ivankiss

I'm in a hardcore 'artistic crisis'. Help?

43 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I was suddenly inspired to create this thread. Hopefully I'll connect a few dots here with the forum's help.

Some users might know that I'm a musician and that music is my greatest love. My deepest passion. I often shared bits and pieces of my story here. Speaking of how music saved my life, how it guided me through life and how it ultimately led me to Truth. Enlightenment - if you will. 

And although it's a story I enjoy telling and there is much to be said - I'll leave that part out in this thread. I want to focus on a specific 'issue' here. 

So in short - Here's what happened;

Been making music since I was a kid. Reached a point where I kinda started seeing some promising results (in terms of success) and then... *enter massive awakening*. Full on and as deep as it goes. The experience was fast, scary and intense af. Kinda dramatic. But also beautiful and one of a kind. Point is; in a span of 5-6 years everything was wiped out of 'my life'. Pretty much everything you can imagine one can lose - I lost it. Music and my 'former self' included. From a rather limited point of view; it totally seemed like I was forced to give it all up. But in my heart I knew it had to be done. It wasn't easy or pretty. The fire swallowed me whole.

But... We all come back... don't we?

I was at 'ground zero' for some time and then started 'recreating' everything from scratch. Everything from how I want to talk, walk and take shit to how I relate to people, what my values are, my true vision, desires etc. And also; how to get to all those things. I created a brand new blueprint for my self and my life.

I wanted to align everything with The Truth that I realized. Now I'm not saying I'm the most enlightened guy ever, or anything like that. I'm definitely in for many more awakenings. And I'm looking forward to that. But the one that was a complete and utter 'game-changer' is - in that sense - already behind me.

So to get to the point:

I don't fucking know what kind of music I want to make haha. I cannot do what I used to do prior to awakening. Even though those projects looked promising back then; it just doesn't feel right to continue down that road. But I also do not have a new, unique and distinctive style 'in mind'. You must understand that I enjoy A LOT of music. Both listening to and playing/creating it. So narrowing everything down to a single style and project seems hella challenging. But I know it can be done. I witnessed the magic happen 'for me' before. It's the most satisfying thing an artist can experience - imo. When all the stars align - effortlessly. When everything you are and stand for (and even more) somehow perfectly translates into a musical journey. When you give birth to something far greater than yourself.

A true, timeless masterpiece.

In a sense; I'm creating this thread more because I feel impatient than because I feel lost. I am so damn eager to cum all over the world - musically speaking. There's so much I want to say. So much I want to express. So much I want to share... But I know the timing isn't right yet. No matter how contradictory that may seem to woke people here haha. Time, space or any other illusory phenomena you try to fight off while waking up simply doesn't bother you all that much once you've awakened to a certain degree. You're completely fine with all those things - most of the time. Illusory or not. And you most certainly are not afraid of using words like time, space, people, identity, etc - in order to paint a picture. You see through the illusion but also respect the apparent process. Because you're wise enough to know that grand visions take time to actualize here. Even some blood, sweat and tears - sometimes. And that's all cool. All Love. All Goodness.

So I think I'm doing the smart thing here. Hear me out;

I committed to attaining a larger amount of money, first. I am focused on work and business much more than I am on my creative side - atm. And work, business and money kinda live in a different realm of existence than heart-felt creativity. Maybe I'm wrong - but that's what's true in my experience right now. 

I know why I'm not seeing the results I want to see when it comes to music. Simply because my focus and energy are flowing elsewhere. I'm kinda embodying a different frequency throughout my day. A very strict, from A to B, 'get the job done' kind of vibe. And that's not in alignment with gentle, love-making with your instrument. You cannot force a masterpiece into existence. And you also cannot calculate your way to it.

My idea is simple and clear:

Make loads of money, buy epic studio equipment, pay for courses/lessons to even further develop my skills, make epic, never-before-heard music, pay for proper marketing and management and really do this whole thing 'the right way'. Professionally - if you will. 

But also of course; there are many more benefits I see in pursuing money first and music second. In this period/phase - that is. In the long run; I obviously want to be fully dedicated to and focused on my deepest passion.

Any time I pick up my guitar these days and I play or sing or try to write; I feel like something's missing. it's not the joy or the heart. The love is still undeniably there. It's burning even wilder now. But something is not quite there yet. A true (musical) identity. A signature.

That's why I feel like an upgrade is needed. I must take things to the next level and reach higher definition. And that requires money, my friends. Unless you want to play small. Nothing wrong with that either - I guess. It's just not an option for me. Not my cup of tea.

So what do you guys think? Anyone here went through something similar? You think I'm thinking smart? Or am I not seeing something?

Thanks!

 

 

Edited by ivankiss

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@ivankiss

As a musician I’m resonating a lot with what you wrote.

We would all love to just make our music, but alas, those pesky bills remain. And it can be quite the journey to getting to a place where you’re making a full time income with music.

To your point about finding your true “musical identity”, that is also something I’ve struggled with. Perhaps it’s because we have access to any genre or style of music at the click of a button that it seems more confusing than ever to figure out where you fit.

For me, the answer comes back to looking at what music I truly love listening to. Because if I love listening to it, that means there’s likely something in my heart that resonates with that and wants to create something similar.

That answer has changed after having done a lot of spiritual work. The music I like now tends to be lighter and more heart-felt. Music that just feels like peace and love.

I suspect you’ll see the same process happen for you, if it hasn’t already.

I wouldn’t try to figure out your musical identity with your mind. It’s not there. It will reveal itself as you write. So just make music that you love, damn worrying about fitting into any sort of musical box.


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@ivankiss Thanks for sharing man. I'm a visual artist but I also spent 3 years completing a music technology bachelors degree and I play guitar too. But my main creative focus is on visual art. My points being, its all kinda the same. The same struggles and mental roadblocks. So hopefully I can offer some useful comments:

18 hours ago, ivankiss said:

So to get to the point:

I don't fucking know what kind of music I want to make haha. I cannot do what I used to do prior to awakening. Even though those projects looked promising back then; it just doesn't feel right to continue down that road. But I also do not have a new, unique and distinctive style 'in mind'. You must understand that I enjoy A LOT of music. Both listening to and playing/creating it. So narrowing everything down to a single style and project seems hella challenging. 

Just make anything. Literally anything. Don't let a lack of unique style stop you from just making stuff. Looking back at my art portfolio, there are so many different styles and ways of working it could be a collection of 20 different artists. But there is a large body of work. And I would not be where I am today without that. You must just start making stuff without being too precious about it. Out of that making process come the new ideas and eventually the unique style. None of that work ever has to be shown to anyone. My 5 pillars for developing an artistic style in any field are: Getting clear on what you want, focused deliberate practise, massive experimentation, large quantity of work, and journaling (both before and after projects).

Quote

In a sense; I'm creating this thread more because I feel impatient than because I feel lost. I am so damn eager to cum all over the world - musically speaking.

Then go do it man! Go cum all over the world ;) There ain't nothing stopping you except yourself. 

Quote

So I think I'm doing the smart thing here. Hear me out;

I committed to attaining a larger amount of money, first. I am focused on work and business much more than I am on my creative side - atm. And work, business and money kinda live in a different realm of existence than heart-felt creativity. Maybe I'm wrong - but that's what's true in my experience right now. 

Certainly one way of going about it. But ultimately it all comes down to you sitting down, by yourself or with your band, and producing work, producing lots of really bad work, and then making more work. There's no way around making the work. And even if you are focused on making money first, you should still be making lots of music. But if you have a good strategy/plan for making money, definitely go do it. Money is great.

Quote

My idea is simple and clear:

Make loads of money, buy epic studio equipment, pay for courses/lessons to even further develop my skills, make epic, never-before-heard music, pay for proper marketing and management and really do this whole thing 'the right way'. Professionally - if you will. 

You don't need to spend lots of money to make amazing music. I know some things can be a little expensive, and I don't know your personal finance situation. But what kind of equipment are you looking to get? You definitely don't need a full studio set up. Some decent monitors might set you back a few hundred. Software isn't too expensive either. I guess hardware can be expensive. 

Quote

Any time I pick up my guitar these days and I play or sing or try to write; I feel like something's missing. it's not the joy or the heart. The love is still undeniably there. It's burning even wilder now. But something is not quite there yet. A true (musical) identity. A signature.

That's why I feel like an upgrade is needed. I must take things to the next level and reach higher definition. And that requires money, my friends. Unless you want to play small. Nothing wrong with that either - I guess. It's just not an option for me. Not my cup of tea.

I definitely feel the same way when I sit down to make my art. Its not always fun but theres a deeper satisfaction that simply comes from the process of action. The main thing is, do you want to keep going even when it gets boring and difficult? I suspect you do, from your post. 

An upgrade isn't needed for you to find your voice. The upgrades can enhance and refine your own voice, but it cannot be the foundation of it. You have to create your own identity through lots of creative action and failure.

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@aurum @Space Thank you both so much! It's great to know that someone can relate to this. It relaxes the mind. 

Some great points you both made there.

2 hours ago, aurum said:

We would all love to just make our music, but alas, those pesky bills remain. And it can be quite the journey to getting to a place where you’re making a full time income with music.

Yup. Making a living by creating music was my initial idea. And I attempted to actualize it. But it quickly became obvious to me that splitting money and creativity into two separate domains is smarter. I hated the feeling of creating art under pressure - just because I knew I had to earn some money somehow.

I like the way things are now unfolding. In the long run; the business I'm doing does not contradict or suppress my creative side. It's only now - in this transitional phase - that it requires an extra push. More energy and dedication. Hopefully, somewhere in the near future; business will require max an hour or so of my attention per day.

2 hours ago, aurum said:

That answer has changed after having done a lot of spiritual work. The music I like now tends to be lighter and more heart-felt. Music that just feels like peace and love.

I suspect you’ll see the same process happen for you, if it hasn’t already.

I wouldn’t try to figure out your musical identity with your mind. It’s not there. It will reveal itself as you write. So just make music that you love, damn worrying about fitting into any sort of musical box.

Yup. Can definitely relate. I do tend to gravitate towards slower and calmer waters now. I'm kinda working on some light, atmospheric acoustic stuff mixed with poetry/story-telling. No singing. Only reciting in a smooth, buttery tone of voice haha. I like the idea. But it still feels like that's not quite it. I feel like my skills do not truly shine and my true capabilities do not show. I come from a very technically-focused background. Organized chaos haha. But I totally feel ya on this not being a mind thing. There's nothing to figure out, actually. I just have to play and experiment. Have fun. Until something eventually clicks.

2 hours ago, Space said:

Just make anything. Literally anything. Don't let a lack of unique style stop you from just making stuff.  You must just start making stuff without being too precious about it. Out of that making process come the new ideas and eventually the unique style. 

Yup. Consistency is key - definitely. And I did notice in my experience what you're pointing towards here. I guess that the 'not so pretty' side of being an artist that the common masses never get to see haha. Yes. Failure. Crap. I must embrace that aspect and run towards it ?

2 hours ago, Space said:

You don't need to spend lots of money to make amazing music.

Well, that comes down to what 'lots of money' is to you haha. But I totally get what you mean. In the past; I had some decent, basic equipment. Nothing too fancy. But it got the job done, pretty well. I doubt I spent more than 5k on everything combined. But thing is; a few years ago I sold everything I had to be with this girl and move to the other side of the globe with her haha. All that equipment was too heavy lol. And I was blindly in love. Tried to sell my soul for that relationship too. - Thankfully; it didn't work haha.

As I said; I lost a lot in that period. Only recently gained back some financial stability. And I don't think I should stop now. Thankfully I've been educating myself and developing my skills when it comes to business for a while now. So it's not like I'm just beginning with this. 

My equipment is pretty much trash - atm haha. But at least it allows me to stay in touch with that part of me. 

So yeah, not aiming to spend ridiculous amounts on stuff. But 2 or 3 decent guitars, a powerful PC, a good mic, midi controllers, monitors and some basic room treatment can easily add up to well over 10k. And that's not within my reach just yet. Not to mention that all the millions of plugins and sound libraries out there are not that cheap, either. If you're looking for high quality - ofcourse.

2 hours ago, Space said:

An upgrade isn't needed for you to find your voice. The upgrades can enhance and refine your own voice, but it cannot be the foundation of it. You have to create your own identity through lots of creative action and failure.

I hear you and I agree. But still; Imma go for that upgrade, too. Haha. It resonates too much. Not only because I'd be able to finance my 'glow-up' and invest into my passion, but also because I feel like I'd be going under yet another process of self-discovery by choosing that path. It feels like I must integrate that aspect of myself. And something tells me; it will have a very positive affect on my creative endeavors, too.

Peace.

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Posted (edited)

@ivankiss

As an visual artist I can resonate. 

What comes across is you know what you need. Let go of all the overthinking. Tap into your deep soul, how do you really feel. An upgrade might just be what you need, not materialistically but spirituality. 

Go on a retreat, contemplate, meditate do whatever you need to do to tap into your inner most feelings.

Forget thought let the feelings guide you. Listen to music you love, go see art you love, get those creative juices flowing. 

When I get stuck, I practice but I also listen to my inner being. I leave my mind at the door of my studio. I go with that and it never fails. 

"The work of art is born of the artist in a mysterious and secret way. From him it gains life and being. Nor is its existence casual and inconsequent, but it has a definite and purposeful strength, alike in its material and spiritual life. It exists and has power to create spiritual atmosphere; and from this inner standpoint one judges whether it is a good work of art or a bad one. If its “form” is bad it means that the form is too feeble in meaning to call forth corresponding vibrations of the soul… The artist is not only justified in using, but it is his duty to use only those forms which fulfill his own need… Such spiritual freedom is as necessary in art as it is in life".

Wassily Kandinsky

Edited by Surfingthewave

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19 hours ago, ivankiss said:

Yup. Consistency is key - definitely. And I did notice in my experience what you're pointing towards here. I guess that the 'not so pretty' side of being an artist that the common masses never get to see haha. Yes. Failure. Crap. I must embrace that aspect and run towards it ?

Yea failure is a tricky one. It's an acquired taste for sure. However positively you frame it, it always has a certain sting to it. My best solution so far is to just get onto the next project as quickly as possible haha.

19 hours ago, ivankiss said:

Well, that comes down to what 'lots of money' is to you haha. But I totally get what you mean. In the past; I had some decent, basic equipment. Nothing too fancy. But it got the job done, pretty well. I doubt I spent more than 5k on everything combined. But thing is; a few years ago I sold everything I had to be with this girl and move to the other side of the globe with her haha. All that equipment was too heavy lol. And I was blindly in love. Tried to sell my soul for that relationship too. - Thankfully; it didn't work haha.

Yea sorry I didn't mean to suggest i'm rich or anything. I'm kind broke tbh. And I even had my KRK monitors stolen recently :( 

19 hours ago, ivankiss said:

As I said; I lost a lot in that period. Only recently gained back some financial stability. And I don't think I should stop now. Thankfully I've been educating myself and developing my skills when it comes to business for a while now. So it's not like I'm just beginning with this. 

My equipment is pretty much trash - atm haha. But at least it allows me to stay in touch with that part of me. 

So yeah, not aiming to spend ridiculous amounts on stuff. But 2 or 3 decent guitars, a powerful PC, a good mic, midi controllers, monitors and some basic room treatment can easily add up to well over 10k. And that's not within my reach just yet. Not to mention that all the millions of plugins and sound libraries out there are not that cheap, either. If you're looking for high quality - ofcourse.

19 hours ago, ivankiss said:

I hear you and I agree. But still; Imma go for that upgrade, too. Haha. It resonates too much. Not only because I'd be able to finance my 'glow-up' and invest into my passion, but also because I feel like I'd be going under yet another process of self-discovery by choosing that path. It feels like I must integrate that aspect of myself. And something tells me; it will have a very positive affect on my creative endeavors, too.

Peace.

Exciting stuff man, wish you all the best!

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@ivankiss That strategy can work, but it assumes you can motivate yourself long-term to work on business projects that you're not that passionate about. It can be hard to pull that off. But that's the strategy I used to bootstrap my LP. It works but requires serious commitment to your long-term vision and it will be painful as you work for years on something which is not your passion/LP just to one day fund your LP. And by the time you make enough money you may forget all about your original LP. It will be hard to say No to the money and go back to start your music from square one.

The bottom line is: to make a strategy like that work, you gotta be persistent and hardworking like a motherfucker.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Posted (edited)

A writer often enjoys writing prompts to inspire and remove blocks, but also to take avenues they wouldnt typically travel, thus building and enriching a writing voice.  I wish there were exercises like that for musicians.

 

Edited by seeking_brilliance

My Imagination is a Monastery and I am its Monk- John Keats

 Join me and SirVladimir for a collection of short stories, guided visualizations, and other forms of lucid/immersive daydreaming. MindVenture Facebook group  (this is not a meetup, merely a mutual interest in lucid daydreaming) 

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36 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

It will be hard to say No to the money and go back to start your music from square one.

Why is this money so seducing? I mean it's nice to eat dinners at a restaurant, sleep in 4-5 star hotels on vacations and party all the way, buuut... It's all so shallow and empty in the end. How many places you have to visit and how many girls you have to fuck to finally get fed up?

I think I would take a meaning in life over money any time, just like any other serious self-actualizer. Is the pull of vanity towards choosing the money really that strong and I am underestimating it, or is it a generic advice you repeat since your coaching days?

 

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Posted (edited)

This is actually exactly the issue I am struggling with, also with Music/Other biz conflict. I feel your pain. On one hand you want to just work hard af on your music but you know it's a risk you can't necessarily afford since music can be very hard to monetize at times and is of course very unpredictable in it's success (at times). And not only does this survival bound fear drive you towards other means but also on the other hand, the love for the utility and convenience the money would bring for your LP, you would be able to buy equipment, rent studiotime, rent recording artitsts, the music industry oyster would open itself up a bit more for you.

Like Leo said I guess it's just a matter of discipline and character, we have to balance it out ourselves. There is no black and white solution and we have to pave our own way to success like anyone else who has succeeded.

 

Edited by One Day

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1 hour ago, Girzo said:

Is the pull of vanity towards choosing the money really that strong

It's not the money itself which will seduce you, it's the success and habits you develop to earn it.

It's very hard to drop something you're successful at to go back to square one with something you suck at. And as you get older, starting from scratch becomes harder and harder. Because success requires laying a deep foundation over a period of many years, until something meaningful sprouts from it.

Becoming a great musician requires a lot of deep foundation-laying. No amount of money or success in other fields will substitute for that. You can have $100 million, but your music will still suck.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Posted (edited)

I am also a musician, and also relate to this. I really resonate with what @Space said too.

For me, experimenting with other fellas is like really inspiring. Basically experimentation is the key. You have to permit experimentation and not to expect something. For that, playing with people in a normal situation is really nice.

Don't stop doing that, I mean is not something that really has to be planified. You just invite a musician friend, both of you pick an instrument and start playing. And in fact, If I were you, I would try to play the most shitty thing on purpose and make of it a song (just for the warm up).

 

Edited by Human Mint

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See no body likes this world anymore. 

Eventually that will become the status quo once the dissonance has cleared and humans become comfortable with the world beyond the financial system.

People just want to create and those that don't wished they could create more.

Everyone else is just distracted by the illusion of being instagram model or worse a fan of one.

First financial system, then instagram illusion, then new way of life will be accepted.

We are a tribe with enough meat, so all we have time to do is to create and have human nooky nooky.

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On 13.5.2021 at 11:50 PM, ivankiss said:

I don't fucking know what kind of music I want to make haha.

I am a professional musician as well. Let me tell you, not knowing what kind of music you want to make is the best thing that can happen to you, because thats really what you need to create something truly original!
 

On 13.5.2021 at 11:50 PM, ivankiss said:

So narrowing everything down to a single style and project seems hella challenging. But I know it can be done. I witnessed the magic happen 'for me' before. It's the most satisfying thing an artist can experience - imo.

You talked about narrowing your work down to a specific style. I would invite you to think about style differently than you maybe do. It's not something you find out there and pick. Like, your probably not going to stumble about a genre and say "Nice, for the rest of my life I will just do that kind of music." Style is just the natural continuity that will develope in your creative output OVER TIME if you start seriously pursuing the stuff you love most.

There are a couple of things that are helpful here:

  1. Spend tons of time researching. By that I mean listening to music a lot. Get to know everything that is out there. But not just blindly and randomly but by following the stuff, that you like and want to hear more of. (A great source for this is www.discogs.com/. If you find an artist you like, you can go there and check what other stuff they have done and who they have collaborated with.)
  2. Keep notes. Write about what it is that makes music most meaningful to you.
  3. ALWAYS BE IN THE PROCESS! This is the most important thing! Don't wait for your style to come to you before you start making music. Make little things, songs or snippets to recreate ideas, that you like. By that you will inchworm your way towards uniqueness.

Lastly I just want to tell you: I have been there before! All artists have! It's a good thing because it challanges you to reorient yourself. If you have any other questions or just want to talk, feel free to PM me.

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Posted (edited)

@Surfingthewave Great stuff! Thank you! 

19 hours ago, Space said:

And I even had my KRK monitors stolen recently :( 

 Those bastards! ? (KRKs are wonderful btw!)

11 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

And by the time you make enough money you may forget all about your original LP. It will be hard to say No to the money and go back to start your music from square one.

Don't be funny now, Leo. Like I could just accidentally 'forget' about my greatest mission and highest calling ?

And it's not that I'll be completely putting aside music or disconnecting from that part of me. I'm just going to be a bit more focused on business for a while now. In the meantime; I'm still going to play around and experiment with different styles and voices.

Also; it's not like I hate the idea of doing business. I spent a lot of time finding the right kind of business - that resonates with me. One that I still feel excited and passionate about. It's just not my biggest passion. It's not what I'd die for or without lol.

Thank you for your input tho! I know you've kinda chosen the same route back then. And something tells me; you're not regretting it.

Hard work, dedication, discipline, commitment, vision... All the things I'm putting a great emphasis on in this period.

@seeking_brilliance I hear ya! Kinda ventured outside of the domains I'm most familiar with long ago haha. I'm exploring a lot. But I don't want to be just exploring forever - if you know what I mean.

@One Day @Human Mint Thank you very much! We in this together! We got this! ?

@Inva That was awesome.

1 hour ago, TimStr said:

I am a professional musician as well. Let me tell you, not knowing what kind of music you want to make is the best thing that can happen to you, because thats really what you need to create something truly original!

Yup. I feel that deep down. I know it in my heart.

But still; it's kinda frustrating haha.

1 hour ago, TimStr said:

You talked about narrowing your work down to a specific style. I would invite you to think about style differently than you maybe do. It's not something you find out there and pick. Like, your probably not going to stumble about a genre and say "Nice, for the rest of my life I will just do that kind of music." Style is just the natural continuity that will develope in your creative output OVER TIME if you start seriously pursuing the stuff you love most.

Totally. I know what you're saying is true. It's just that it's kind of an uncomfortable spot to be in for me right now haha. Maybe the discomfort will soon dissolve. Or maybe I'll just learn how to flow with it. But right now; it's kinda getting on my nerves haha.

Anyways. Thank you for your suggestions. Wonderful info. Big chance I might reach out somewhere down the road.

Peace!

10 hours ago, Nahm said:

@ivankiss 

Write a song about a guy doing everything on earth to create an identity. Use three chords. Be honest. 

Tried that - trust me. I ended up going down some weird hippy rabbit hole ?

Edited by ivankiss

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Can you bite your own teeth?  --  “What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.

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32 minutes ago, ivankiss said:

But I don't want to be just exploring forever - if you know what I mean.

Does not compute ?


My Imagination is a Monastery and I am its Monk- John Keats

 Join me and SirVladimir for a collection of short stories, guided visualizations, and other forms of lucid/immersive daydreaming. MindVenture Facebook group  (this is not a meetup, merely a mutual interest in lucid daydreaming) 

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@WaveInTheOcean Lovely! Thank you!

3 minutes ago, seeking_brilliance said:

Does not compute ?

Yes. But no. ?

Exploring is wonderful. And in a sense; it's forever. But you could be out on the vast, endless ocean - not knowing where the wind might take you... yes you might stumble upon a lot of beauty.. but that's different from learning how to navigate the waters and actually get to a land you'd like to see and explore.  Feel me? ?

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48 minutes ago, ivankiss said:

Don't be funny now, Leo. Like I could just accidentally 'forget' about my greatest mission and highest calling

99% of people do. Nothing funny about it.

It's not accidental. The pragmatics of life will crush your soul and all your dreams.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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