by Cari Cole
This is a guest article contributed by Christina Morelli.
Like many creative types who follow their hearts but don’t always know where they’re going, I’ve learned a lot over my past eight years as an artistic entrepreneur. One of the most difficult aspects is being SO passionate, whether it be for dance, music, acting, etc. that it’s hard to develop yourself as both a growing artist and a savvy business person. Spending hours locked in the studio creating new pieces or developing ideas is easy, but without a full-time management to handle the execution you are limited to how much time you can devote to your true love. An entrepreneur learns very quickly that you must to wear many hats, including some you simply don’t like.
When I started NYC Art Scene, I envisioned it as a place for independent artists to share stories and be exposed in a city where millions of people were clamoring to succeed at the same dream. Over the course of two and half years I’ve interviewed over 50 artists, many being singer-songwriters, and realized that they too were fighting the battle of the heart versus the reality of do-it-yourself. I found myself having recycled conversation with friends, musicians, and songwriters alike… “It’s just so hard to handle all of the business behind it AND still have time to write great songs.” Frustration seeps out of the independent community in New York.
We are taught from a young age that creativity is the key to our success. “Dare to be different.” “Embrace your unique qualities.” “Don’t worry about what other people think.” All true. You sang and danced your little heart all the way from grammar school talent shows to lead in the high school musical. You were worshiped by the chorus folks and doted on by your musical director or choreographer. You were a star. And then you come to New York City and are greeted with one million more “stars.”
So what makes you stand out and succeed? Knowing how to be your own boss. Taking control of your career as not only an artist but as a business pioneer, and making smart decisions that align with your goals and ambitions. Understanding WHO you are, WHAT makes you unique, and HOW to put that out into the world. If you don’t know yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?
For those of you treading on the path to your dreams, have faith. Educate yourself, work hard and stay true to your ethics and convictions. Garner respect not just for your talent, but for your brain. Remember, there is no such thing as an “overnight success.” You will always end up where you are meant to be.