It’s tough to be on your own as a working artist, but Mischief Managed clients teach me the way.
Since starting as Marketing Coordinator for Mischief Managed this fall, I’ve worked with a number of Mischief Managed clients to help shape their online footprints and hone their personal stories. Through the process, I’ve been inspired by our clients’ creativity and resolve and have learned a lot about the challenges facing freelance artists. Here’s just a couple hot, hot takeaways:
It’s Hard to Be One’s Own Hype Man
All our clients are storytellers in some capacity— be it through songwriting, photography, spoken word, or what. However, every client I’ve worked with struggles to tell one crucial story: their own. As someone who has worked as journalist profiling various types of artists, I still struggle with this as well when I’m tasked with writing my own own artist statements for my work as a playwright and screenwriter. So, I can relate to this struggle of identifying the salient details that make oneself interesting and unique. Whether it be writing a bio or artist statement, our clients have taught me that sometimes it takes a village (or a good friend/editor) who can help you to tell your own story. (Pro Tip: phone a friend or collaborator you trust for inspiration, ask them to describe your work.)
You Vs. You: The Ultimate Battle
Again and again, I’ve seen that our clients have a vast set of tools and skills which are the very things they need for success. But, often their productivity is blocked by an ever present naysayer: themselves. We are so often are own worst enemy. This is especially true when you’re working on your own. I know I need to update my website. I know what to update it with. I have all the tools I need to update it, and yet… My own worst enemy tells me that my own work isn’t worth promoting. The good news is we all know where our own worst enemy lives.
Freelance Artists Are Resilient Creatures
Many of our clients have been at this for a while, some nearly two decades. Many have been faced with huge setbacks, both professional and personal. And yet, they’re still doing their thing. They’re still performing shows. They’re still writing songs. They’re still making art. I’ve learned from all of our clients that to do this work, you’ve got to be resilient, you’ve got to be tough. It’s a lesson worth learning over and over again and celebrating into the new year.