I love Nataly Dawn, the singer, songwriter, solo artist, and the beautiful half of the musical duo Pomplamoose (sorry, Jack). She’s talented, quirky, with an ethereal voice and style that is as distinctive as it is beautiful, whether she’s in the lead or providing harmony for other singers (or for herself).
On her blog, Nataly has a new post offering advice on How to make a living as an artist (and not get screwed). While Nataly is a musician, that list certainly applies to other artists, including us photographers. But even if you’re not looking to make a living as a photographer and are just exploring your own creativity through photography (or any other medium), the list is worth a look. Here are a few that stuck out to me.
2. Don’t do things just because that’s how other musicians have done it in the past.
Just because photographer X shoots Nikon, or uses Lightroom, or shoots a certain style, doesn’t mean that you need to, or that by doing so you’re going to find yourself in their shoes some day. Every artist has to find their own path. While we certainly can (and should) learn from those that came before us, restricting your choices to pattern yourself after someone else’s path takes you off your own path, and severely limits your own potential. You don’t want to be the next them. You want to be the one and only you.
3. Don’t get excited about shortcuts: they don’t lead to anything worthwhile.
Avoid those offering a fast track to your success. There are no shortcuts to truly learning your craft. Take the time to ask why. You’ll wind up with a better understanding of your craft, your successes and your failures, and of yourself.
11. Start with what you have. You won’t like what you’ve made ten years from now anyways, so don’t be precious about it. Put stuff out now. Use the mics you have, the computer you have, the instruments you have. More “stuff” won’t make you a better artist.
It’s not the gear that fosters the learning, it’s the learning that allows you to make better use of the gear. You don’t need the latest camera or gear to be able to take a picture and learn your craft. Take pictures now, with what you have. Besides, true creatives learn to work beyond their restrictions and still produce their art.
Again, I encourage you to read the entire post. As an added bonus, you should also play some music from Nataly’s YouTube channel while you check out more about her at her website: http://www.natalydawnmusic.com/.