It's hard. At least, it is for me. Maybe "hard" is the wrong word. Because it's not so much difficult, as much as it is...
Yep, that's better, so let's go back to the beginning with this more accurate adjective...
It's daunting. To create art and make it public. To display your painting in an exhibit or offer up material at a poetry reading or play your song at an open mic. In essence, to take that which is most personal to you and send it out in front of a panel of judges.
And, sure, you can fall back on "I make art for me and no one else" or "Regardless of what people think, I'm uniquely me and that's a beautiful thing" or "You know what? I could give two shits what you think because I like it and that's all that counts". Valid points, but if you really feel like that, go live in the woods and play music to the squirrels and paint for the grizzlies and recite poetry to the babbling brook.
Art is meant to be shared. With people. Preferrably people that want to experience your art, but if you want to busk at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, it's your prerogative. (Note to self: busking at the 3rd Street Promenade might have to go on my bucket list.)
But I digress...
What if people hate it? What if no one ever comes back to the Myspace page to listen to the music? What happens if you never sell any downloads or nobody comes to the shows or nobody becomes a fan on Facebook or you never get any followers on Twitter or you keep trying to book shows but all you can get are the cheesy pay to play gigs that are meant to take advantage of any band that can fork over $400 bucks to play on a bill that has an Emo Hardcore group after a Polka Folk Trio after a Singer Songwriter Accordianist?
Valid questions but if you get caught up in all of the negatives you might as well live in a bubble and drink puree'd potatoes for the rest of your life...
But not to the point where I freeze up and let the challenge eat me alive.
Because I trust you.
You, the fan.
Not you, the casual reader. Not you, the general public.
You, the fan.
Because the fan connects with the artist and eliminates every aspect that makes the process daunting. The fan is enamored with the painting and admires the composition of color and escapes into the background. The fan is thrilled by the use of iambic pentameter and pours over the deviation from rhyme scheme for the sake of emphasis. The fan falls in love with the songs and knows all the lyrics and can't wait for that guitar riff and anticipates the drum solo and reads the liner notes and waits outside after the show for the chance to maybe, just maybe, meet the band and have them sign the setlist and maybe get a pick or a drumstick.
At some point the casual reader or the general public might become the fan. But I have to earn that transformation. With my music, my band, my performances, my tweets, my facebook updates, the websites I link to, the bands I suggest checking out, the way I talk to you before and after the show, the songs I choose to record and release, the venues that I choose to play... all of it.
I have to earn your fandom. I have to earn your trust.
But once I've done that, the sky is the limit. Because it will be a little less daunting to get up onstage and sing my simple songs for you.
And we'll trust each other completely.
You'll trust me to create the art. I'll trust you to be a fan.
If you've liked what you've read, help me out and go back to read this post. At the very end, there's something I need your help with!! Thanks!!