The New Stuff

What Millennial Artists Are Doing Wrong


NOT WORKING FOR ANYBODY. You don’t want to climb the corporate ladder. Why work for others when you can work for yourself. That is a very brave and is in fact, very commendable trait of millennials. Why, if everyone only applies this and strives really hard to attain their goals, then the world will be a much better place. But we all know this is impossible. One way or the other, someone’s got to work for somebody. And what the previous generations have that you don’t is tons of tons of experience. Nothing beats learning from the ground with the guide of a mentor. You’ll learn important techniques from your bosses and colleagues. Plus, you get paid for it. What’s so wrong with working for somebody? Just make sure it’s somebody you really respect. That sounds so Millennial-ly buy whatever, I love Millennials. Basically, what I’m saying is this: Don’t be too appalled by the idea of working for somebody because everyone is always working for somebody, either a boss, a client, or a lot of people.

DOING EVERYTHING ON YOUR OWN BECAUSE YOU CAN. Millennials want to be independent, which is a good trait. But if you’re isolating yourself because of “independence”, then you’re sabotaging your career. You have to learn to go out there and collaborate. That is the only way to do it. Even if you’re selling stuff online, you really still need to reach out to a lot of people either online or offline to get things moving. Business, career, and everything else won’t go far without a lot of people.

MAKING TOO MANY SHORTCUTS. If you’ve seen the film While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach, 2014), the character of Adam Driver has sneaky ways to get to the top- getting too close too soon with big people, cracking the shortcuts to telling a story that would earn awards (but without much heart or love of the process), etc. While this is a smart move to get a name in the industry, it’s not sustainable and only very few people will actually like you. I’ve known so many filmmakers and artists who ditch their collaborators just so they get all the glory. You think this will not be detrimental to your success? Think again. The industry is small. Don’t be sneaky.

USING ART AS AN EXCUSE FOR BEING POOR. It’s romantic to be poor because of art but when your bills are piling up and you have mouths to feed, it gets old – wrinkly old and unattractive. You will start to question why you chose the path of being an artist in the first place instead of being rich. Here’s news: you’re just being lazy. Get a job, any job,so you can do your art without much financial drama.

TOO MUCH FACEBOOK TIME, TOO LITTLE WORK. Do you know that Serge Gainsbourg wrote and released over 500 songs in his lifetime? Yep. Let that sink in. No, he’s not 200 years old. But you sure do have more than 500 posts on Facebook promoting only one output. Not to belittle the value of marketing because marketing is definitely a must, but what we’re aiming for is productivity in your actual field. That means, if you’re a filmmaker, spend more time conceptualizing, writing, shooting than promoting your stuff.

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