For yourself or for your audience?

18 Oct

Should an artist create primarily for themselves or for their own audience? This is an important question for song writers, screenwriters and authors. Perhaps this question translates across into other endeavors including businesses and churches etc.

It can appear selfish to create primarily for yourself and it can seem like a giant leap to assume that you know exactly what the audience (your market) needs or wants. Maybe it is the posture of the “creatives heart” that defines the significance of the work?

The artist must delve into their own life, honestly exploring his/her impulses and attitudes, but at the same time their desire must be to communicate “themselves” to their audience, whom they would do well to consider as their “friends” rather than their market.

The days of mass marketing assumptions in creativity are swiftly coming to an end… but that is just my opinion.

When we are creating we need to ask ourselves pertinent questions. The human mind likes to choose, it likes to maintain a solid point of view, but truth is nearly always found in the tension of paradox, let me explain. You could create “work” solely for you audience or you could create solely for yourself… but why make either of those choices? Why not do both?

Deeply personal creative work, is essential if you, the artist wish to create a work that resonates inside other human beings. If you are not moved by your own work… how could you possibly expect others to be moved by it? If you don’t find your own jokes funny, why would you expect other people to laugh at them? Deeply personal work connects with others because it is based around the common truth, that at a very primal level the artist although perhaps more aware of himself is no different to you or I. Thus we the audience feel understood and a connection is formed. There is no place for arrogance or superiority in true creativity… just a sober understanding that we are all the same.

Deeply personal work that is so internalized that it ostracizes other people, serves only the artist themselves and thus falls into the realm of selfishness. This lives and breathes in a world of self-indulgence and misery, making the horrid assumption that you/we the artist are inherently so fascinating that other people will be drawn into our own private little world… And fall into your world the audience may… but it is a horrid little world from which they may never escape.

Deeply personal work should invite and evoke your audience to look inside themselves, to see that they in turn resonate with you and with others. This type of connection is viral and life changing as it fulfills a basic human need… to be known and to be understood. Conversely these are the types of films, the types of songs, the types of story that spread around the world without the need for mass marketing. And unlike the trendy, popular things of this world, which are here one day and gone the next; these live on in our consciousness forever. The greatness in these stories never dies… because you can’t kill truth, not even with lies.

We create to SHARE… and in that word “sharing” you will find all you ever need to know.


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