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On February 14, 2010, the year of the Tiger will arrive on the Chinese Lunar calendar. A festive celebration, people born under the astrological sign of the Tiger are honored all year. Interestingly, Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most acclaimed and influential composers of all time, was a famous Tiger. Also worth noting are the characteristics assigned to the Tiger: adventurous, sensitive, emotional and risk-taking. I think these traits are suggestive of something else. This year, along with celebrating the Year of the Tiger, I’m going to celebrate the Year of the Artist.
A truly great artist is adventurous, setting out on an uncharted course. No matter what level of success you achieve, there is no way of knowing in advance how your journey will go. Sensitive and emotional almost always come with the territory, as putting your heart and soul in to something that people will analyze and judge is never easy. And risk-taking? There is probably no greater artistic risk than laying your emotional self bare. It’s a risk to put yourself out there, but certainly there are more opportunities now than ever before to showcase your talent. Thank you, Internet.
It seems the last decade was responsible for producing the tools that allow an artist the chance to share their talent. By experimenting with these tools, a singer, a songwriter, a band or an instrumentalist could have the possibility of finding an audience without ever leaving their home.
This year, however, is about applying what you’ve learned in order to make a mark. This year is about being smart enough to take those fantastic tools and make them work for you. This year is about using the web to market yourself in a way that allows you to stand out from the crowd (and it IS crowded out there). This year is about being interactive, but understanding that you also have to be creative when it comes to promotion. This year is about knowing that the music business has changed forever and now it’s about keeping people engaged. This year is about making sure people know you, and your talent, are distinctive. This year is about the artist. This year is about you.