January 31, 2013

Making It On Your Own

To my friends,

If you agree that things seldom go as planned chances you are an ambitious person and you strive to do your best at whatever you do. Sticking through what appears as road /stream blocks is the challenge of the game. Things may not go as planned but if they do jolly, if they don’t then, adapt  / learn from the mistakes. In order to learn from your mistakes you must be willing to make mistakes; in addition,  it’s only common sense that nothing will go if YOU don’t make it go; if you don’t have a plan you have no direction…just make a plan. The stream of your choice will have a current. If it’s a challenging adventure, the flow of that current will be strong. If you fight what you have no control of / swimming against the current  won’t take you very far and  you’ll become tired and eventually giving up. If you give up, your ass will be getting slammed into rocks and damns damaging you along the way. You must not fight the current, however you must be a rapid learner of techniques that will help you avoid the rocks and damns; keep your head up and just go with the flow. On the bright side, it’s a good thing this YACHTLIFE is built to smash through rocks, damns and other b.s. that slows down progression in the streams of success.

Examples that will be used are in reference to the photography and music industry, however the tips may be applied to any career within the arts and towards the success / survival of other small businesses.

For starters to “make it” on your own, you’ll have to understand that in reality it’s no such thing. Swimming in the stream is done by  “yourself” but your legs, arms, lungs etc. helps, you must learn how to make them work for you. Later I’ll demonstrate when team-work / partnerships comes into play.  For now, what you’ll be doing on your own is disciplining yourself / dedicating yourself. To make it on your own you must be self disciplined and utterly dedicated to your vision. Know what the prize is and keep your eyes on it. In order to be self disciplined and utterly dedicated to your vision you must first have a vision.

Starting out I didn’t know where the hell I was going. All I knew was that I wanted to work from my computer anywhere in the world, I wanted to have portfolios of my own like the pros I grew up reading about / watching on the tube. I saw myself having portfolios to show clients for my photography and having a library of music that I created to show what I’m able to create musically in order to book shows and obtain other revenue leads. At the time, the only thing that held me back from living like the pros was that I didn’t have images to show in my portfolio and I didn’t have any songs of my own to showcase my capability of making music.

It wasn’t going to jump there on it’s on so the creative hustle started.

The rest of this blog entry / article / letter / whatever you wish to title it as, I’ll be discussing paths for the photography industry and paths for the music industry highlighting their differences and hopefully it would inspire you to BElieve in YOUrself for whatever art you wish to explore. If you can’t by pass my poor english, and typos then maybe success isn’t a taste for your tastebuds. If  you crave personal development and a little inspiration to brighten up / pull your chin up through what appears to be the bullshit-why-is-this-happening-to-me-times then know that you’re not alone and read on. You my friend are a true hustler and your kind is welcomed on board YACHTLIFE.

No matter the art, your most valuable possession is your portfolio. The portfolio will showcase your talent and showcasing your talent is what will get you gigs that you desire to have. The portfolio goes beyond the collection of work, what I learned over the years is that the portfolio is also made up of how you carry yourself as a person, your mannerism / respect towards others, basically your character. Your character good or bad will be an important roll for your longevity within the industries. The most important factor will be having kick ass work so make that work awesome by making more mistakes and polishing them.

Recess Time: NO, I’m not Terry Richardson, Chase Jarvis, Scott Kelby, Kanye West, Jay-z, or Puff Daddy writing you (They aren’t Ansel Adams or TuPac either). I’m just like you trying to make it to the top “in the public’s eyes” / (another story within its own). What I’m sharing with you as a friend is little love for you to know that I could make shit happen for myself and keep my head up when times were tough and so can you. I’m not saying that I’m not in the streams that those guys once swam through either because that would be a lie. No other time in my push have I ever felt so close to the waterfall’s drop off into the “I’ve made it” pool of successors.

(Bell rings)

A post from the Young Bahamian Music Society Group helped fuel my reasoning for sharing. During this time of completing my third mixtape / EP, “Portfolio Day” that I’ll be releasing shortly in the near, I’ve been having a hard time telling you what happened yesterday so don’t expect me to give an exact date of the post. YBMS-group have a Facebook page and I commented on it so if you’re interested then go and explore their page. Moving along, the question was asking for songwriting tips, it was asking for advice to provide for others. I shared how I come up with my songs etc.

The relevance of everything I wrote just now is that, then was the first time I analyzed the level of difficulty between my past up-coming in the photography industry to the level of a professional and the struggle of the path for the music industry while “making it on your own”.

When I first started in the photography industry I had people whom I looked up to, those people shared techniques to making better photographs. Those people had websites of their own where they blogged to their friends. Those people cared about the future of the industry. Care about the future of your industry.

However, in the music industry…………..yes, there are a lot of blanks and echoes.

Maybe this is a question for me to ask photographer ZA. But if I wanted to ask somebody in the music industry…….yes, there are a lot of blanks and echoes.

Forgive me for cutting this off but I’m annoyed with it all even as I write this I become more frustrated. I think this is the reason why it took me so long to write this blog entry….my passion level is to the top I tell you.

To sum this up so that it all makes sense. Friends, please strive to focus on your personal portfolios, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, do whatever it takes to get through that stream by all means, even if you have to drown a MF in the way of your success (just don’t let that person be me because you already failed before you tried; but trying is worth the shot).

Keep like minded people around you at all times, build a team that helps you; they are like your legs and arms. If it’s within the photography industry, shoot until you learn what your style is, you’ll know it when you love it; just keep on shooting. Learn what gear you use best, shoot with a lot of gear, figure it out until it’s best for you. Not until it’s best for what someone else thinks is best for you (unless that’s the person giving you the check, but until you are satisfied and learn how to make what you love give you the checks do it. Believe me it’s a sweet feeling. Learn what make-up artist you work best with, what assistants you work best with, etc. just go hard as a MF and be serious about being great. Until it kills you. If it kills you then you’ll die as one of the greatest to do it. Le-sigh.

Music industry, I learned it the hard way, nobody’s out there to provide tips, yeah they’re going to be some articles alike this one but no where near the amount in other industries. When I read older photography articles and tutorial videos for example, I put those to practice. In the music industry there aren’t many maps for the journey so you must practice more / create more until you feel it’s what you want and what the people wants from you. Learn what sounds you love, the stories you love to share, build your own fan base, meditate on it, learn from mistakes, be willing to fail until you get it. Do it for a purpose and do it from the heart. I’m still carving my path but that’s the advice I have for you thus far.

Nothing will come easier for those whom have to make it on their own. It may take longer than others yes but you must not give up and be willing to share.

p.s. this entry has no format what so ever but I’m hoping somewhere in that collection of words you found some inspiration to being the best you that you can be. If you are ambitious I raise a glass to you.

Message to the random reader: I’m not as successful as I will become, but by the time you read this I’ll gain more success than I had while writing this. People are shitty on the internet, If you’re going to “hate” please “hate” with some sort of class but leaving tips to other websites that will up flit and advance the readers of this article. If you happen to be one of those bitch ass people that eat chips in their underwear all day on the internet talking shit, I pray for you as well and I hope that you find some inspiration within this article as well.

Until next time,


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