Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Artist Side

As I start to explore my writing more than ever these days, it made me think about the differences between making music, and writing fiction or nonfiction. (I will for the moment leave out producing music of others, which of course is much of the job of my Creative Soul companies. That's work, and the purpose here is talking about personal creating.)

I got to thinking the other day about why it seems so much more freeing writing fiction and nonfiction than making new music of my own. I have come to see several reasons why I might prefer one to the other.

It's Not Because I Don't Have Anything to Do!

"When in the world do you have time to write books?" - Engineer friend of mine who knows how much work I have just in music.

Besides my workload as a busy producer and consultant, I have many personal projects lined up.

As a writer, I have a fiction novel I just finished and with an editor, one novel I am about half done with, and several others that have to be re-written and edited. Plus, I have ideas for at least half a dozen more. I also have several nonfiction books for creatives, artists, and songwriters either written or outlined and ready to rewrite/put together from pieces already written.

As a songwriter/artist, I have two albums in production, one about done. Then I have several new ones with pieces started, and several more that are planned with songs ready to go.

I'm sure many of you can relate to this problem.

So why does the author side seem more appealing? In a fascinating conversation (with myself) in the car the other day, it occurred to me.

Art vs. Commerce

When we make a music product, whether it is a single, but more likely if it is a collection songs in EP or CD form, we have to hock it. We have to get out and sell it. More likely than not, that means gigs. Playing in front of people and moving that product. The classic job of the musician.

Now of course with the Internet, we can get people listening through social media, online stores, and the like. But that's almost just a given of making it as that's our only distribution stream (and it stinks. Ask U2 who combined with Apple to put their new release on every iPhone whether we wanted it or not. And still, it had trouble being accepted.) Online for moving product is not the best answer, and gigs still represent a more real way to find fans and sell more product faster.

When I write a book, the only end game is to get people to read it. That's it. Yes, marketing is similar. Online stores, social media, these all work much the same way music promotion does. But there is no "gig" I have to do. I guess there are book readings, but those are really for bigger authors doing book tours.

I most enjoy the making, and the showing. I'll bet most creatives, including authors and music artists, but also painters, sculptors, photographers, designers, etc. feel the same way. Getting two or three comments on something you created is great. Putting it in someones hands or sending them to a page where they can hear it and enjoy it is sometimes all I need.

Now, does this pay? No, not always. If you want pay you have to do the selling, and that is usually done best after a show.

Legacy vs. Fame

As I get older, I find myself more concerned about leaving behind what God has given me to create for the world, whether they hear it or not. I want to at least make it, and put it out there.

I've played so many gigs through the years, and been the guy on stage or behind the board or leading the band enough that I don't really need the attention anymore. But I do want the work to get attention. I want it to be out there for someone to find and enjoy. Not for me, but for the work itself. If something happens to me I don't want it to die inside my brain.

Edna's Paintings

My grandmother, Edna Bond, died in the 1970's. She's been gone a long time. But at some point in her life, she took up painting. She painted mostly trees, barns, flowers, etc. Of course I grew up looking at them on her walls, and yes they remind me of her and growing up in my grandparents house. But I love them. I love that they now adorn my walls and make me happy.

I would imagine she hoped as she painted them that someone would like them, even if it was just her daughter, or grandchildren. I imagine she would be happy knowing they were appreciated for their beauty as pieces of art.

That's exactly how I see my work. I know people appreciate my songs and writings when they hear or read them, so I just want to make sure all the work gets out there.

Remembering My Artist Side

I just got back from vacation, and that never fails to get me out of "work" mode, and into creative mode. It reminds me who I really am. Yes, I have the experience to help others with their music projects and path, but God first made me a creator (little "c"). He made me to make stuff. And I'm going to work hard to get back to that,

In case you're interested, just about all my personal music is at the Player A Store.

And my writings are here on my blog pages and at the Creative Soul Online e-Book Store.

More coming soon, including several new Player A records, my newest solo piano record, and a new book that is hot off the presses.

Thanks for reading!

Eric Copeland is...well, you just read what he is. Find out more about Eric if you really need to at http://www.EricCopelandMusic.com

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