appetite of the muse
Do all artists have to starve? Why can't creativity hold down a 9 to 5? How do you feed the appetite of the muse when you're broke? Musician TruthCity explores this struggle in an essay he wrote with, "a $1.16 in my account and my stomach growling." Kristen Lindsley's artwork speaks to the tenuous grasp artists have in maintaining a day job to release the passion of their soul's career.
HOW DO ARTISTS BATTLE DEPRESSION?
You just played a gig, you had the time of your life and you look around and everybody is smiling and happy. Then it doesn't hit you until you swipe your metro card and it says Insufficient funds, that you're pouring sweat and have no money to get home.
You start to contemplate the longevity of this life you love. This life that gives you joy. How can you keep doing what it is that you love to do and struggle to find a meal or a place to stay?
Dreams don't pay the bills. This article is in no way to give you an answer on how to make a living as an artist. It's to give you strength on the days it gets hard. I can relate to every aspect of being broke and still believing. It causes depression and suicidal thoughts because as a creative your world is sensitive. You're unplugged from the matrix. You see the world differently, you feel different because you're in touch with a different side of yourself. You have purpose.
You could play it safe like many do and get a 9 to 5. I have a lot of friends who do that. Some go to school, work, and still want to make music. Most of them are too tired to follow their dreams and become even more depressed or they get so scared of leaving their safe living that they never soar. So what do you do on the days you are uninspired, broke, and in between gigs?
You have to find something outside of your purpose to inspire you and keep you positive. Try a new book. One thing that kept me off the ledge was motivational books by people like Napoleon Hill and audio speeches from people like Ray Lewis and Steve Harvey and many others. Another option is nature. People underestimate how beautiful it can be to just sit near trees and in the grass and just stare out into the world. When you cleanse your soul and your mind you will hear conversations that intrigue you. You will pay more attention to old friends you may not have spoken to in a while, etc etc. Stopping for a second to embrace the world around you is helpful.
Conversations can spark inspiration. Reach out to your artist friends. You'll be surprised how many other artists are going through the same things you're going through. This can spark new music, new sounds, new lights and even answers. You can't sit and wallow in your own misery listening to Adele songs and feeling bad about yourself. The world is too vast and wide to think there is nothing out there to see or experience. See with your third eye and feel your inner frequencies. Do you remember what food taste like or have you been just eating because you're starving? Do you know what it feels like to just talk to someone random and have a conversation? Do you know what it feels like to sit and listen to someone else talk?
Sometimes your dreams can take up so much of your world and time that you forget what it's like to live and feel. Don't forget that your human. Creatives are like X-Men characters but remember how hard it was for a lot of the X-Men to deal with their powers and still live a normal happy life. That's what you're going through. So when you wake up tomorrow, be thankful for the life you have. Look around and notice you have your mind, a roof, and air to breathe. But most of all you have another 24 hours to do something you didn't do yesterday. Don't forget you are blessed to be a creative, but that creativity is not limited to art of skill. You can do anything your mind tells you-you can do. Don't limit what you can do. Go out there and dabble in a little bit of everything.
STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. I can't stress this enough. There is nothing worse than seeing an artist complain and say things they will later regret while still trying to tell people to listen to their music and watch their videos. Unless your current music is reflecting your current mindset then you are only gonna drive fans away. Deal with your personal issues personally. Remember that you are still a brand to people who do not know you.
Rest your artist mind. Your destiny was written a long time ago, it's going to happen but you have to have faith. Because if it were easy would you really appreciate it? Live in your journey and own it. Prepare yourself for the blessing that is in store for you. Hope this helped.
I wrote this with $1.16 in my account and my stomach growling. You're not alone my friend.