How to stay positive as an artist when the chips are down

2020 has been a hard year for everyone, and with covid and lockdowns slowly easing off, it’s time to look forward. What we have learned is that the creative industry is volatile, and often we have to make sure that we’re staying cash savvy whilst still feeding our creativity, but how do we do this? 

First, a post lockdown thought

Being in the arts has meant that there has been a lot of positive messaging across social media about staying strong and continuously moving forward, but many have taken these messages in different ways, and some are feeling as though the pressure to be constantly creating when there just isn’t the energy is more of a “Why haven’t you been doing things”. Please know that this isn’t one of those blogs. We’re here to tell you that if you have been having a tough time, that it’s okay, no one is expecting you to have created your platinum track in 2020.

What you can be doing

So 2020 has been a learning curve for many, but how can we make sure we’re keeping afloat? What can musicians and artists be doing in a space where gigs are scarce and money is too, and is it possible to stay creative whilst counting petty cash?

Low cash doesn’t mean low creativity. Just because money might be hard to come by doesn’t mean that creativity isn’t there. Grab a pen and paper and just start writing. The thing with creativity is that we often find our best material comes when we’re feeling down, so use the energy of the moment.

Finding new opportunities – One of the most important things we can do as artists is finding ways to make that extra income or finding ways to keep the wolf from the door when there’s not much to do. In one of our previous blogs we highlighted the importance of the internet as a way to make gigs happen, this is more true today than ever before. Knowing what platforms to use to create gigs online is a great way to supplement your income. Recording a gig at home is also a great way to make sure you have good sound and that you aren’t’ affected by bad internet connections. 

Social media is hugely important – for a few reasons. Firstly, when you do have the option of creating your own work, people have to know, use the down time in cash strapped days as a brand development time. There are a few good thoughts here and they are as follows; Social media is growing toward authentic people so record yourself in your practice times. Make short videos of ideas and assess the outcome in terms of what people are liking and watching. Do some A and B testing, this means posting at times of day, seeing what responses work where and what your best times are.  

Collaborate – if you decide you actually want to record a song, then look for someone to do a collab with. This will help in a few ways, including making the workload less heavy, as well as making the recording cost cheaper if you share the costs. This can also be part of the longer strategy to help keep your creative spark going and to create content for your social media..

The practical money stuff

These seem simple, but it’s a good idea to look at them anyway.

Reigning in the spending – If you find yourself at the point where you’re struggling to make ends meet, then look at what you’re doing practically with your money. It is important to stick to your means in leaner times, so buying those really nice headphones or that expensive date night are going to have to take a back seat. 

BUDGET – Make budget for yourself so that you can watch your spending habits. It’s incredibly important to watch where your hard earned cash is going and to make sure you know what the in and out flow of cash is. Try to make some savings wherever you can. 

In Studio

The question surrounding studios is usually the cost, and whilst they do cost, there are some things that you can do to help your studio session run smoothly and efficiently.

Studios most often charge in one of 2 ways, per hour or per song, and you can help yourself make this less heavy on your pocket.

Be prepared – Come into studio prepared and ready to record. This will help make a song run smoothly and effectively, and make the recording process less time consuming.

As we mentioned earlier, a collab with other artists is something you should consider to be able to spread the financials as well as the creative work.

When you write a song, make it a structure that works for instance, writing a song in this order –  verse, chorus, verse chorus bridge chorus  – is a very common pop structure, so think along those lines and prepare yourself properly, this way when you do actually get into studio you aren’t spending too much time thinking about possible changes to your writing.

Where full song packages are concerned, there is often a chance that bulk work will mean better prices, so if you want to prepare a few songs at once this can sometimes lead to a better deal.

It’s important that the studio you’re going to work with understands your financial situation, so be open to discuss these factors with them.

Talk to us about recording new tracks, we have different professional studios at different rates, and we will do our best to make sure you get the best recording services.

Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself, understand that the whole arts and entertainment industry is struggling and never give up on your dream. There are plenty of ways to make it work