Posts in The Unknown Artist
Dealing With Criticism as an Artist (While Keeping Your Sanity)

So you’ve created a thing and now some people know about it. Congratulations! Someone is about to be a total asshole to you.

What’s that? You thought you were just gonna make something cool, put it out into the world, get some people’s attention and then bask in the glory of your greatness? Good story, but have you been outdoors lately?  The world is literally teeming with pricks. Yes, there are many lovely people. You may know some. You may even be one. But that doesn't circumvent a simple truth:

The assholes are always louder.

As soon as you create something, as soon as you bare your heart and soul and make yourself as vulnerable as a human can be, that’s when the horrible folks flock to you like flies to a carcass, where they do everything they can to knock you down a peg and a half. If you pretend it will never happen to you, you’ll be particularly shocked when it inevitably does. Someone out there will always hate what you do, so let’s talk a little bit about dealing with artistic criticism in its many colorful forms.

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Creative Procrastination: How to Stop Putting It Off & Create Awesome Shit

I am a professional procrastinator. Well, I would be a professional procrastinator if I ever got around to turning it into an income source. I’ll do that tomorrow, but for now I’ll write about the pervasive problem of avoidance in our creative work.

You may be one of those gifted people with a preternatural ability to focus, never succumbing to distractions. Maybe you don’t have any sort of attention deficit and aren't prone to wasting large chunks of your day accomplishing jack shit because why not the Internet exists. Well congratu-friggin'-lations, you’re way better at adulting than I am. You can stop here and hang your valedictorian certificate on the wall after reading all of Infinite Jest in a single sitting. I’ll meet back up with you in my next post.

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How To Be an Artist With a Day Job

There are fifty thousand articles online about turning your creative passion into a full-time career (that's an exact number I counted myself, so no need to check if it’s accurate). Many of said fifty thousand articles include very good advice. You should read them and maybe take what they say to heart. But there aren’t many articles tackling the far more common situation: being an artist and having a*gulp*day job.

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The Zen of Film Scoring: Always Change Your Pants Before Recording

With my work on the film score nearing completion, I am focusing most of my creative energies on getting it finished. I have many ideas for general creativity-themed blog posts in the near future, but until I can spend the required time writing them, I give you this film score-centric post to tide you over.

It turns out scoring a film requires developing some creative philosophies (the importance of which I detailed here), using some extremely advanced techniques (and by advanced I mean not particularly advanced, you see what I did there?) and making some interesting discoveries and observations along the way. Here are seven examples from my recent experience.

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How (and Why) to Establish Your Creative Philosophy

Creativity and philosophy go hand-in-hand in crucial ways. In fact, you will have trouble making any worthwhile art without first understanding the philosophy behind it. Luckily, it's easy to achieve in a few simple steps.

Anyone who talks to me for more than a few minutes learns that I enjoy getting philosophical. Sometimes I dive a little too deeply into a topic very quickly, but that's just the kind of guy I am; I like to skip past the superficial crap and get right to the interesting stuff.

I'm a firm believer in establishing a personal philosophy that provides a frame of reference for making important decisions. That's a much bigger topic for some future posts to cover, so for now I'm focusing on a smaller, but related, topic: the creative philosophy. 

In this post I'll tell you three important things:

  1. Why all creative endeavors need a philosophy

  2. Examples of creative philosophies in action

  3. How to find your very own personal creative philosophy

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The Snowman: A Guitar Reimagining

While I dislike the commercial compulsion to push the beginning of the Christmas season so far back it essentially starts on Halloween, I'm hoping this piece of music I'm sharing with you is obscure enough that it won't be conjuring any visions of sugarplum fairies in mid-November.

I think I first saw The Snowman when I was in pre-school. I remember being captivated by the mesmerizing colored-pencil animation, the dreamlike atmosphere, the gorgeous music and, of course, the unusually heartbreaking ending. It's a faithful adaptation of the wordless children's book by Raymond Briggs that has always stuck with me, so I bought it on DVD several years ago. It's only as an adult that I can fully appreciate it for being the masterful work of art it is.

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The Zen of Film Scoring: The Sonic Palette

During my first week of procrastinating/working very hard on the score for I Hate You, I was naturally a bit curious to learn more about the methods and techniques of established composers. Spending time pretending to pick up tips from the pros was an excellent way to avoid the fact that I was freaking out about how the hell I would successfully pull this shit off. One YouTube video wound up being a big inspiration, but not in the way I had initially imagined.

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