Making Your Passion a (Profitable) Career!
First off, hello. I am a new artist to Bipolar Entertainment and I’m thankful to be a part of something that brings like-minded, passionate artists together and encourages supporting one another. For my first blog post, I wanted to talk about how and why I’m here as a part of this collective and my top tips for success with your passion. You can even make money doing it!
This is, in my opinion, the first year of my life I have taken my music career in any serious direction. Although I consider my study at UNT a serious investment in my music career, this year is the first that I’ve believed in my skils enough to utilize them as my main source of income. This process has been time consuming and stressful, but ultimately has lead to a degree of happiness and self-fulfillment I can’t describe. Although not entirely economical for someone with as many bills as myself, I believe that by the end of 2017 I will be able to fully support myself financially with my talent. Here are some of my suggestions for how you can achieve this.
I. MASTER YOUR CRAFT – I think one of the most important steps in pursuing your passion as a career comes with accepting your talent level and believing in yourself enough to enhance your raw skills with education and practice. Trascribing, studying theory, improvising, writing and listening can all aid in your musical education. Taking the information you’ve learned and exercising it is the ultimate practice. Practice should always be guided by the desire to improve a skill you lack combined with exercising the skills you already have.
II. MAKE CONNECTIONS – Meeting like-minded people in the arts is a must. The more people you know, the more possibilities for collaboration. Collaborating is arguably one of the most important aspects of art. The merging of ideas and skill sets can lead to new, innovative projects. They can also be extremely educational. What you can learn from another artist is invaluable. Every artist is on their own journey and has been affected by different sounds, visuals and experiences. Absorbing anything you can from an interaction with another artist should be valued to a high degree. This is also why supporting each other is so important. If we can’t support one another there will ultimately be failures for everyone. Even if you disagree with an artist’s perspective, you can still learn from them (even if you are learning what NOT to do). I highly encourage checking out other musician’s gigs, visiting art shows, buying work (if you can afford to). Let artists know that you LOVE what they’re doing and to keep working hard.
III. INVEST – This is NOT an easy career path. You will have to do a lot of work and invest a lot of money into your career. But it can be worth it! First and foremost you should have access to the tools you need for success. For example, as a professional singer I need to have the following:
- A PA system, microphone, cables, etc.
- A contact list of reliable musicians to play with
- Some form of social media/advertising/website
- Gig books, iReal Pro playlists, arrangements
- Recordings, videos, photos
- Business cards, merchandise, CDs
These are just some examples of what you would need to have access to as a professional musician. I would say that having some or all of these things before starting your career pursuit is fairly important. You definitely need the right tools to create your vision. Start with the bare nesesities and expand as your career grows. Borrow things (respectfully) if needed.
IV. HUSTLE – If you want to make this happen, you need to WORK. Opportunity doesn’t fall in your lap. You need to do research, invest time into making connections, sending emails, making phone calls, and getting your face out there. What I needed to do to work as a professional gigging musician involved the following:
- Compile a list of venues
- Write a few stock emails to send to venues
- Create and enhance your social media presence
- Build a polished website including audio, video, photos and a professionally written biography
- Make phone calls and write emails to venues regularly
- Constantly be creating!
The more time you can invest in your career goals, the more success you will have. Getting responses don’t always happen, you have to work very hard to get people to notice who you are. The more persistent you are, the more likely someone is to give you a chance. Keep hustling, never stop!
V. BELIEVE – I know this might sound cheesy, but believing in yourself is a crucial step to success. If you don’t believe you can do something, you never will. Push yourself to your limits because you can. Don’t forget that you are great, but remain humble. Accept where you are now and love the stages of growth in your art. Watch your story develope and enjoy each step along the way. We are never perfect and that is a beautiful thing. Each artist has something different to bring to the table. DO NOT let yourself be competitive. Instead, let other’s success fuel your drive. Acknowledge what other artists do well and use it as motivation to grow different aspects of your artistry. Love leads to growth, so keep believing!
I hope some of this is helpful or resonates with you! I can’t wait to see what wonderful things are in the works for all of you.