Embrace Your Unique Voice as an Artist

This is primarily directed to artists, but really, it applies to all of us.  Being a unique voice in a world that values sameness can be a rough row to hoe.  As children, we’re taught, encouraged, sometimes even bludgeoned and beaten into sameness.  Don’t be too loud.  Don’t show how smart you are.  Don’t blow your own horn.  Don’t stick out (either for good or ill).

These are the messages that we get from our parents, our siblings, our teachers and our peers.  And from a herd mentality, it makes a lot of sense, on an evolutionary scale.  The straggler gets eaten, right?  And if you don’t blend into your environment, you’re not only a danger to yourself, but you can attract danger to your tribe, right?  But we don’t live in those times anymore, and yet, we still live by those rules as a society.  Or at least some of us do.

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e.e. cummings, 1955

The most successful people, not just in the arts, but in all areas of life, are the ones who willingly stand out.  The ones who risk being chastised or not loved. The ones who are willing to fall face down into the mud in abject failure in order to be true to themselves.  They STAND OUT.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Dr. Seuss

As an artist in a highly competitive environment, expressing your unique voice is critical to your success both artistically and entrepreneurially.

But what does that mean, really?  In my opinion, it doesn’t mean figuring out what will sell, what record companies want, who you need to twist yourself into “make it.”

What it really means is to unveil your true voice, that voice which is innately, uniquely, brilliantly yours.   Choose what it is you want to express and filter that content through your unique instrument, your mind, your heart, your spirit.

It’s been said that there are no new ideas.  And on one level that may be true.  What makes your expression of an idea unique is that your idea is filtered through that which is uniquely you.  And there’s no one else quite like you in the world.

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

The fact that we are all part of the human experience makes us able to find common ground and connect with each other. What we do with our human experience, how we experience it, is unique to ourselves and allows us to be unique in how we express creatively. The leap of faith is to trust that the right people, the right audience, the right opportunities will show up and really see you and appreciate and connect with your unique creative expression.

So, how do you embrace your unique voice and use it as an Artist Entrepreneur?

  1. Learn, practice and master the skills necessary to express your unique self
  2. Polish your courage, your temerity and take the leap into full expression
  3. Use all of the skills and tools available to you to package your expression in a way that your target audience really wants it
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 over and over with consistency, constantly learning, growing and expanding your skills and getting the help and support you need to fully embody each step to the best of your unique combination of talent, ability and skill.

How are you embracing and expressing your unique voice and what are your biggest challenges with it?

If You Build It, They Will Come

Or Will They?

Many artists in the music industry believe that all they have to do is record a CD and their audience is sure to show up.  I believe that this mythology has had a detrimental impact on the DIY musicians’ success promoting their music.

So, let’s deconstruct this idea and really take a look at it.  One thing I think we can all agree on:

Read more

2 Lessons from American Idol – Top 7

Got behind in my blogging again – here are the two lessons from American Idol – Top 7.  In Idol 7 – Alicia Keys was the Mentor and she talked about how she intended to help the contestants find out what they’re made of.  And that “Idol Gives Back” will help them discover what their character is and how to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

She gave them guidance to really connect with the song and communicate their uniqueness through the song.  The problem I see a lot of the contestants having is that instead of discovering who they are and communicating honestly through the music, they are trying to apply uniqueness externally – from the outside in.

Lesson 1 – Your Uniqueness as an Artist Emerges as an Expression of Your Internal Truth.

Read more