music and poetry for sensitive birds

I grew up on the tail end of a culture that hated when artists “sold out”. It was looked down upon for artists to put their artistic aspirations aside to pursue commercial success, becoming a mouthpiece for consumerism and “the man”.

Sometime in the 2010s, this idea died and was replaced with the more encouraging, “get the bag.” This evolution recognized the immense amount of money corporations make and the inequities faced by artists, especially artists of color. Culturally, it challenged the acceptability of the starving artist — a notion we desperately needed to stop romanticizing.

Now, in 2024, social media, content creation, and the explosion of TikTok in particular, has ushered in a third era: the DIY artist — super passionate people who make art and run their business, either by themselves or with a small team as they gain success.

Yet to gain this success, the artist must conform to the algorithmic structures of social platforms in hopes their message will be received and valued. Social media, and internet marketing as a whole, requires this of all artists.

Artists invest our time into understanding how to play the game, sacrificing time and energy that our art deserved.

The alternative asks artists to be hobbyists, never able to dedicate themselves to their craft. (Unless they hit the lottery that is success by traditional route).

There’s no way around it. I don’t care how many videos you film in one day, what scheduling tool you use, how you create a content plan — no one puts that much work into creating content day after day for no reason.

How, then, do we divest art from our rampant capitalism without expecting artists to starve or survive off the generous donations of benefactors?

I think this is the journey of our generation. It is the transition period we must walk. It’s not ideal. In fact, it kind of sucks. But it’s also our responsibility to envision how it could be.

For me, this looks like living in both worlds but prioritizing the real one. That means playing shows, touring, selling merch, building an email list — doing everything I can to develop a direct relationship between my music and the people who want more of it.

But it means I will also learn how to use TikTok and Spotify and YouTube to promote my music to the greatest extent possible, while intentionally putting more time into learning and creating than marketing and operations.

Which is easier said than done. My passion will become a business, afterall. For now, it’s a vision. One I must adapt to the realities of the world I navigate.

Success, for this artist, means building a sustainable, equity-based business around my music while being flexible in my ideals and uncompromising in my values.

I’ll have reached my current understanding of career success when my business supports the life and dreams of me and my employees...and we debut a tour that sells out in days.

Remorse Colored Relief

Conner Carey

Every sheet
Every short
Every clean surface I own has become red,
then brown,
then a pale circle that says,

“You bled here,”
for two years.

I have no wardrobe anymore;
just evidence
of my spiderweb uterus.


Endometriosis that grows through the muscle tissue of my uterus, tearing my life into fits and stops that revolve around,

“Is my pad underwear clean?"
"Will there be a bathroom?"
"Can I sacrifice this outfit if I spill over?”

In two months, I am free.
In two months, the potential life I always assumed would be mine to grow and hold,

What of the mini-me running around, curly bob and powdered baby bottom?
How do I grieve what will never come to be?

Eye of The Untold Her

Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling is the perfect example of an entrepreneur-artist who gained incredible success while showcasing how the future can be for artists. In this video, she reflects on the courage it took to get here.

Write It Down

What does success mean to you? How will you know when you get there?

Thank you for reading; go do badass things today 💚


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