Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wake Up Call to Artists

I know I typically post more advice and content directed towards staying positive and taking chances, but today I'm going to address some things that really irk me about some artists and behaviors that I have encountered.

The world does NOT revolve around you.
Drop the egocentric attitude; it is not an asset. People are NOT happy to go out of their way to work with you and are NOT going to worship the ground you walk on. No one wants to make an exception for you - the rules were established for a reason so do your best to abide by them and don't expect that people will be happy to bend them for you. Artists are a dime a dozen and there are a lot of talented, creative people out there, so recognize the fact that your s**t stinks too and that you're one among many. Don't get me wrong - ego can be a good push to keep going and can draw attention, but make sure that it doesn't draw the wrong kind of attention.

Be true to yourself.
Stand by your convictions and never apologize for your art. Don't let others (friends, family, teachers, contemporaries...) push you around and tell you who you are.

Work to better yourself.

Don't be too harsh on others by being quick to judge and point out others' shortcomings in order to feel better about yourself. It is easy to point the finger and place blame elsewhere, but it is more productive to engage in some introspective criticism. Just be sure that it's constructive criticism by taking action to improve areas you are weak. Don't dwell on your weaknesses & insecurities as a means of dissing yourself, but rather work to overcome them.

Show some respect.
Abide by the Golden Rule and treat others the way you wish to be treated. Be gracious and express your gratitude for others' generosity. By disrespecting others and treating them like little more than expendable garbage, you disrespect yourself as well. Take responsibility for yourself and recognize that others' sole purpose in life is NOT to serve you.

I recognize that I have ranted about several of these things time and time again, but I continue to be frustrated by how many artists fall into these patterns. I am tired of talking to artists who are only interested in talking about themselves, or who complain incessantly about traits in others that they too express (as if they're somehow exempt from criticism).

Most of all, I'm tired of being treated disrespectfully by so-called-friends who seem to think that I enjoy going out of my way to support and serve them while both of us know that they never intend to reciprocate. Friendship is a two-way street, and I am sick of others seeking my help when they wouldn't otherwise give me the time of day if they don't need something from me.

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