How Not to Die in Obscurity (self-promotion and the sensitive artist).
Making art, says Singer-Songwriter Josh Ritter, is half of the artist’s job. The rest is hustling on its behalf – making sure the world hears it. (Exclusive, in-studio performance at the end of the article)
(Exclusive, in-studio performance at the end of the article)
Mea culpa, dear Reader: I may have misled you. This isn't really about fame, or even self-promotion. This one goes out to all the serious artists and innovators languishing in basements, creating for the love of it but fearful of the world's harsh glare. I see you in your monkish cells, locked in the quiet struggle to make something we all need but don't yet know how to articulate. And I ask you: what's it really about? You or the art?
What's the Big Idea?
Making art, says Josh, is half of the artist’s job. The rest is hustling on its behalf – making sure the world hears it. This means engaging wholeheartedly with the business of art. If you believe in what you’re doing, he says, then you have to commit to sharing it. You have to tour. You have to advertise. You might have to appear on Big Think. Share your work widely enough, and it will surely resonate with somebody, somewhere.
What’s the Significance?
On one end of the spectrum you have professional “artists” whose work is the product of market analysis and a team of executives. They are the Dells of this world as opposed to the Apples – cheap (if lucrative) imitations of what works. No offense intended to those who rock out to their tunes. On the other end you have the shy, tortured poets whose notebooks may or may not be discovered after their deaths. “The expense of spirit in a waste of shame,” as Shakespeare put it, in a slightly different context.
Somewhere in the middle, there are the sincere, committed creators who have somehow managed to separate themselves sufficiently from their work to share it with the rest of us. Nobody is saying these people are egoless, or that they don’t enjoy the fame, money, and respect their work can bring. But somewhere along the line, they’ve decided that while the art is theirs, it doesn’t fully belong to them. And that by jealously guarding it they’d be doing themselves and the world a disservice. Benefits aside, it’s an act of generosity. Thanks, Josh. Thanks, Paul Simon, Thanks, Shakespeare. Thanks, Steve Jobs.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.