Years of lessons. Constant practice. Starting a new etude book and moving up to the next level. Running to rehearsals. Auditions. Performing on stage. Playing with others. The sacrifice and toil of gaining mastery on your instrument can seem daunting and off-putting. Is it worth it? Where is it all going? Why do it?
You can bet that all artists and performers have asked themselves these questions countless times. Often they come up during those times when progress is slow, or non-existent. Sometimes there is a setback. But then, through deliberate and disciplined effort, and sometimes seemingly out of the blue, that breakthrough moment happens. Stalled progress was nothing more than a period of dormancy. A setback becomes a lesson. Time for the next challenge. It was all worth it!
The answers may also depend on the stage of an artist’s, or budding artist’s, development. Certainly, seasoned and famous artists suffer occasional setbacks. But with a solid career established, they keep going because they know that they have a history of overcoming challenges. Even more important than that, however, is that they trust their value and uniqueness as artists. Chiara Quartet violinist Rebecca Fischer has written about this eloquently, sharing her experiences and wisdom as a busy performing artist in her blog earlier this year: Refining Truth: A Guide to Surviving the Artistic Life
Artists come in all shapes and sizes. Some make their living from performance. Many perform from written music, but others forego notation and improvise. Some of them compose. Many teach. Still others help fellow artists with their careers. And countless others make their living doing something else altogether, passionately enjoying making music on weekends.
The simple fact is that, although each artist’s life is unique, artists have always gained inspiration from other artists. The reason: Artists have something to say. When we really connect with art, we see the world in a new way, and that helps us understand ourselves better. That’s why artists tend to hang out with each other – that sense of community provides inspiration.
We’re pleased to introduce a new, curated series of articles on the theme, The Lives of Artists . . . In Their Own Words. Each article is written by artists for artists. Each has a unique story to tell. Each is on a journey of self-discovery, of becoming the best and most authentic self that they can become. For some, the path has been direct, for others circuitous. All of them have pushed their comfort zones. All of them take risks. All of them practice. All of them diligently seek to expand their world view. And all of them are inspirational.
“You don’t make art after you become an artist. You become an artist by ceaselessly making art”
- Seth Godin, best-selling author and motivational speaker
Click the link to read about The Lives of Artists... In Their Own Words:
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