Give Me Guidelines
I like underlying principles. Don't give me a bunch of little rules about how to write a book, hit a curveball, or play a Beethoven sonata. My brain can't handle all that information. I want a few guidelines that imply most (if not all) of the details that come with any complicated process.
The problem is that underlying principles are hard to figure out. Expert authors, baseball players, and pianists may have discovered how to get the results they want, but that doesn't mean they can tell beginners how to. It's one thing to find what works for you in your craft, but it's another to understand the reasons why your strategies are successful. Yet once you know why they work, putting them to use gets much easier for everyone.
Figuring Things Out
I've learned a lot over the past few years. Sure, my ability to play the piano has gotten better, but where I've grown the most is in discovering how my art fits into my community. You could play the piano as well as Oscar Peterson, but people have to be listening if you want to make a living out of it.
In my efforts to become a more successful artist, I've read books, met with wise people, and reflected for an embarrassing amount of time about making my art relevant. Now I finally get the sense that I've figured out how to do what I love and get people to pay attention to it. I'm confident enough that I'm even willing to publish my theory for the whole internet to see. So without further adieu, I introduce …
The Valued Artist
The Valued Artist series of blog posts is my attempt to describe how to become just what it says. Artists' main goal is making our work meaningful to those we create it for, and I've found that by using a few key principles, we can have that impact.
The series will have multiple installments, which you can follow in The Valued Artist blog category. In addition to writing about the principles I've discovered, I'll also include examples of how I've put them to use in my own career.
I admit that I'm still learning new lessons about being a valued artist (and always will), but am confident that some of my insights will be helpful. If they are, say so in the comments. If you have questions, write those too. If my insights aren't helpful, you're probably not still reading this. Let's go.