As a classical vocal artist, I have come to realize that a clear sense of purpose and direction is essential in my career. I have learned that just hungrily taking work isn't what art is all about. The parties that will get you "noticed" or low paying gigs that'll get you "exposure..." Sure, experience is crucial, but not exploitation. Some of those gigs do nothing but tell a certain cadre of people that you'll work for peanuts!
Unsolicited... truly worthwhile opportunities do not come around all that often. The ones that REALLY give you exposure. But they Do come around. Still, It takes patience and persistence to achieve success and there's all the time in the world between. What do you do???
Through a decade of feast and famine, I discovered that short-term and mid-term goals are crucial, because careers are winding and epically tedious, fraught with danger. And life itself can be distracting. That's why having a long-term dream and goals to fulfill that --or those-- dreams are essential. My dream since college was to be one of those working artists, who also worked on the production side. I wanted to keep a regular singing schedule while being an industry leader and visionary.
To initially get work, I found that annoying solicition (think used car sales) can have serious drawbacks if not careful. *I once had an agent who faked his way into a talent-buying conference and found --years after I got the gig-- the real way, that they were still mad at that agent and had banned them. Thank heaven they didn't remember it was ME! It's a real balance one must have to make it through.
To avoid disaster and keep one on a path of momentum is where a Mission Statement and an Artist Statement come into the equation. A Mission Statement outlines an artist's overall goals and purpose. An Artist Statement describes your art and why you create it. These statements can help you stay focused and motivated, even in the face of setbacks and challenges.
Creating a Mission Statement and an Artist Statement is not an easy task, but it's a critical one for classical vocal artists. Here are some of the reasons why these statements are essential for your career:
- They help you define your goals and values.
- They keep you focused and motivated.
- They communicate your vision to others.
- They can inspire and motivate you during challenging times.
- They can help you develop your brand and market yourself more effectively.
To create your Mission Statement, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your long-term career goals?
- What kind of impact do you want to have with your art?
- What are your values and beliefs, and how do they relate to your work?
- What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
Your answers to these questions should be distilled into a concise statement. Your Mission Statement should be a one to two-sentence summary of your career goals and values.
To create your Artist Statement, describe your art and its inspiration. Consider the following questions:
- What sets your work apart from others?
- What are the key themes and ideas that you explore in your art?
- What are your goals as an artist, and how do you hope to impact your audience?
Write a paragraph that describes your art and the inspiration behind it. Your Artist Statement should be a reflection of your aesthetic and philosophical principles, which can help audiences and other artists better understand your work.
Remember that your Mission and Artist Statements can evolve as you grow and change as an artist. Don't worry too much about getting them perfect right away. The important thing is to start the process of creating your vision.
Crafting your Artist Statement and Mission Statement can be a powerful tool in achieving your career goals. They help you stay focused and motivated, even in the face of setbacks and challenges. They can also help you communicate your values and vision to others.
Here are some tips on using your Mission Statement and Artist Statement to advance your career as a classical vocal artist:
- Use them as a guide for your personal and professional development.
- Include them on your website and in your promotional materials.
- Share them with your fans and audience.
- Use them to guide your social media strategy.
- Incorporate them into your branding and marketing strategy.
Incorporating your Mission and Artist Statements into your career strategy can help you stand out in a crowded field. It can also help you develop a more meaningful and authentic brand that resonates with your fans and audience.
As I reflect on my own journey as a classical vocal artist, I realize how much my Mission and Artist Statements have guided me along the way. They have helped me stay focused and motivated, even in the face of setbacks and challenges. They have also helped me communicate my values and vision to others, which has been crucial in building a supportive network of fans and colleagues.
I encourage all classical vocal artists to take the time to create their own Mission Statement and Artist Statement. It's not an easy task, but it's a critical one for your career. These statements can help you define your purpose, stay focused, and communicate your values and vision to others.
Remember, your vision is what sets you apart from others. It's what makes you unique and valuable as a classical vocal artist. Use your Mission and Artist Statements as a guide on your journey, and never lose sight of your dreams and goals. With patience, persistence, and a clear vision, you can achieve success as a classical vocal artist.