If you absolutely love what you do and what you create in your life, do not let anyone sway you from living your dream.
As artists, we can sometimes be sensitive with our creations. But if you are really confident, love your own work and put everything you have into it, you just have to allow people to have their opinions and not let negative feedback prevent you from staying on course.
Over the years, I have heard some of my clients and peers in the music industry get really upset when someone criticizes their work. And the will start to make excuses, especially when they feel they did not fully express what they wanted to express through their art, music or words. For example, they will say,
“I did not have the time.”
“I did not have the money.”
“The person I really wanted to play drums on this album/the person I really wanted to mix or produce this music, etc., etc. was not available.”
But why would you want to do something halfway … or even 75% of the way? If you are going to do something, you need to give it 100 percent. That way, no matter what happens or what feedback you receive about a project, you can be totally happy with what you have created, because you know it represents your best. You can allow others to have their opinions while feeling secure, and you can stop saying, “I wish I would’ve done this differently.”
When I was ready to mix my album, I talked to several professional artists and producers to get their advice. One thing they all told me was, “After all the blood, sweat and tears you have put into this album, please do not get cheap and do this part of the project halfway.” I had come way too far to hire an inexperienced mixer just because that person’s rates are lower and then have regrets that the finished project was not all it could be.
And something one artist told me really stuck: “Oya, you will have to live with this for the rest of your life. Just remember that.”
Those words continue to stick with me, in a way that has prevented me from ever putting anything less than 100 percent into my endeavors. Day after day, I had anxiety over the fact that I had not budgeted properly for the mixing and mastering part of my recording process. I could go cheap and have someone do it that would not have taken my project to the professional level it is at today, which has allowed it to be played on mainstream radio and internationally respected. If I had skimped on mixing and mastering, my work would’ve never received the attention it needed and deserved, and I might be walking around upset with myself for not doing everything 100 percent right from the get-go.
I was so amazed to learn when I went to radio stations across the nation how serious radio programmers take mixing and mastering; they look so far beyond just basic song production, lyrics, musicianship and vocals. The music they decide to play is about the total package, just like everything else is in this world.
The moral of the story is, if you are going to do anything be faithful to your heart and your mind and do it 100 percent. Do not start off great and full of energy, get tired along the way or try to take a cheap shortcut that will diminish the quality and value of your final creation and bring negative comments that will leave you making excuses for yourself. If you did not put your entire heart and soul into a project, you can’t be surprised by criticism or blame others. We all have to take responsibility for the work we put out there.
Everyone has and will have their opinions, but you have to let them roll off you. As much as I would like every single person in the world to love my music and art, I know it is not realistic to expect that my style, message, genre and voice will speak to everyone. What is unacceptable is me not being 100 percent happy with my work. If I am completely happy with the work I have done, no one else can change my attitude, and I will be fulfilled.
I believe in creating a solid foundation, which is what my 5 Star Points for Success is all about. When we have a solid foundation, we can be true to ourselves, give projects 100 percent and manifest our dreams.
No matter what, you need to be proud of yourself for everything you do and feel great about the person you are and what you put out into the world. There will always be critics, but with a solid foundation, you will thrive, fulfilling your dreams happily, unconcerned with what others think of you, knowing you did everything in your heart and mind to put the best “you” out into the universe!