The Gate Keepers (and you)

For many aspiring artists, it can feel overwhelming how many GATEKEEPERS exist: publishers, producers, gallery owners…seemingly keeping you and your dream as distant cousins rather than close friends.

BUT–especially with the handy invention of the internet–it’s easier today than ever before to get your work out there. Yes, this also means there’s a TON of people out there doing the same, but at least you don’t need a $100,000 grant before posting on Instagram.

You-Shall-Not-Pass

And here’s the important bit: you can’t get onto that elusive gallery wall or that magazine page if you don’t–

a) make art, and a lot of it, including “bad” art

b) put your work out there, again and again.             …and again.

So here’s my excellent advice: Don’t wait for someone else’s permission to MAKE your art, and don’t wait for someone else’s permission to SHOW your art.

You may not have a million dollars or a book deal or a fancy financial backer, but that does NOT mean you have to wait until you do. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in limbo.

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I recently decided to shoot a scene from my latest script. I got myself a (relatively) cheap camera and I’m just going to go for it. For now, I’ll record the audio on my phone, using a selfie stick my roommate left behind as a makeshift boom pole.

I’m not planning to make Casablanca. I don’t even plan to show ANYONE. All I want to do is mess around, practice shooting/audio/editing, and get a fresh perspective on my script. …Maybe even have a bit of fun, who knows?

In order to make the most out of the time I have with the actors, I’ve carefully planned out establishing shots vs. close ups, angles vs. straight on, etc. And here’s when it hit me: visualizing the scene, especially one moment when the shot cuts from medium to close up on an actor’s face, my chest and hands got all tingly.

It wasn’t even a serious moment in the script. It was a silly moment. But that’s when it really hit me: good gracious I love doing this. 

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I love writing. I love costume design and casting. I love editing. I love cinematography. I love planning how to make a moment special onscreen. I love working with actors to get the best out of them, and under the right circumstances I even enjoy acting.

Not everyone makes it big in their dream career. But I figure that if you can make a living—or even make time on the weekends—to work on something that makes your fingers tingle when you think about it, you’re doing something right.

This is not to say you shouldn’t still do pitches or submissions or cold calling, only that WHILE you’re illegally climbing over gates and knocking on those doors, keep making art, posting art, feeding your creative soul… And don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can’t “get going” until someone else gives you the green light.

Just remember: the less money you have the more creative you have to be!

***

Feeling stuck in your creative process? Did your second grade teacher tell you you couldn’t draw? Do you believe art is only for people with “natural talent”? Do you want to stretch yourself creatively?

I offer Creativity Coaching, which is personalized, one-on-one coaching tailored to whatever you are personally struggling with around your creativity. Whether you’re just starting out or are a professional artist, we all get into creative ruts.

Contact me to inquire about Creativity Coaching or set up your first session.

One thought on “The Gate Keepers (and you)

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  1. This is what creativity looks like, what dancing looks like, what revolution looks like, what love looks like. If one is on this path, nothing else is ever again anywhere near as important. And don’t discount the importance of coaching or camaraderie. As unique and personal as your path may be, and as essential as it is to dwell in the privacy of your vision, it’s also essential not to self-isolate. Otherwise those gate-keepers and their scowls can begin to look real. Just eat them and spit them out as more art, I say!

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