Vulnerability as an artist is a difficult topic to tackle in that it has so many layers, corners, and nuances. On the one hand, I feel like if I'm not creating art that is genuine and representative of myself, then it's not worth the effort. There's only one of me, and despite how many honey mustard pretzels and burned CDs of musical theater soundtracks and cheap sundresses you might throw in a cauldron, I can't be replaced (one is more than enough). And I can say the same thing about every single one of you! That's why we listen to each other's songs and read each other's stories: there is something each of us can create that no one else can create. Hence: vulnerability is priceless.
And yet, we need to articulate and package our thoughts in digestible ways. I don't think putting on make up is disingenuous -- in fact, for some folks, make up helps them become their truest selves. I don't think curating an Instagram feed is disingenuous and I don't think spending time making a song that has a certain amount of appeal is disingenuous. It means we are creating accessibility. Gestating your art is absolutely a genuine part of the process and I will GLADLY tell your lo-fi indie boyfriend that soliciting the services of professionals doesn't make someone a "sell-out." Like seriously, give me his number I just wanna talk.
And yet, as I sit here toggling back and forth between eight different artist profiles, attempting to make them all look uniform and professional, and as I sit in the middle of a messy house with a sleeping baby, as I wear expired foundation and ride a few waves of jealousy over the success of my peers, as I draft a pre-save campaign for an upcoming single, I can't help but feel like a little bit of a liar. I pretend like I have my shit together because I want people to have faith in my art but the truth is, I'm learning as I go. Literally. Today I googled "pre-save campaign ??" with one hand while finding a Sesame Street with a hot celebrity cameo with the other (please don't judge me I have been inside for TEN GODDAMN MONTHS). I'm proud of my accomplishments, my bravery, my gumption, and the knowledge that I've acquired, but there's so much I DON'T know, and there are so many ways I feel inadequate.
I'm sharing this to see if (A) anyone can relate and (B) to help bridge the occasional chasm between honesty and presentability.