Being Kind to Your Artist Self
This post is for all the artists out there.
For the girl sitting in her bedroom writing songs on an old guitar. For the guy who can’t stop taking photos of random people. For anyone who has had that shining moment where they’ve suddenly thought “this doesn’t feel like work to me. I could do this all day every day and never get tired of it”. I had that moment a few years ago after spending 10 hours straight in a friends recording studio and realizing that making music is one of the only things that I recognize as being purely me.
What does this have to do with kindness, though? At its core, isn’t kindness just doing nice things for other people? I think kindness comes down to the sharing of tangible or emotional resources without the expectation of being repaid. The person who’s doing the deed of kindness may not be paid in dollars or in trade, but they will receive a personal satisfaction in exchange for what they’ve done.
Your shining moment.
So back to your shining moment; your realization that your art is your lifeblood and ultimately satisfying for you. The next thought you have, or one that follows soon after is “how the hell am I going to make money doing this?”. Sure you’ve sold some of your CD’s at the coffee house open mic, but what about really making a living? That can be a life-long pursuit. I’m not saying it’s not doable, but that’s not the focus of this article. Let me offer you some advice for how to take that shining feeling to the next level though.
Give your art away.
There really is nothing kinder than sharing your art with the world. In addition to gracing others people ears, eyes and taste buds, sharing your art is being kind to yourself. Why? We make art in the first place to express ourselves. And in that expression is an unspoken desire to be heard and appreciated.
And whether or not you’re selling it, I’m here to convince you that you should start giving your art away in order to be kind to yourself. Get your art online so you can find people who like it, get feedback, and make other people happy.
How many artists do you know that like figuring out technical stuff like websites and posting online though?
That’s where I come in. Other than music, my other expertise and passion is technology. If you’re an artist looking for a home, there are some incredible platforms out there that can help you share your art. All they ask in return is, well nothing. These services that I’m sharing with you are kind by nature. These are my hand-picked recommendations on how to get your art online so it can be heard, appreciated, and responded to.
(Photographers, Video Artists, Sculptors, Bloggers, Philosphers) Look no further than Posterous. If you can attach your art to an emailI like Posterous for its ease of use and autoposting. Your photos wind up on Flickr, etc. Posterous has a one – two punch that makes it really strong. To post on your Posterous, you simply send an email. The subject becomes the post title, the body the text, and any attachments are elegantly embedded in your post. The second huge strength here is called ‘auto posting’. You can configure Posterous once to automatically post anything you send to it to a host of other sites. With one email, your photographs get posted to flickr and your twitter status gets updated. If you already have a website, Posterous can even autopost to wordpress and other platforms. It’s simply the fastest and easiest way to quickly get your work online and on social networks.
What about the musicians out there? BandCamp. It has less frills than others like reverberation or sound cloud, but this is the one service for musicians that I think is truly kind at heart. They are not trying to mercilessly profit from you and your music. BandCamp offers a reliable way to put your music online. Their players are flexible and work on iOS devices that don’t play nice with flash. They are also easily embeddable pretty much anywhere, including facebook. There’s no better way to quickly get your music online and available for listening. Are you sitting on those recordings you did last year? Don’t hide them away! Post them on BandCamp and share your music with the world.
We’ve just scratched the surface of what is out there in the technology world for sharing your art, but Posterous and BandCamp (or a combination of the two) are a fantastic place to start if you’re starting from scratch. Sharing your art with the world is a great way to be kind to yourself and everyone around you.
|Ethan Waldman is a technology coach who writes at Cloud-Coach.net. He helps offline business owners get online, and would love to help you live and work in harmony with technology.|
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