A discussion broke out last week in the Artist Growth office about our days as young, struggling artists. It was a fun walk down memory lane, remembering what life was like for us then...and inevitably, we fell into tales of relationships past. There is definitely a whole "Dating a Musician” cliche, and it’s probably safe to say that everybody knows someone who has dated a musician. Romance is one of the biggest artist life struggles, and unfortunately, it often perpetuates the harmful stereotype of us being broke, messy, lazy, immature and the list goes on.
It was fun to reminisce, but we know that the struggle is still real. It undoubtedly persists with many of the artists we work with every day. Chasing the dream of building a career as an artist is as hard as it is alluring - just like dating a musician.
We’ve been there, and we want to help. So we did two things: 1.) Had some fun with our friends and created a funny video about the cliche of dating a musician. (We can all make fun of ourselves, right?) 2.) Made a list of the Top 5 Struggles of Being a Musician.
There’s no reason we can’t pursue our passion while also being with the people that we’re passionate about.
#1 - UNPREDICTABLE INCOME
One month you might be on the road playing shows, making money, and the next month you’re back in the studio recording. Planning is incredibly important to know where your income is coming from and when.
#2 - MAKING GREAT MUSIC TAKES TIME
A major complaint we always hear is that ‘the artist cares more about their music than they do about me.' The muse can be selfish, much to the detriment of our relationships. It’s real. But the good news is that a balance can be struck. It’s all about managing your the ole schedule. Boring? ...yes. Critical? ….without a doubt.
#3 YOUR MUSIC IS EVERYWHERE (AND NOT IN THE GOOD WAY)
Everyone who is a musician, or has dated a musician knows what it's like to have a house full of gear, as well as what it’s like to sleep while someone is practicing and ‘capturing their inspiration’ at 3 AM. From using your house for a rehearsal space to finding a last minute bass player, it’s all about being resourceful. So make sure you know your resources and what, when and where to use them.
#4 - YOU DON’T HAVE A “REAL JOB”
Understanding an artist’s ‘work’ is hard for people that aren’t artists...and many don’t think that you have a real job because you’re not working a 9-5. But really, you’re actually working all the time. You are gigging on weekends and evenings, then picking up odd shifts and writing, booking, and rehearsing every moment in between. That’s just a small sliver of it. Be as proud of your artist work ethic as you are of your work.
#5 - BEING UNORGANIZED
Many musicians get branded as “lazy”, but as we just stated, the truth is that most artists are the complete opposite. In fact, they work hard as hell...at certain things. When it comes to focusing on things like cleaning a van or organizing a music career....weeell, yeeeah. It's a cliche for a reason. We've struggled with it too. (hint: That's why we built Artist Growth in the first place, to help with career organization!).
Ok, that's the list we’ve got. What’s on yours?
What’s been the hardest part for you? Are you a musician that's been dumped, or have you dumped a musician for one of these or any other reason? Or better yet, have you been successful and can share some words of wisdom?
Share your stories in the comments!
Cheers, enjoy the video, have a laugh. We love you.
Artist Growth <3