After expending the blood, sweat, and tears to bring an inspired idea into reality, what is left for an artist to do? There is the ‘product’. It can be promoted aggressively or with a simple modicum of passion. It can also be loosened simply, with no fanfare like a dandelion seed blown from its parent stalk onto the wind. There’s no such thing as free PR. Even if no firm is involved and no money is used, the efforts of the artist can hardly be deemed ‘free’. Time is money after all. The simple act of stuffing a CDr into a case is a price paid to have an average package for said CDr and Just “blowing that seed away” is a price paid nonetheless.
An artists’ intangible investment in self promotion runs along the lines of everything done to get a final product out into the world. If an artist wants their ‘shot’, then promotion is one way to raise the chances of success out of the quagmire that is mediocrity.
PR aside, what about that product? Some artists finish a work and simply move on to the next one. They stand before all they have done so far like generals ready to throw troops at a front line. The ‘uniform’ of their personality is heavily decorated with medals for each project that only shine when and where allowed. But my, how bright they do shine when luster is released.
Some artists never really ‘finish’ a project. They keep the doors of evolution open to any new twist they can administer to an old project. Each project they have is a wellspring from which pieces can be taken at will. Each part can be added to any other project and the puzzles are never complete but that is wherein the fun lies. The world might recognize something ‘tweaked to death’, but the artist finds bliss in the depths of such manipulation.
Both aforementioned types of artist are capable of great works. All humans are gifted with that capacity. The Gods of PR play a tough game though. Anybody and everybody will want to give ‘you’ to the world the way they ‘think’ you will be accepted. Some aspects of industry wash each other’s hands and others put knives in backs.
No one will put ‘you’ out there for free. Your best bet is to be yourself first. That is after all who you’ll have to answer to at the end of every day for the rest of your life. Later on, if you can generate a character with enough charisma to capture popular attention, make sure you iron out all the kinks before you turn it loose. Think of a Johnny Cash impersonator who bought the guitar, suit, boots, and tie. He hired a big time PR firm and beat the streets himself as well putting up posters and talking to people on the street. On opening night the venue was packed with an anticipating crowd. The lights went down. The spotlights came up. The curtain opened and the music began. The crowd was stunned by a voice that was nowhere near the man in blacks’. The timber was way off. The tune was also nowhere near ‘in the bucket’. The stage was flooded with tomatoes, oranges, lettuce, and even pineapples. The artist ran for his life. On a good note, he returned next year with a knockout drag act doing Lucille ball. A movie deal followed the opening night! He retired to Florida a year later.
You see PR matters in a way. But it can also be a hindrance. It can take up all the time an artist needs to work on being themselves. The basic cost of PR is an investment of time. That time is paid out of the artists’ life first. After that bill is covered assorted firms and individuals can be thought about. The seriousness about it is totally up to the respective artist. Promotion is a joke, a blessing, a curse, and an ivory tower all rolled up into one thing, getting attention. And as for me, what do I think of PR? Well, I can see the bright lights just fine from here. They do look nice but, I don’t need a ‘tan’ that bad.
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