Creatives No. 3 – Art or Business?

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1. Art, Not Business (The Lefsetz Letter)

Art and business are conflicting concepts. And at times, it’s difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Read this piece by music industry analyst Bob Lefstez a few times. It’s worth it, I promise.

2. Warner Music’s Shazam Deal: What It Means for Music (Billboard Biz)

3. Lyor Cohen’s 300 To Use Big Data as A&R Early Alert System with Twitter Deal (Hypebot)

What happened to artist development and A&R? Can social media and big data now predict hitmakers? Doubtful. But it can tell you who has a potential platform for distribution.

Major entertainment companies — record labels, book publishers, movie studios — do not invest in artist development anymore. They do not have to. Gatekeepers look for creatives with an existing audience and platform.

In years past, these same gatekeepers prided themselves on finding and developing talent early. But with social media and direct-to-fan platforms at our fingertips, gatekeepers now expect artists to do the work themselves before signing. They are not in the business of artistic risk, they are in the business of financing artistic expansion and distribution.

Success on Twitter and Shazam are simply early indicators of an artist’s platform. Every competent entertainment company now has weekly social media recaps, both for their properties and potential signings. Lyor Cohen and Warner Music are now institutionalizing and marketing that process.

4. The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People (Zen Habits)

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude.” Rollo May

5. What’s It Like to Earn a Living Through Poker? (Salon)

Michael Shinzaki takes us through his life as a professional poker player. The roller coaster of success/failure will resonate with any artist or entrepreneur. And after reading this, I realized that I likely played poker with Michael in college.

6. Publishing 3.0 (The Altucher Confidential)

James Altucher outlines his newly-developed thesis to writing, marketing, and distributing books today. He includes benchmark figures, names, and strategies helpful to any author.

7. Life is a game. This is your strategy guide. (Oliver Emberton)

Real life is the game that – literally – everyone is playing. But it can be tough. So Oliver Emberton gives you a guide, from the perspective of playing a strategy game. Big thanks to Andrew for sending me to Oliver’s blog.

8. Why Actors Act Out (New York Times)

James Franco on Shai LaBeouf and a public professional reclaiming his public persona.

9. Ira Glass on the Creative Process (Get Out the Box)

“This American Life” host Ira Glass has some words of wisdom for those struggling to be exceptional at something. Brilliant and real.