I recently was at a club in LA. A place where indie bands play the first few shows they’ve ever played. I watched a band perform and they came up and asked me what I thought after the performance. 

I said “Man…you gotta keep going. You gotta keep doing it.”

He said “Yeah man, we’ve been trying to decide if we should wait until we get a deal before we do shows.”

I was like “No! No! Because your training ground lets you know what you are and who you are…. It takes time.”

[Andre 3000 on the Broken Record podcast.]

If you’re making work to give to others…to entertain them, to educate them, to change them…don’t wait until it’s perfect before you begin to share it.

Don’t think you should assemble a committee to assess when your work is ready. You need to own your vision if you want to make anything that goes to the edges, that stands out as different.

You shouldn’t look for the whole world to love and accept your work to validate it, but by sharing iterations of it with people whose opinions you trust you can get valuable feedback about how it connects with your audience.

An artist is no different to a chemist in their lab or a chef in the kitchen. You take your raw materials and you have an idea of what you can do with them, and what you’d like to make. 

Based on your experience, assumptions and hypothesis, you experiment. You put your ingredients together in different combinations and proportions. You conduct your own tests to see what you’ve got. 

Then you find a safe space where you can see how the world engages with what you’ve made. 

That’s how it goes. You can’t hide away in your laboratory like a mad scientist until you’re ready to release your amazing creation upon the world. 

You need to let people see what you’re working on, and take at least portions of it to them and say “Here, I made this. I hope you like it.”


Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash

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