Being an artist is not as glamorous as Beyonce makes it. She may be able to command hundreds of dollars for front row seats and can sell out a concert in the blink of an eye but before she steps foot on stage, she has to create the content that the fans will gobble up. Before each tiresome performance, she dedicates hours of studio time and before that she has to pen out line after line of carefully crafted melody. When this is all done, she puts out her work and hopes that we, her fans, will love it.
I’m not sure where the notion of artists having it easy came from; maybe the media had something to do with it. With their decked out tour buses and flawless photos hoots, somewhere, somehow, someone lied. Calling yourself an artist is a serious statement. Believe it or not, it is a job… one that you’ll love, but a job nonetheless. You have to answer to your fans because they determine the longevity of your career. I’m not saying that everyone will love your music because you will have a niche that you cater to but that niche, no matter how small, will continue to support your work.
I’ve been bitten by the writing bug (again!) and at times, I’m find it to be the most difficult task. Writers block maybe? Lack of motivation? Laziness? Perhaps all three, if I’m being honest. When I was younger, I would belt out lyrics on the page like the world needed to hear my every thought. I could write a short story in a matter of days. These days, as life happens and motivation slows, it gets more difficult to formulate a sentence. Why is that?
What I’ve learned from Sasha Fierce over the years is that she is an extremely hard worker. The reason why she can command the money and promotion that she does is because she doesn’t stop creating. No matter the art form: music, sculpting, photography or writing, art colors our world in various forms. Artists, especially good ones, use their trials and triumphs to create the colorful, masterpieces that help us to deal or give us inspiration and this is one of my biggest problems. It’s not that I don’t want you guys close to me; I’m an extrovert so I express myself just fine… I’m just afraid of being judged because of it. What if it doesn’t turn out perfect? What if I can’t hit that note? What happens if I fall on my head like Beyonce did?!
I could “what if” all day and forever. People who focus on “what ifs” don’t get much done. They spend their days fearing the worst which in most cases never come to light. They hide in dark caves and come out when it’s ‘safe’ to play never realizing that the fun in life is as the Japenese proverb says: “Fall down seven times, get up eight”. When asked if she was afraid to perform after Erykah Badu during Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, Jill Scott eloquently responded, “Have you seen me perform?” There was no arrogance, no fear, just confidence.
There are many days when I doubt myself. All too often, I compare myself to others who sing, write or perform differently than I do (I will not say better). With a lot of work, I am learning to let that go. Each of us is blessed with a personal legend and our journey is unique to only us, just like our fingerprints. By comparing your skills to someone else, you telling the universe (or God) that a mistake was made during your creation. You are powerful in your own right! With much practice comes confidence; with confidence comes perfection. Artistry is hard work, but it gives me the opportunity to leave behind a legend long after I’ve passed… and that is the point of living. They say when you've found your passion, you will never work a day in your life. I certainly look forward to living my passion every day. Watch my journey ;)