There comes a point where most artists begin to engage in freelance work. Moving beyond the output of their own musical ambitions, jobs may a come along for other creative teams, like writing or production settings.
Finding a balance between service-oriented work and accomplishments within their own endeavor is key to managing both sides of the creative coin. To offer possible advice on this transitional phase, we gathered pointers to keep in mind. An artist has to make a living, and oftentimes being a service provider becomes a necessity. Even though it might keep him or her from working on own material in a pace that is satisfactory, diversification is essential in our current creative sphere.
So let’s start with some behavioral strategies:
1) Define a ratio (and schedule it)
Everyone knows the feeling where time just flies by. Especially while pursuing a great working process. To keep an eye on the ratio between your own work and service work. Create a sheet and start defining and keeping track of your work ratio.
That’s not something you have to keep going forever, it’s just more a tool to actually keep track of time. Time spent on your own music in relation to external.
This way you can create a clear picture of your private vs. service ratio and generate insights on how many resources are actually spent – and where!
2) Leave some water in the well
An incredibly important aspect of balancing personal vs. service work is maintaining your creative energy.
This means knowing yourself well enough to stop when things are running smoothly.
Leave some water in the well when you work on external jobs – especially if you want to pick up on your own art afterwards. Be aware that creative resources can be limited.
3) Deadline clarity
If you’re delivering creative output to an external source – be aware that you are only a part of a greater, productive scheme.
You are quite possibly only briefed with a very minor part of the whole picture. Being so, you might not know why certain deadlines are absolutely important.
Make sure you meet the deadline demands, especially If you’re acting as an external service provider. In a market where a certain skill-set is mandatory, reliability becomes a very real form of symbolic capital.
People choose who they want to have in a team along the lines of several factors. Some of them might not even be obvious to you. Clearly communicate your deadlines.
4) The essence of providing
One of the most vital factors of delivering a great, creative service is being aware of the responsibility as a provider.
This means your primary goal should be working towards a flawless execution of the briefing. Obviously, your talent was booked by someone, so he or she wants your creative signature on the final product.
Keep in mind though that you are working under an external supervision, as opposed to strictly your own ideas and tastes.
Supervision in a sense of someone else’s agenda, resources and responsibilities. This mindset can help you bite your way into a project, but also maintain a safe, objective distance to the things happening.
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