I was speaking with a talented cartoonist and artist the other day. I was explaining how a marketing system today works in terms of first building a tribe and then gaining permission to sell them something. It’s hard, relentless and uncertain work. However, the probability increases with effort and tuning.
She responded, “Sure I get it. It’s what artists have always had to do.”
I thought for a second and realized, that she was right. The creatives have already lived the processes we are being thrust into today with the ubiquity of technology, distribution of content and access to people. They had to create amazing work for people that got them. They took risk. They lived with passion for those that get them.
The confusion comes from the workers in the middle. Things have changed. The game is less about management and more about execution, ideas and creativity now. The middle layer has eroded. It’s been replaced by systems which make it easier to create, distribute and connect.
It is a revolution and it’s exciting for those that want to explore this brave new world. They embrace the life of the artist and push forward with that instinctual drive to express themselves, create and change the world with their art.
So, where can you start, if you can feel the ground shaking underneath you? Do what artists do. Start hanging out first. Get to know the types of people you love to be with. Find out their tastes and nuances.
Then, create a platform and start creating. You work hard every day, relentlessly. You throw yourself into your work and keep stoking the kindling until it becomes a campfire then a bonfire.
Embrace the life and mindset of an artist and you will fit in just fine with where things are heading.
What’s the alternative? Holding onto irrelevance?