If you really are going to commit to a life as an artist you have to be willing to be seen as stupid, naïve, awkward, ridiculous and sometimes a complete freak. To be honest, the quicker you embrace this persona the easier it will be on you. Being an artist has never won me any friends but it has certainly earned me a few soul mates. Don't bother with any ideas of playing it safe and certainly don't concern yourself with how other people label your art. It's your art. The only label it should have is your name. Take risks, do something that pushes your boundaries, do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. The second something becomes formula, change it! I would never want two albums of mine to sound the same, once I'm done exploring something, I'm done and I move on.
I will admit though that not that long ago I became infected with the idea of people pleasing. Throwing my art to the wind for the idea of showmanship. It was only that earth shattering moment when I realised that the only person who cared that deeply about my art was me, that changed everything ( my ego is a fascinating melodramatic space I kid you not ). I write, make and create for myself now. That year away helped me in more ways than I can count and although I do still enjoy a bit of theatre at my gigs it's theatre for me ( recovering performing arts student ). I fell into that trap of “overhearing” conversations about my performance and peddling my CD's. I was insecure, I'm not now. I realised that years of feeling like I didn't quite fit in had left a little gap in my spirit that could only be filled with silence and supportive friends. Last time I got on the stage I didn't attempt to “read” the crowd to see what they might enjoy. I played what I wanted to and let people listen. I was at my centre and only in that space did I realise how far away from it I had gotten.
I seem to have attracted a whole new group of people that match my new perspective. People who are just as passionate about exploring art as I am. My life is now littered with many more kindred spirits and I smile as I write this because I am so grateful that they are here now. I do think there are natural hermit instincts in most artists and I write this today to heal a little part of myself connected to that. I don't have to protect myself in the way I used to because I don't give people what I used to. I don't have to hide like I used to and I don't have to put up barriers like I used to. You are welcome to experience my spirit along with me, you are welcome to experience the creativity that flows through me and the love I have for all the people around me but you're not welcome to chew a piece of it off. What I create is for me, what flows from that you are more than welcome to.