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4 Things Creatives Can Learn From Justin Bieber And Skrillex

Josh wrote today’s post!  He’s our video guru and creative extraordinaire.  I love him (and I’m married to him), and I think you’re going to love what he has to say:

I don’t often write here on the blog because, as it relates to the creative industry, I don’t often have that much to offer or that much relate with, especially when it comes to wedding vendors.  Don’t get me wrong, I love you people! The thing is, we just approach weddings (and perhaps life in general) in very different ways. I’m not always up to date on all the lingo. I don’t know the latest and greatest trends. I don’t have the coolest lens bag, or the best shoes to be up on my feet all day. I don’t know the best hashtags to get my business the most facetime. Don’t misunderstand me– I don’t think those things are bad, and I wish I was MORE of a trendsetter and an early adopter, but that’s just not me. I march to the beat of a different drum. My creative view is my own. By the time I’m doing something awesome, it went out of style 6 months ago. I wear flat brim hats and vans and somehow I still manage to be in this awesome industry among some of the coolest hipsters I know, and I mean that as a compliment! But it’s ok… it works for me. My couples and commercial clients love it. Some people don’t. But regardless of all of that, I am still a creative and an avid music fan. While listening to some beats this morning while working, something brilliant occurred to me. I realized that we could all learn a lesson or two from an unlikely source: Skrilliex and the Biebs. So here goes:

1) Don’t apologize for who you are. You are you. Don’t try to be something that you aren’t! There’s no need to copy or emulate anyone else. Do your own thing long enough and no matter what the haters say, you will find an audience. Not only will you find them, but they’ll grow and be FIERCELY loyal. Sure, do what’s cool. Do what you need to in order to get a client base, and by all means, don’t be afraid of trends. I’m sure Justin didn’t LOVE the song Baby, but it put him on the map and gave him a big audience. Baby is a formulaic pop song that sounds like any other boy hit from the last 20 years, but again, it put him on the map. But now? He does his own thing and people love it. Millions of them. Do what you need to do to get going, but don’t be afraid of YOU!

2) Don’t be afraid to do things the unconventional way. If you don’t know who Skrillex is, he’s basically a DJ who put dubstep and electronic music on the map in a big way in the US. Formally known as Justin Moore, he was once the lead singer of a fledgling rock band in LA. After little success in the early days, he finally started doing things the way HE wanted to, and begin to make electronic and dubstep music. In 2010, he released his debut EP under the pseudonym Skrillex as a FREE download on MySpace. Yup, you read the right. MYSPACE! Wasn’t myspace dead in 2010? Apparently not. Skrillex put himself on the map that year doing what many of us would never dream of: using myspace for something that’s ACTUALLY cool. The lesson here? Don’t be scared of using unconventional methods to broaden your audience and build your tribe. You might just make yourself a national sensation!

3) Take some time to find out who you are. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly been in the position where I am either A) trying to meet an impossible standard, or B) overworking myself on something that I’m no longer passionate about, often trying to replicate rather than innovate. Sometimes we find ourselves in a spot where we are doing something we thought was awesome only to realize monotony and mindless replication have completely stifled our creativity. So what do you do? Take some time. If you have the money, do whatever you can to pass some time and just find out who you are. In 2014, Justin faced a lot of legal trouble as the result of many bad decisions. What causes people to make bad decisions? I can’t say for Justin specifically, but I know many who would say that bad decisions are a result of trying to fill a void in their soul. In the search for adventure and significance, and feeling alone, we sometimes take desperate measures just to be able to FEEL something. Don’t let this be you! You’re probably not a millionaire and can’t take a whole year off, or even a few months, but you CAN do something different. Find a new hobby, get a new job. Do something outside your comfort zone. Whatever is necessary, take some time to find out who YOU Are.

4) NEVER, EVER underestimate the power of collaboration. This might be my favorite point of all. You may have heard that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Let me tell you, it’s true! Check this out: In 2015, Skrillex joins up with another big DJ, Diplo, to form the group JackÜ. JackÜ collaborates with Justin Beiber for a new album. Then what? “Purpose” is released. Bieber had scrapped the album several times until collaborating with two superstar DJ’s who sounded nothing like his style. What happened? Magic if you ask me. The album is unreal. It’s different, it’s fresh, it’s innovative. Yes. I am saying a Justin Bieber album is awesome. It’s his 6th number one album, selling 649,000 copies the first week! That’s more than t-swift’s 1989 album and literally almost unimaginable in todays industry. Three artists who weren’t doing very much, who by all accounts were on their way out are now dominating the top of the charts. What opportunities are you missing out on because you think your way is the best way, or the only way? I think our boy Vanilla Ice summed it up best when he said “Stop, collaborate and LISTEN!”

In closing, creative work is tough. It demands that we constantly innovate, and then build on that innovation with hard work and purposeful delivery. Let’s take a cue from creatives at the top of their field, and do what we have to do in order to make the biggest impact!