The Annoying Artist: How to stay cool when relationships don’t click

The best way to avoid creative conflict is to be proactive and prepared

You feel it coming.

The rise in your heartbeat. The clenching of your fist. The tensing of the muscles in your neck.

And all because you aren’t comfortable working with a fellow artist.

How can you keep your cool when creative personalities clash?  

Pawns or Partners: How being selfish hurts your career

Creatives must honestly assess their motives when making connections

It’s true. We all want to know the ‘right people’.

If you talk to a fellow creative and they are being honest, they’ll admit some of their relationships are based on the opportunity the other party represents. While we may not mean to use people selfishly, we usually slide toward making connections that we think will benefit us in the long run. There’s nothing inherently wrong with mutually beneficial relationships where both parties are interested in greater influence and career growth.

There is something wrong, however, in viewing partners as pawns and not as people.

Why good is good enough

Creatives can follow the Creator's example when it comes to evaluating their work

Man invents. God creates.

Man invented the automobile, called it “amazing”!

God made a tree and said, “Good”.

Man invented the refrigerator, called it ‘incredible”!

God made a rabbit, and said,  “Good”.

The wheels fell off the car. The refrigerator broke down.

The tree’s still up and the rabbit’s still running. – W.H.Cosby

You show someone your latest work, your best creation, something you worked really hard on. You ask her what she thinks of it.

She says, “It’s good.”

How do you feel about that evaluation?

Chances are,  you don’t feel very good about it.

Something in our creative DNA makes us dissatisfied unless our work is worthy of superlatives. We want our creations to be considered amazing, ground-breaking, outstanding – anything but simply good. For many, good equals average, unremarkable, acceptable, but not memorable.

But in God’s vocabulary, good is good enough.

Here’s why.

Choose to Celebrate: Avoiding burnout during busy seasons

Holidays and special events can bring out the best - or the worst - in artists

It’s a party for many, but for others, it’s anything but.

Those that work in creative disciplines are often the busiest during times of celebration. While others are enjoying each other’s company and reveling in recreation, musicians, designers and artists are often hard at work making sure the celebration goes smoothly.

This means, if we aren’t careful, a time of celebration can turn into a sense of obligation.

Web Discovery: An interview with Shaun Martin

Note from Allen: I’m very aware that I’m not the first person to connect the dots between the world of ministry and the world of musical entertainment. So I was not surprised by this interview with pianist, producer and musical director Shaun Martin, member of the Grammy award winning band Snarky Puppy, in which he discusses his career working in both the sacred and secular arenas. Lo and behold, this year I was privileged to meet Shaun not once, but twice – at the NAMM convention in January and at the GroundUP Music Festival in Miami this February.  Hopefully soon we’ll be able to talk to him ourselves and let him share with this audience, but for now, enjoy this discussion he had with Forbes magazine last March.