEAD WITH LOVE, and if you can’t find love for a song, for a venue, for a co-writer or a collaborator, finish with grace and move on. People remember the show-stopper at the end of a show, and less so all the stuff in-between. Avoid burning bridges, because in the end it is your reputation that gets burned. Which brings me to another relationship we should LEAD WITH LOVE: that with ourselves.
The pits of “self-esteem meltdowns” are easy to fall into in the unpredictable, unfathomable music industry. Most of us are sensitive, insecure, hot messes (yes, ME!). Our emotional boundaries are ragged and we soak everything in. So be sure to love YOURSELF as you love others, to foster the courage and strength you need to hold your truth. Remember YOU matter. Your “perfect song” is that one which freely expresses your heart, good, bad or ugly but true. Fully realizing that is truly success!
My hashtag is #connectingworlds. For those of you who aren't into the hashtag thing, it's just basically a slogan. I would love to help people to feel a part of something bigger, our imperfections often being our signature gifts!! We all face many of the same challenges, and being aware of our connectedness can really help us not feel so alone. I hope you find this germane to your experience as well!
Best wishes for a wonderful 2019, full of loving and living!
All my best-