An Artist is An Entrepreneur
Yea, I’m pretty sure that an artist is an entrepreneur.
Last I checked, the most popular subjects in school or jobs applied to were not art-related ones. They were more often than not, business related degrees, engineering or finance jobs, etc etc, especially in Singapore.
(This is completely not based on statistics, rather is simply anecdotal. But you are welcome to provide statistics proving the same or otherwise!)
My point is, going by general sentiments, art is not seen as a stable career option in Singapore. That’s why parents (especially before the new millennium) usually tried to get their children to study something that would help them get a ‘better’ or ‘more stable’ job.
To even want to be an artist, or work in a creative field, is to go off the beaten track and forge your own path in life as we know it. It’s to find out what the rules of living life are, and see how much of those rules we want to live by. Sometimes, it’s about setting your own rules. That’s what being an entrepreneur is about, isn’t it?
Right now, I’m choosing not to live by the normal rules of life in Singapore, with its high cost of living and lifestyle pressures. I’m choosing not to opt for the stable job. It’s not easy, living in the most expensive city in the world. It’s pretty much a crazy thing to do actually. So I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to make it work. I had day jobs before in completely unrelated fields to making music, but it’s really hard to keep a day job and have the flexibility you need to create art. That’s the reason why I started to do freelance video work.
Why am I doing video work? Because in working on my YouTube channel, I came to realize how important videos are in this day and age, to promote anything and everything. But especially music. People don’t listen to music anymore without an accompanying video. Visuals grab more attention than audio, at least for the mass market (and that’s my market since I do English pop music). If you want people to know you, you have to have at least some videos, even if the majority of your work is audio. That’s how singles get promoted. Without it, the chances of people listening to your single are significantly lower.
Well, since I’m going to do video work, I’ve gotta go all the way. I built a website to showcase my work and to be noticed on the Internet – Sasha M Studios. (Am really proud of it because I made it myself, installed WordPress and installed a custom theme, and did my own customizations. I think it looks darn good 😉 I hope you do too!) Currently I don’t have a lot to show but I’ll have more over time. I’m very lucky to have already gotten one job, and a few more in the pipeline. Fingers crossed this will be a sustainable venture for me so I can continue to have flexibility of time to pursue my artistic ventures.
In the process of setting up my website, I was so glad to have acquired the web coding and setup knowledge needed to get it all done myself, because it would have cost me more than $1000 otherwise to hire someone to do it. And I realize that’s what entrepreneurs do – they do things themselves because they need to keep costs low at the start. I know several artists who also made their own websites, be it on a more user-friendly web building platform or otherwise. It’s all part of the hustle. That’s what artists do: we hustle.
Another thing I learnt is this: every single thing you learn in life is going to come in handy in future. How would my 12-year-old self have imagined that her website building hobby was going to help support her artistic career? Sometimes you have no way of seeing the link between things, but over time they will reveal themselves.
So keep learning, keep working. And keep hustling!