Your Testimony Could Be Someone's Breakthrough
I've been in the creative space professionally for just about ten years now, the last six of those as a full-time working artist. One of the most important lessons I've learned in this industry is that independent artists and musicians alike cannot make it alone. I wish I would've learned this lesson sooner. No matter how much of our time, dedication, and resources we put in -- in addition to everything we sacrifice -- this is an industry where only one percent of people breakthrough. I'm convinced the difference between those breaking through and those giving up, is having a team of people behind them. Call them fans, supporters, collectors, street teams, managers, whatever; the people that support an artist are their biggest assets. These supporters exponentially improve the artist's quality of life emotionally, mentally, and physically, and improve any chance at being able to make it in this industry.
Aside from purchasing art, people ask me all the time, "what can I do to help?" My best answer is this: like, comment, and share. Tell your friends. Tell your coworkers. Tell your family. Be a testimony for not just me, but for any other artists and musicians out there whose work you appreciate and believe in. Galleries and record labels have their places and there are some good ones out there, but at the end of the day they still hold the power and do what's best for their bottom line. They are the gatekeepers. The industry is changing (music faster than art), but these entities still hold the keys. We live in the social media age where artists and their fans (supporters and collectors) are taking the power back, and in order to do so, outside of monetary support, the best support is getting the word out about your favorite artist/musician. Outside of individual collectors and supporters, one of the biggest trends right now is artist collaboration with brands, agencies and companies, which are a big part of how up-and-coming artists are discovered. These collaborations usually have larger audiences and resources than the artist has individually, so if you know of an artist or musician that you love, share them with the people around you. The biggest boost an artist can receive is a larger business/brand's platform and/or sponsorship for their work. You never know where that opportunity could come from, nor where it could lead for an artist.
I'll leave you with this story not many people know about Jeff Buckley's famous version of the song, "Hallelujah". Musicians and artists are discovered all the time through other people's testimonies. Jeff Buckley, at this point a struggling musician, discovered another musician's cover of the song, while he was house sitting for a friend. He was bored and had nothing else to do, so he played the record. The original version and the cover version were both relative flops, but Buckley found it, fell in love with it, and made it his own. He played it at a small bar in New York City where an executive from Columbia Records discovered him. The executive told a colleague at work, they watched him perform it, and they all fell in love with Buckley's version. Columbia Records eventually signed him, he recorded his own version of, "Hallelujah", and that became the popular version we know and love today. Supporting artists doesn't only entail purchasing their music or art, you can support your favorite artists and musicians by sharing their work and spreading the word. If it moves you, tell people. You never know, your testimony could be someone's breakthrough.
Thanks for the continued support. Appreciate everyone following along.