Doctor Xopos once said: “according to the marketing and communication experts, the first two lines of any article are going to determine the success of such work or that notorious frightening blindness effect on it. Of course there must some more along the way, maybe after twenty seconds of reading… just one more sentence to make the reader feel engaged again. Engagement, what a word!
If you are an artist then you have heard several times that your song must be in between 2:30 and 3:30 minute long in order to be vaguely considered by any potential “on air” time. Also, there must be a catchy motif no longer than 15 seconds, mandatory in this shrink-everything era.
Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Genesis, Guns n’ Roses, Metallica, Radiohead wouldn’t have obtained any success, ever, my friends.
Times changed, sure. But when things turn bad, why do you have to stomach it? Art was supposed to be a narrow way to freedom…
If you are a visual artist, a painter or a photographer, please remember to make your images grammable (Instagram tells you if you are good or not, sucker!). There are certain reasons why your image (and your imagination) must be vertical or horizontal. And squared, at the same time. Remember the correct amount of colours and where the focus lands, your viewer is going to stay on it for ONE SECOND and then declare “like” or “skip”.
Andy Warhol, Picasso and Botticelli wouldn’t have received not even a single blue thumb up.
Times have been changing, sure. You must keep your art deliverable.
The truth is that Salvador Dalì would have probably taken a time-stretched shit on your photos. Picasso would have laughed at your perfectly balanced portrait.
All your efforts, your money spent on expensive courses (a degree to learn where the guitar solo should go?), lecturers telling you what to do to express yourself in a way to reach the audience and their attention. I tell you what? Sounds weird and… did it work? Look around you, how many uncountable failures. One lucky guy for a trillion worthless self-declared artists.
Understand? An artist following guidelines, here is the mistake. This should make you laugh, it’s like a vegan eating ham.
A song should not be three minutes long. A song should be beautiful. If your song is not beautiful, the only mistake you’ve done was recording it. Start again, a new one. Think beauty.
Your photo, your painting, your sculpture, your novel. Have you been following the best how-to material? Those tutorials?
You should go to art exhibitions, to photo galleries, you should have bought books, those modern classics spitting out life, and who cares about the location of your plot twist.
Explore. Think. Absorb from what you like, be a sponge and squeeze it out. See what you have, keep the dirt.
About courses, guidelines, how-to’s, video sessions: they want your money, they want you to help them making money, probably there’s nothing behind their curtain. Your art has no value for them. They want you to kill your imagination. If you can trigger and feed your imagination then you’re free and you don’t need them.
Your art won’t win anything following those theories of communication, the instructions.
I’ve always been thinking and saying that art is a private message to the public. Tell me now: do you want your message to become a well-standardized anonymous one, attracting millions of people looking for something standardized and safe to watch, listen or read? Trap: sorry, those millions of people don’t exist for you — that was a joke.
Choose: a fake and impersonal work of art or just a work of art. Both failures, but…
You will fail either way but you wouldn’t give your time and money to those string-pullers playing around with your dreams.
How can you think you can win a contest if your artwork has been made following the guidelines everyone follows? Thousands (yes, thousands!) of very similar artworks, why would yours prevail?
Then you think about and start trying and struggling to be unique, forcing it. You try to be unique following the guidelines, from the rules of communication and marketing department. How stupid is that?
The best thing to do is be yourself. If you want to be unique, be yourself. It’s impossible there is someone exactly like you in the world, so imagine the chances of a same-same artist like you. You may think that there are so many people that have nothing special or different from the ordinary man in the street… so what? Natural guidelines: at least they didn’t pay for it. There are very high chances that you never actually have being yourself. It takes courage and a very open heart and brain in order to expose yourself via art, in order to understand your private message and turn it into a public megaphoned declaration. Learn how to be yourself, learn not to have any chains or preconception when you hold your paintbrush or sit at the piano, when you start a new page with a story you don’t know yet, but you’re feeling it boiling in. Chains are out.
(when they tell you the verse is too long…)
(when they say the lyrics don’t answer the question in the verse…)
Do you agree with Doctor Xopos?