Dear Diary: What Makes An Artist?

Dear Diary: What Makes An Artist?

Text: LIZ NISTICO

December 20, 2016

Today I saw Coco. We went hiking, got lunch, and then sat on the trunk of my convertible and discussed the ridiculous nature of attempting to gain off another person’s art (ahem: music industry). LA has had a noticeable change in population as exemplified by the heavy traffic patterns at all times of day (I know, I know. But ask anyone and they’ll tell you now it’s even more extreme). Perhaps these added people in LA have augmented the perils of the industry. I can only surmise.

Coco and I had a conversation I have been having with almost all of my artist friends: How can we navigate the world of music without selling our souls? To recapitulate, we’re wondering who we can trust. Does competition play a role and why? Surely there are enough genres for all. Further, what are the merits of a pop performer who does not write their own songs doesn’t dress themself and honestly doesn’t even review a music video treatment before they agree to spending $30,000 on that piece of press? What about an “indie” artist with that same lack of vision for their project? Does genuine art matter to the masses? Why does it seem like it does not? How can you tell who your friends are in an industry that regards you as THE ONE when you’re high and forgets your name when you’re low?

We also discussed OBJECTIFICATION OF THE ARTIST. I feel I’ve been much more objectified as an artist than a female. Is this because I’m generally surrounded by upstanding men? Because I fit into the parameters of what a female should be? Or because I openly rebel from them?

Every industry has its dark side. I suppose for me and a lot of other artists, we are currently wondering whether “playing the game” is worth self-expression. What are we doing here? Trying not to show defeat?

December 22, 2016

There is no better sunset of the Imperial British Empire than the film Love Actually. The movie is a perfect mix of American romantic comedy ideals and classic British slapstick humor (a la Mr. Bean). At times I ultimately despise the unrealistic outcomes of the Amarcord-like narrative. Yet, despite sounding like a hypocrite, I’m left inspired to widen my limits on perception so that I too can experience a happiness in life. Is this the intended effect? Are prosperous romantic comedies successful because they permeate our “innate” desires? Is this art? Or the tragedy?

December 31, 2016

Dear future you from past time,

I have reached a moment in my life where all that I want to say is too personal to be shared on the internet (gasp). But you know me, I thrive in that vulnerability. My year was hard. I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years, split with our manager who I loved, lost all our money, had vocal surgery and also had an abortion. I don’t necessarily view these events as negative, but they did happen and they did teach me a lot. I also learned how to speak Spanish, how to drive stick shift, that I can talk to ghosts, I relearned how to speak and sing and I fell in love, I lived in Mexico and Louie and I wrote over 60 songs and we even got new managers.

I can’t even imagine where I’ll be in one year from now, and it’s almost comical because 2014 and 2015 were so so fast, both years we were on tour the entire time. However, I was challenged with more in the sedentary year of 2016 then either of those past. I keep saying how I’ve “learned” so much from the past year and this is it:

  1. Trust the Universe

You cannot predict anything! Trust that things are happening for a reason and the universe is holding you in its hands like a precious little baby.

  1. Be Honest with Yourself

Even if (especially if) you’re nervous the truth might hurt someone else. Lying or forcing yourself into a mold will only hurt you and those around you in the long run. You know this.

  1. Be a Good Friend

Even if you feel like it might be in vain at the moment. Make sure you listen when you’re being spoken to. Be there for your friends even if you feel totally abandoned and alone.

  1. Humans are Obsessed with Triumphs

At the risk of sounding like a cynic, people love you when you’re doing well. However take note of those who support you at your lowest because these are the people who love you. Don’t ever forget this and don’t get swept into superficial accolades.

  1. Your Relationship with Yourself is the Most Important

You’re the coolest and so beautiful and so funny and such a good spa date!

  1. Trust Your Intuition

Never doubt yourself.

  1. The Universe is Always Speaking to You

Make sure you take the time and space to listen.

  1. Probably Everyone Feels The Same Way As You

So don’t be shy to share your candid thoughts.

The world is yours! Don’t forget it. Spread love,

xoxox

Liz

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