"It's Harder, But Still Possible" by Jack Blanchard

The moment you accept the proposition that success is impossible, it becomes impossible. Success in creative areas is more difficult to achieve than it was twenty years ago but not impossible. Here, I think, are some of the reasons... THE MARKET. As time passes, the market gains control of more of our lives. It has always been a factor, but more so now. . Misty and I had to find backers to invest in our career, the rough equivalent of $50,000 of today’s dollars. We did this by creating something marketable, and waving it in their faces. MORE GOOD ARTISTS. If you have ten people, one of them may be a genius at something. If you have a million people, you jump the creative people up to 100,000. If you have billions... well, you get the point. You also get more idiots, but that’s another article. TRAINING. In school and beyond today’s young minds are steered away from real creativity. The artist or inventor is by nature an outsider and was once admired for his differences. Today the goal is to be a “team player”... a corporate person. BUSINESS. There was more to Ray Stevens’ great song “Mr. Businessman” than we realized at the time. Businessmen don’t get emotionally involved in art unless it looks like a potential profit. Music, Literature, and Theater have all suffered. If you’re reading a book, you’re not buying anything. (By “businessmen” I also mean women. Being politically correct all the time is a pain. We are all too sensitive lately. Again, that’s a subject for another day.) PROPAGANDA. The guys on top don’t want you to make it. They spread discouraging propaganda to make you give up: “It’s impossible now. If only you’d been here in the old days. Blah. Blah. Go away and stop threatening us.” I know the music business has been badly screwed up by Mr. Businessman, and today’s aspiring artists face a much harder challenge. But it’s not impossible. Don’t give up hope. I admire Boxcar Willie. He bypassed the entire radio and record industry and made himself a legend through creative TV ads. He didn’t need major labels, or even hit records. He found a new way. Willie was a good old-fashioned nonconformist.
Copyright © March 13, 2005, Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.
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