The Character Question: Should artists care?

Becoming a truly successful artist means growing more trustworthy as well

We’ve all heard of that artist.

The one who is immensely talented and gifted, but is almost impossible to work with.

Her temperament is erratic. His morals are shaky. Commitments are rarely kept.

Some might say that this lack of personal character is a symptom of their artistic gift. Somehow, they reason, their love for art makes it impossible to see the world in the same way as the rest of us.

That reasoning doesn’t explain, however, why artists that are just as talented exhibit the exact opposite qualities; grounded, helpful, reasonable and humble.

Clearly it’s not the practice of an art form that makes people behave in  a way that violates common standards of decent behavior. It’s an artist’s choices.

Our July 2017 Spiritual Shed in Miami, FL

Photos from a wonderful ConEx event discussing money, music and how we handle the business of creativity.

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The Spiritual Shed event held in Miami, July 10, 2017 brought together musicians, artists, engineers, worship leaders and songwriters to discuss money and our approach to being compensated as professionals. Using resources like Jeff Goins’ “Real Artists Don’t Starve” and other materials, we unpacked ideas and challenged concepts that keep local and national musicians from achieving financial success. All told, our participants felt refreshed, inspired, and motivated to make the best of the gifts they’ve been given in order to develop a prosperous and rewarding career.

For more info on upcoming local events in your area, go to https://godandgigs.com/upcoming-events/.

Photo credit: Nicole Yarling 

4 things my non-musician dad taught me about music

A father's influence on an artist doesn't require sharing the same profession

I'm Allen, author of God and Gigs. I'm passionate about helping everyday artists excel in everyday life, by helping them strengthen their faith, improve their careers and deepen their relationships. You're invited to join this community of faith-focused creatives, musicians and artists by signing up for my newsletter at godandgigs.com/signup.

“Dad, you’re out of tune.”

I never had the guts to say these words out loud, but I was tempted when I heard my dad whistling. He has a funny habit of whistling along to tunes that he has never heard, totally missing the melody, and then claiming that the songwriter / singer has it wrong. It used to bother me to death. Now, I don’t mind so much.

My father has supported my music career from the very beginning. But I think he’d be the first to admit he’s not a musician in any sense of the word. That doesn’t mean, however, that he hasn’t had a profound influence on how I live out my chosen profession.

Here’s 4 things my non-musician dad taught me about music.

You don’t have to be a musician to be good at music.

While my dad might whistle out of tune, he has no problem holding down a note. He’ll even take a solo with the Men’s Chorus at my hometown church now and again. I’m sure, as my mom and I taught music professionally, that he often laughed at our attempts to get choirs to sing correctly and instrumentalists to play the right notes. He never struggled with finding a bass line or finding a harmony. This reminds me that music isn’t all about showcasing my training or relying on my knowledge. I just need to be good at what I do and let my talent speak for itself.

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.