News


It’s time for artists to support each other more…

Sheila Chandra - Thursday, November 23, 2017

Back in the day, 35 years ago, when I was starting out, the competition between artists, writers and musicians even on the same projects was fierce. Information about how to thrive was closely guarded, and smaller labels and managers took advantage of anyone’s ignorance about music business law or procedure, and exploited it ruthlessly. There are lots of deals I signed which should have been better, even with people I knew well and counted as my ‘friends’. They didn’t care or feel any responsibility to tell me that.

 

It was truly rare then for artists to mentor each other. The competition between singers – especially female singers – was even worse. An unconscious air of resentment pervaded, right down to passive aggressive comments on looks, skills or direction. It was a lonely place to live one’s professional life.

Undermining other creators is not a luxury we can afford any more

Mercifully some of this has changed. I’ve seen other visual artists mentor people – and I know of progressive bands that have too. But there’s still a hangover from the old days, and wherever undermining still exists – whether on a personal or business level, we need to stop.

Many creative people are struggling

This is a reflection of the wider economy, but the fact is, artists are among the worst hit because of the way that funding is being systematically cut, and the music business has been restructured, royalty-wise. It is harder than ever now for new artists of quality to be ‘born’ especially if they are from less privileged backgrounds. Could a boy from poor area like the old Brixton become the next ‘Bowie’ now? Sadly, almost certainly not.

We are the caretakers of our cultural landscape

Now more than ever, experienced artists are the guardians of culture. Our support to the right people, will in large part determine how rich the creative ‘soil’ or our artistic culture remains. Whatever our private insecurities or ‘beefs’, it’s time to act maturely and put them aside in order preserve as rich a creative culture as possible.

This means you!

It’s time to contact each other and form communities rather than ‘taking sides'. It’s time to give away your secrets to people you mentor. It’s time to support people from difficult or challenging backgrounds, because we need them to give us their creative perspective and stories more than ever. It’s time to give the other party the advantage, where on principle it’s the right thing to do (rather than exploiting their ignorance) because we need to think more of the big picture than of ourselves. Let’s be brave because no one can do this but us.

Help other artists weather the storm

We’re weathering an unprecedented storm in the creative industries. We’re the canary in the coal mine re the undervaluing of human work. It’s going to happen in the wider world eventually as technology replaces many roles including solicitors, stockbrokers, doctors and chefs. This technology already exists. While in an ideal world, this should mean plenty and leisure for all, unless the people who own such expensive technologies are willing to share their wealth (does that sound likely to you?) it will impoverish everyone instead.

Let’s really support each other

In the meantime, let’s support each other. I mean true kindness. I mean emotional honesty and support, advice, contacts, insights, legal help – whatever we can give. Because we have GOT to survive this with our collective legacy of expertise intact. Especially those without a cash buffer or a privileged background, whose stories are getting rarer and rarer.

We need to pull together as a community wherever we can and support and mentor other creative people. Remember, record companies, publishers, distributors, galleries, agents and managers won’t do it for us. It’s in their interests for us to compete. But we need to take the longer view, because when the robots have taken over, what will really matter is creativity. That’s when we’ll be needed more than ever.

I'm starting a coaching and mentoring service especially for self-employed creative professionals to help them thrive in their careers. Find out more at www.sheilachandracoaching.com

 

Comments
Post has no comments.
Post a Comment




Captcha Image


×

Recent Posts


Tags

effortlessly tidy creative ambitions business self promotion 2018 goals goals culture network ‘stories’ about your possessions compulsion sheila chandra coaching cleaning brilliant creator efficient work patterns slim-line wardrobe cleaning your desk buying happiness peer-to-peer networks streamlining routines collections clear desk appointments artists branding artist goals buying stardust stop hoarding stuff creative magic hijacking creativity time clutter great art hostile clutter nurturing creative work hotel room emotional balance long-term artistic development work/home life balance cupboard of shame artist workspaces buy fewer clothes creative culture Sheila Chandra author creative person wind down networking effectively tidy people tidier binge trope artistic chaos copyright chaotic boredom artist storage tidy desk precious memories missed opportunities commitment just in case myth buying wealth platform nipping things in the bud productivity elevator pitch under-confidence clutter dynamic spaces writing funding campaigns artistry double standard getting ready for work display items low maintenance strategies introverts bulk buy creativity pop music arrogance letting go buying hope temperament clutter addict critical acclaim wardrobe email bankruptcy making decisions fine art funding popular culture emotionally secure artist work efficiently loving your audience slow and steady home life how to work efficiently social media networking creative spark clearing much better friend living clutter free fall of innocence imagination absences organizing for creative people options confident in clothes work trips business-like concentrated creative time business-speak clarity of thought proposal writing diagnosis good friend creative career morning routines tension lifetimes cry multiple lifetimes well curated closet parent artist materials saving time mature artists how to save time stay on top of email control creative confidence disorganization stay tidy automatically feel like creatiing clear outs staying in control tips for clearing innocence too busy feeling creative hoarding proposals professional encouragement emotional support green room great artists mornings lazy procrastination creative identity card working class artists inconvenience creative people quality stop cluttering creativity diary warm down guilty purchases well organized professional creative career tortoise and hare home care nascent artists domestic life home organising email buying youth inspiration work life pop culture organisation grief hobbies clearing in short bursts workspaces good art work tidiness in living spaces social media criteria for letting go of stuff clean desk artist mentoring motivation spree visualising professional mentors diary successful artist being organized peacefulness theft jealousy childhood new year working class culture email overload mess nurture creativity creative commissions symptoms of creativity artistic conviction focus car networking tidy exhaustion static spaces artist mentors the void magic stardust creative wellbeing vulnerability normality subconscious mind friends work priorities touring clearing as you go why organise brands emotional resilience business interface to creative businesses too many commitments clearing clutter crowdfunding anxiety smart artists resentment sacrifice : clothes friendships ‘creativity’ to do list partners living mess free creative organising celebrity endorsed products low maintenance overwork how to be naturally tidy housework much quicker vocation minimalists VIPs loss good creative habits career strategy being tripped up creative career coaching organise

Archive

×