Defining a Creative – 05/31/24

Dear Internet,

My pen pal, my public confidant. Possibly the worst place to keep my secrets but someone out there will find it interesting. Today I went to the Chicago House Music Conference which was sponsored by the government in Chicago’s gorgeous cultural center. The conference itself was incredibly inspiring and I had the chance to enjoy a conversation led by 4 professionals in the field of music. One music supervisor, one graduate of the University of Chicago, one jingle writer and business owner, and one incredibly notable house musician who cultivated an entire genre in time.

A couple of things that stood out for me during that conversation… The questions directed at the business people were purely transaction, a common theme being “how do we all make money with our music?”. I can tell that most people want to create and profit from their art in the music industry. It is hard to succumb to anything else, which can lead to dissatisfaction if you get too in your head about it, at least from my experience. The musician had leveraged a successful career for himself, enduring a lack of stability; he is an unconventional creative who was motivated purely by his persistence… and to see how far he made it was impressive. It led me to believe I could do the same thing if I just stick to this. Another theme I noticed was how imperative it is to be a nice person. People will like you if you’re nice. Also, God will be pleased when you spread his love through an industry that has a reputation for exploiting the creative for their merit.

Truth be told, society puts musicians on some sort of odd pedestal due to the nature of our work. Our objective is to gather large audiences to consume our content to make a profit. If we get our work into advertisements, then we have scored the jackpot because we are persuading people emotionally to conform to some anticipated outcome.

So, how can you define a professional musician? Honestly, I say that we are all entrepreneurs trying to hustle our product. What does this have to do with our art form? I think entrepreneurs are natural-born creatives… Our main objective is to bring to life an idea that comes into our head just like the melodies we record over instrumentals. Hopefully, for those out there who want to go pro with their art, what you need to understand is that it is possible. Just like any entrepreneur, see the opportunity in everything that presents itself in. Perfect these skills as well, nonconformity can be innovation if it drives a specific outcome to existence.

I’m going to start devoting this blog to research if I have the time. I should pose some questions now so I can reference them for further development;

Is there a connection between creativity and entrepreneurialism? Why is it difficult for creatives to hold conventional jobs? What evokes a brain to think creatively? Why is art important to economic development? What value does art bring to the economy?

When I can answer these questions, perhaps I can find a direction in my own work.

I am thankful I can shift my focus solely onto this sort of work. I know that there is no stability in the pay and you have to hustle to get a decent living. I am fine by that for now, until it becomes too excruciating. I can’t take too many risks.

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