There are people who say that I’m afraid or unwilling to look at myself.
You know, in the sense of self-awareness and recognising shortcomings and so on.
I’m not going to deny it – doing so would prove those people right.
That said, I do live with the notion that self-awareness is important, that I’m not perfect, and that criticism gets shared for a reason.
That reason being: for me to learn from.
So let’s play a little game:
I’m going to share some harsh criticism I received, and then you get to share your own criticism about me, with me.
Hokay. Here’s what happened.
On Saturday I wrote about a beautiful experience I had in Paris, thoroughly enjoying some live music from a piano girl.
The email I wrote had a few lines in it about prosperity and earning, but most of it was about how the musician didn’t have anything there for this new fan to get more of her – no recordings, no album – you get the picture.
On Sunday, I received this email from a reader:
“When will you ever understand that being an artist is so much more than just money, marketing and publicity?
“I agree with many of your points but I think there is so much that you still don’t understand… I will write more later.”
Nah, not really.
Aside from the fairly abrasive way to start an email – “When will you ever understand…” – I dont’ really mind.
Besides, I do have a lot to learn, and of course there’s a lot I don’t understand.
Especially given that I’m not a working artist.
I can sing a song and sing it nicely, and I could call that art, but that’s about it.
So in a very real sense, I don’t exactly know what life is like for you, professional artist.
But what I do know is that without economy, making art is tough and not a lot of fun.
Plenty of you have told me that.
And yes, of course I know that there’s a lot more to art than money and marketing.
Which makes it kinda odd that I received the message after sending an email that talked about my experience of art, and how I want more of that experience.
Maybe the sender didn’t really understand my point, I don’t know.
I do hope she follows up on her promise of ‘will write more later’ because I’m interested in her point of view.
But here’s the deal.
Art is about SO much more than money.
It’s fulfillment, mission, duty, culture, inspiration, sharing, changing people and changing the world.
And so much more, but these are just the things that come to mind first.
But it’s also about getting paid for your art, and paid well.
No matter what anyone argues, that is what I stand for:
That an artist should receive plentiful renumeration for what they do, if their work is good.
Point is, I can’t teach or inspire about everything, exactly because I’m not an artist myself.
I’m an entrepreneur, teacher, inspirator, business builder.
Which means that those are the things I can write about:
How to be a professional artist – it would be preposterous for me to tell you how to be an artist.
So that’s why I do what I do.
Now, your turn.
Any points I’ve missed, anything I’m lacking, anything I am wrong about or need to learn?
Bring it on.
Because maybe I’m afraid to look at myself, but damned if I’m not going to do my best anyway.