Friday, February 7, 2014

Confessional: Real World Style

I learn something every day.
I suppose that's the point of living: to always be learning. You're either learning about something that's happening on the other side of the world, you're learning how to do something in your office, or you're learning a life lesson from someplace unexpected.
I have the honor of running an online magazine and it's been the tool to teach me more than I ever thought I didn't know about various industries, working with people and about myself. I have had the privilege of working with some of the most talented artists in the world, both in front of and behind the camera, and not a day goes by where I'm not unbelievably thankful and overwhelmed by that. I've worked with artists who have such a genuine love for creating and collaborating, and that is deeply fulfilling, no matter what industry they may herald from.
But I've also been given work with people who are less than wonderful. It's from those people and those situations where I learn the most about myself.
I am such an optimist and when I'm so excited about interviewing someone I've looked up to for one reason or another, and they end up being an empty shell wrapped in an attractive exterior, I become depressed. I don't like people, no matter how famous they may be, who buy into their own hype. It's a turn off to me and not the reason I got into this business.
I got into this business to share the stories of artists who might not get their stories told otherwise. To give voice to creative people. As we've grown, it's become more important to speckle our issues with more known creative people because their draw will bring eyes and ears to read the stories of all of the other artists in the issue. And for the most part, those people have been lovely.
I'm not naming any names or specific people who have upset me - that's not important and it's been something that's been building for a while - but it's caused me some honest reflection and having to re-think some things.
My default mood is happy and when I can't seem to break out of being unhappy, that means I have to make a change. So I'm going to be making changes. I love what I do, I love what I get to do. But I can't indulge unappreciative and arrogant artists any longer.
Magazines are different than newspapers, in my opinion. Magazines are a part of the conversation, and at times, are creating the conversation - not just reporting it. I want the conversation that we create to be positive, uplifting to all types of artists and creative mediums, and to be a source readers can rely on solid content. I also want our issues to be full of artists worth caring about.
So as we grow, as things continue to change, one thing will remain the same: We love creative people. We do or we wouldn't kill ourselves every month to make these issues a reality. I am just going to be more choosy with who we love enough to put in our issues. My happiness depends on it.