The Fine Line As An Artist

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As an artist it can be tempting to “play the same old hits” and keep the money train going. But artists also need to be flexible and venture out into new content too or everything will get stale.

This comes on because I saw Lindsey Buckingham last night, the former guitarist of Fleetwood Mac. He played a set of mostly rarities, things he hadn’t done in concert before, and just a couple of his hits. The crowd was wanting the same old songs (except me and a handfull of others) but he stuck to his guns and did a lot of stuff he’d never performed before. And actually, this whole tour bucking Fleetwood Mac — which would have paid him substantially more money — is because of keeping his artistry up.

He’s in a tough spot because doing this does disappoint some of the fans, but he’s also played his greatest hits train for decades now, so he’s done his time.

I think it’s important to keep balance in anything you do, whether that’s writing, art, music, because the joy of creating comes through, and when it’s not there, it shows to your audience and readers. Even if it means not maximizing dollars to an extreme.

In fiction writing, the way to maximize your dollars is to stay in ONE SERIES. Not even deviate with different series in the same genre, but to keep it all the same. I can’t do that as an artist cuz I’ve got too many books on my mind. There’s a balance there though as I’m trying to bring all of my books up to trilogies or slightly longer so that folk can get a good experience there.  And there’s also a balance to other aspects of the art making in that I’ll talk about on one of my writing youtube streams soon.

Food for thought. It was an enjoyable show last night.

Something I’m doing that’s different is adapting a sci-fi novel to comics. It’s an incredible challenge and it’s produced a very fun book. Check out the Ember War here. It’s very close to funding and needs you to push it over the top!

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2 thoughts on “The Fine Line As An Artist

  1. I made someone laugh because I said my next-next project was a werewolf novel not set in my normal novel universe–because I didn’t want to get pigeonholed.

    But I have so many projects on my plate right now I’ll be busy until the day I die. It’s a little intimidating, but it’s a good problem to have. And, no, it’s not all werewolves.

  2. Not so much a series, I seem to have created a world… a future history.

    Stretching from “now” to, so far, about thirty years hence, it allows me tremendous degrees of freedom while at the same time relieving me of the need to make a new universe for each book or short story.

    Books which, so far, are about friends, families, and lovers… with two more (a real series!) almost ready to go. How about letting us know what you think and suggest about world building, Jon?

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