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Artists Today

David Sherry
2 min read
Artists Today

Artists today go direct.

If you want to build an audience, go to the distribution channels with the most potential that will put the most gas on the fire. The earlier you arrive, the more opportunity you have. People need to get a taste of what you make and get a sense of the quality. So free samples are good. And, your focus is shareability without compromising your values or dumbing down the work.

Shareability comes from the level quality, the perspective you bring, or how you connect your work to what’s happening in the culture.

Remember, word still spreads fastest person to person.

Skip trying to get on the major media outlets and PR. That comes later. Right now it’s just about doing great work that connects with a small group of people who will share it.

Enter your field by challenging assumptions. If no one else is doing it the way you are, you’ll question yourself, but that fear is a good sign.

Claim that new territory as your own. Opportunity is available everywhere, as there are infinite new lands available for those willing to go against the grain. Draw lines that others don’t yet see, even if it’s only slightly differentiated than what’s out there.

Don’t listen to the articles with specific step by step methods. If someone is selling a concrete road to travel down, it’s likely trodden by thousands of others and is no longer viable. Focus on the work and learning from mistakes and experience.

Risk is your friend:if someone can smell the risk you’ve taken in your work, they’ll want to pay attention. They want to see an artist that appears on the
because you can’t look away when there’s risk involved.

Risk, very often, is emotional. Stunts for attention don’t work. Putting yourself out there and continuing to take the next step is harder than it seems.

Do this consistently until you’ve got a tribe. Once you start building some interest, enough that you see the runway of future growth, it’s time to diversify.

You want to start building as direct of a bridge as you can to your audience. You can use Facebook to grow your community at scale, but at a certain point, you’ve got to build a bridge to go directly to the audience. Because eventually the algorithm changes, and suddenly it’s pay to play. This happens anywhere there’s centralized power with a profit interest. This is ok. Just know that there will be a time to ladder yourself into new areas. Each inflection point necessitates a leap.

Build a brand, but connect with people personally. It’s no fun to be in a person’s fan club. It IS fun to join a movement of like-minded people who want to connect.Keep your personality and mission on track for the long run without becoming stale.

Longevity is about change. And this is about the long slog.We do this because we know it’s incredibly rewarding. And the best opportunities will come in ways you would never expect.

The blueprint is nothing compared to discovering what's down the unknown road.

xx David

Mastery and Craft