You know that part in the book The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, written by the ever-fabulous Dr. Seuss, when the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes? Well, it has happened. I have matured by three tiny levels tonight in a way I have never before. Okay, the truth is I’ve been on this “growing-up” kick for a while now, but tonight I feel like all the things I have been challenging through have been paying off. I would like to share some of these discoveries with you. Just know, that this is all based on my personal experiences. Everybody is different. But if it can help a few fellow artists out there, then good! So here’s the deal writers and artists alike:
1. Take your art seriously because if you don’t, nobody else will.
2. Be responsible. If you know events are coming up in just a few weeks – don’t be wimpy and do things the last minute. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Better to be over prepared then have things falling apart during your events. In fact, in the film industry (when I used to work in it) we had this saying, “Have a back-up for your back-up.” It’s no joke.
3. Don’t be a flake. Do not expect people to come to your music concerts, fundraisers, food events, screenings, readings when you do not invest into that person/community. Give more–take less, in the end it’s most rewarding. You develop as an artist, plus, the more things you go to — the more you get to network! Get out of your comfort zone already.
4. Write your mom. It’s good karma. If you don’t have a mom, write someone dear to your heart who has seen you grow up and develop.
5. NEVER–and I mean NEVER FORGET TO SAY THANK YOU. To those who have helped you, supported you, stood by you, loved you while you were on your path to self-discovery as an artist. These are the people worth keeping around.
6. I’ve learned that the people I feel the most awkward/uncomfortable/defensive with — are the people I usually have the most in common with. Do not ignore yourself. Great work can come out of these awkward encounters sometimes.
7. It’s okay to have your downs, just as long as you appreciate them as much as your highs. I get very creative during my lows, so use that depressing time wisely peeps.
8. Remember that what you create, whether it is a piece of writing, a canvas full of paint, or a song — you are impacting some type of energy around you. This energy can be a single person. It can be a community. It can be the self. Be bold and brave, but know that there are always consequences to your creations.
In my short life, I have found that everything is balanced. Therefore, after something really bad happens — I look forward to something really good happening. And when something really good happens, I TRY to make peace with the likelihood of something bad happening. Because good and bad are irrelevant. It’s all about how you take it into your being and your creations as a writer/artist/performer/ etc. etc. etc.
Just know that the bad is just like the good: fairies, fantasies, and farts. Everything is ephemeral.
Long live Art.