The five stages of an artist

18 Jul

Everything happens in stages. Miss one out and there will be a sense of lack. As a hip hop lyricist, author, workshop facilitator, actor, publisher and sometimes beat maker I realise that I spend a lot of time creating new work. I’m an ideas man, similar to Tom the inventor (Apprentice 2011). The hard thing for people like us, is following through and completing a project. Just as you make headway with this amazing idea, another idea comes along that is slightly sexier. This makes it very easy to stay trapped in the sweet and sour creative zone. I’ve realised that I have different stages or zones I operate in and to have a sense of fulfillment, moving through all the stages is essential.

1. Creating – This is probably my favourite place. I get a buzz when I create lyrics and vibes. Translating what’s in my head for others to enjoy. It’s a place that loved ones don’t always appreciate as it’s usually an isolated place.

2. Sharing – Allowing others to see and hear your work; a nerve-racking experience encapsulated by Erykah Badu when she said, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t”.

3. Impacting – When your art becomes bigger than you and means something to others in a way you never would’ve imagined. You become a real artist.

4. Promoting – the business side of things we sometimes want others to deal with. This is the hustle, the bustle, the knocking down of doors, getting in people’s faces, Facebook or twitter timelines. Telling the world that this is what we do.

5. Earning – When all the creating, sharing, impacting and promoting is done and whilst it’s still going on, you’ve got to know or learn how to make money from your creations.

I’m making sure for the rest of this year I do more sharing, promoting and earning. With that said allow me to introduce you to Student of Life the site to visit if you’re in education or working with young people and the only place to order a copy of my new book, Brilliant Rappers Educate Intelligent Students.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the five stages and where you spend most of your time and where you need to be spending more time. Please feel free to share this. Thank you kindly.



2 Responses to “The five stages of an artist”

  1. Hip Hop Teacher August 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    Interesting post! I felt a little uneasy seeing creating as merely 1 of 5 stages, but I’d hope you’d agree it’s the main one!

    I wonder if you might even put something before creating? Or perhaps it could be broken down to sub-stages?Experiencing? Observing? Collecting? Immersing?

    I’ve written about the importance of ‘sampling culture ‘to creating here;

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it!

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