This industry is not for the fainthearted (I could not think of any other word to use that isn’t cliché, although ‘fainthearted’ is actually an understatement to describe it). It is not easy keeping up and being on top when all your achievements and how far you make it in your art field is partially dependent on the mass. “Natural selection,” as Charles Darwin said. It is the survival if the fittest.
Aspiring artists (actors, photographers, singers, rappers, dancers, painters and so on) are constantly licking butts; they wake up everyday to lick butts and sleep at night to wake up the next morning and lick more butts. It isn’t easy putting yourself out there as an artist, it always comes down to the fact that you got to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, hence attracting more patrons of your work. Although stepping out of your comfort zone plainly means that you have to do things you aren’t used to or something that just ‘isn’t you’, like being a nude model or something disturbing, you could get noticed immediately if you do such. Nonetheless, the more you step out of your comfort zone, the further you drift away from being your genuine self. That is why some artists prefer being consistent by begging and begging for support.
Being an artist also means you quickly become conscious of who has been down for you and will always be down for you, regardless of how good or bad you are. Those are people who give you relevant and candid feedback which will help you perfect your work , and when you have done an exceptionally good job they congratulate you and share it with the rest of the people. You lose primal friends who never really took the time to understand you. They might not understand what you are doing and why you are doing what you are doing and you will make peace with the fact that they might never understand.
As an artist you might not be understood by most and that leaves you with very few people who will encourage you to keep going. You will eventually get tired of making your parents understand the importance of passion over money. You will forever and always be tired from working long laborious hours yet people will still find it perfectly fine to compensate you with a packet of peanuts. You learn to appreciate every little thing and everyone that is always helping you better yourself. You learn to accept that your mates can buy VIP tickets to attend an icon’s concert but struggle to get R50 to watch you perform or download your music on Soundcloud. An essential quality to have as an artist is the ability to motivate yourself; be motivated by positivity, be motivated by negativity. Be on the move at all times and at every tiny accomplishment clap for yourself.