An Artist’s Simple Formula for Success and Balance

Finding Balance with Artistic Work and Life

I’m always fascinated by artists… Of all kinds. This weekend, I was a spectator at Art Beat, a showcase of local artists in my community here in the Midwest.

Represented on several blocks of downtown real estate on a rainy Saturday was everything from dance, music and theatre, to culinary arts, painting, ceramics, sculpture and creative writing. My daughter even got in on the act, with her musical and writing talents being showcased at a couple of the booths.

Artists Face a Unique Set of Challenges on the Road to Success

An artist is a rare breed. A successful artist, rarer still. While we all have our individual talents, there are only a few who are able to rise up and gain recognition in a world where it keeps getting harder and harder to be noticed and have a sustainable career “doing” your art.

What allows an artist to actually make their livelihood practicing their craft?  It’s a combination of a lot of things. But, on top of all the things you have to do, it is very important to keep a balance between the creative process and the all-important selling process of your artistic products and/or services.

Watching this short segment on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend, I thought about how the successful professional musician profiled here distilled a great three-point strategy for maintaining a balance between the creativity in his craft and the marketing of his art.

Musician and composer, Chad Lawson shares how he spends most of his time going back and forth between two keyboards:

– His piano keyboard; to create, “meditate and to worship,” and,
– His computer keyboard for marketing, promoting, and making contacts that will lead to gigs and greater awareness of his music.

And, to top it off, he goes for a run each day, to “sweat everything out, almost like a mental shower!”

An Artist's Simple Formula for Success and Balance

He breaks it down to this simple formula:

Do your art, market your art, and re-charge for your mind/body/spirit on a daily basis.

Obviously, it’s easy to outline these three key points, and a completely different thing to understand and develop an actual strategy that puts them into action in your own life.

What he doesn’t say in his words, but demonstrates in his success, is that he’s used discipline in his life to achieve his goals. Knowing what to do is one thing. Taking what you know, and making a plan of action, and then following through on that plan, daily, for YEARS, is what creates success.

As veteran voiceover professionals, we get asked frequently by industry newcomers, “how do I do it?” I say: Watch this 4 minute explanation by Chad Lawson, and apply these concepts to your voiceover business goals.

There is no magic bullet. There’s no fast track to long-term success, although sometimes it can look like there is for a lucky few.  It’s just learning your craft, practicing your craft, finding the market for your craft, and maintaining a balance (emotionally, physically and spiritually) as you do what is necessary.

Once you find that perfect balance, then it’s a matter of doing it day after day after day after day. Wash…Rinse…Repeat!

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