When I think about where i was a few years ago, I was pretty numb. As an independent singer-songwriter, me and my small team were accomplishing more than ever - going on my first east coast tour, playing SXSW, landing a major film placement, taking major label meetings - but something was missing. That something was me.
We ran so hard and fast through the previous two years just trying to make it work that I completely forgot who I was in the process. The closer I got to industry success, the more people I felt pressured to please. The more milestones we hit, the more conflicting feedback I felt pressured to respond to.
In short, there was a lot of noise. Deaf to my own inner voice, I had let others take control of my identity as both an artist and an individual.
It wasn't until I took a break from music last summer that I began to gain a little clarity. I went on a cleanse. I got quiet. I started meditating. I read a few books (like this one) that changed my life. All of these things that initially seemed like a waste of time became a source of guidance to keep moving forward. I got my voice back. I started writing again. I was more inspired and excited about my work than I had ever been. I was finally creating from the inside-out. This is how Still Mind was born, as a vehicle to help me spread this new energy to the world.
I found that most of my artist friends - musicians, photographers, directors, designers - shared a similar struggle to build their careers and sustain their authentic selves at the same time. We'd trade advice from personal experience and inspirational quotes from books, just as we'd share a new indie band or street artist we were just discovering. Regardless of each other's genre or medium, we'd end up inspiring each other, and I began to see this exchange around self-development as an integral part of artist development. It was all about the journey and it was all in the mind.
What if we changed the way we thought about ourselves and our careers in art? What if, instead of seeking outside validation as our measure of worth, we started looking to the inside for answers?
This is Still Mind. Dedicated to emerging artists and their unique paths to self-discovery.
Art by Brett Baldwin.