5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming A Professional “Artist”

There is a certain amount of delusion that we buy into as artists. Something inside of us believes that all of the blood, sweat, and tears we put into our craft will one day, somehow, make a difference.

To thrive in this industry, you have to buy into that belief. But, blind faith will only get you so far. Every professional artist knows that nothing comes easy, money gets tight, and most days you catch yourself wondering if anyone really cares.

After completing my first feature film, I wrote down 5 questions that I felt could equip anyone ready to take the plunge into a creative career. These questions are meant to prepare you. It takes a significant amount of resolve to be an artist, and when you reach the day that the process gets messy and you’re up to your eyeballs in stress, you can remind yourself that it wasn’t all a delusion that got you here in the first place.

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Getting Started: Learn By Doing, Even When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

So many of the questions I get about my career have to do with getting started. One of the unique things about Riot and a few other things I’ve done in recent years is that my partners and I have pretty much started from scratch where many take years to get an education or branch off of an established company. Of course, the way we’ve done it is not necessarily “better” than the “normal” way, but it can be more exciting and challenging. It also doesn’t take a genius, nor a team of geniuses, to do it.

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Writer’s Block: How One Song Saved Our Film Careers

In the fall of 2010, Michael Allen and I began writing our first screenplay, Believe Me. It was our first narrative project to write together, and naturally we had some growing pains to deal with. We would meet at a bar called Spiderhouse near the University of Texas and delve through ideas, trying to get on the same page. We had a general idea of the direction we wanted to go, but the tone and the attitude of the film was still up in the air.

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