Self-awareness is the enemy of most art. – Daniel Craig

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I was browsing through Hunger magazine and came across that quote. I swear I wasn’t procrastinating by browsing through a magazine. I was going through the pages for inspiration for my capstone (and personal portfolio site). I really liked it. It’s thought-provoking. I think it really comes down to just letting go. You need to let go and forget yourself for a moment. Yes, it’s important to be aware of who we are as individuals – to note our beliefs, sort through our thoughts, understand our personalities, improve our strengths and crash through our weaknesses – but sometimes you need to forget all of that and just focus on creating…on art. I think I think too much. I’m an analyzer to the core. It can be very helpful in many situations, but sometimes I think I need to shake free of those constraints and just let my creative, carefree spirit run wild. I think it’s during those moments when you produce your best work. I need more of those moments right now.

We got our project proposals back last week with some comments and critique and I just wanted to address that here…hopefully it will help me wrap my head around my own project a little bit better…or at least get some more ideas flowing.

Comment 1: Think about ways to really push the social media aspect so that it’s innovative and helps with career goals.

Reply: So far, I know I want to create my own hashtag to use for this project. I have one in mind (and will let you all know in due time so that you can join the conversation and help me out!), but I’m still trying to decide if it’s catchy enough and will stimulate interest. I want to get people talking about music on Twitter and Instagram with this hashtag. I know simply employing a hashtag is not that innovative…so I’m working to come up with some different ideas. I was thinking of including a collection of people’s Instagram photos on my website (that are maybe hashtagged with my phrase or just revolve around music in general) and then have the photographer of that particular shot give me a short story behind the photo and share what music means to them. That way, when you scroll over the picture, you see their unique story pop up (most likely in written form as audio clips would be hard to get from many people). Kind of like this project done by The Boston Globe.  If anybody has any unique ideas they’d like to share, please please do!

Comment 2: How am I going to tape these interviews? How can I make the video footage an asset and not a liability?

Reply: So obviously I can’t spend the spring semester traveling around the country to personally videotape interviews myself. I would love to just go on one long road trip for the next 3 months, enjoying live shows and talking to artists…but unfortunately Elon wouldn’t award me a master’s degree if that were the case. So, how am I going to get around the issue of (hopefully) getting interview footage from artists who are not in the immediate area? I guess I could try to get a contact person to shoot video for me, but I think that would be difficult to coordinate. I keep leaning towards just having someone send me the interview taped from an iPhone or, more likely, via webcam. I know webcam videos aren’t professional quality, but that aesthetic can really work sometimes. 30 Conversations on Design did it. I think it worked for them. My focus is the content and what is being said about music. Not the video production. I know it would be better to have awesome video footage to look at, but time restraints on this project make it difficult and obviously it’s a hard to directly chat with someone face-to-face who may be 500 miles away. Because I want this project to be participatory (get music fans involved, artists, etc.), I think the more homemade vibe (of using webcam interviews and the like) kind of goes along with my story. Some people suggested adding a certain stylized effect to the video footage, shooting b-roll to put the audio clips over it, or somehow employing strings of Instagram photos together, which I guess I could explore. P.S. Have you seen this music video that is solely Instagram photos? So cool. Ellie Goulding also did it. Love her.

Comment 3: This (project) is definitely relevant to your interests at least on a personal level; not as clear how it might be relevant to your career goals.

Reply: I have to admit, this critique really frustrated me at first because I thought I had covered it a few times between my written proposal and pitch to the class. But if there’s still confusion…I’ll hopefully clear it up now: I ultimately want to be in the field of social media management once I graduate. Meaning, I want to drive the branding efforts and contribute to the marketing strategies of a company/organization through their social media outlets. I think the blend of my understanding of human thought, attitude and behavior (psychology) with my skills in interactive media theory, strategy and production will really help me to succeed in this type of position. This project is relevant to my career goals because I really have to brand this website to establish a unique name and spark interest in this project and I really have to put together an effective social media strategies in order to get people involved and to contribute to the conversation on music. If I can prove that I can effectively brand my project and gain followers on social media sites and really spark a community around this, I will have an amazing portfolio piece that will show employers I have what it takes to help their company’s branding efforts and understand how to effectively leverage social media to their advantage. It’s almost like my own little start-up. Not for commercial goods necessarily, but more so for the exchange of ideas, entertainment, and hopefully some inspiration.

Those are currently the top concerns. Are you tired of me talking? Just a little bit more, promise.

So, I’ve started to gather a list of potential artists to interview. My goal is 15 and I currently have a list of 17 (and admittedly, a number of them are well-known artists who may be quite difficult to convince to participate). I have some other classmates in mind that I need to get in touch with to expand this list. I feel confident that everything will come together and I’ll get some interesting people to talk to.

I think I have a title for the website in mind, which may be the same as the hashtag. I don’t want to spill anything yet! Soon. I’ve also thought a lot about the questions that I want to ask the artists. These are my top picks:

  1. What is your best or favorite musical moment or experience? 
  2. Who is the most prized artist in your own collection of music and why?
  3. What inspires you?
  4. What tracks should I be listening to on my iPod right now?
  5. What does good music mean to you?

I’m open to suggestions! If there are other things you would want to hear from an artist, let me know.

Before I go, I’ll leave you with just a few more things I came across that gave me some sort of inspiration:

The Thomas Oliver Band website (when you scroll over some of their images, a video clip plays in the image…so cool!)

Sidewalk website (just a really awesome website for a band that I don’t know, but need to check out)

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I like writing messages on hands for photographs. Maybe this will come in to play?

2 responses to “Self-awareness is the enemy of most art. – Daniel Craig

  1. So excited to see how this plays out. When you mentioned stylizing the aesthetic of the videos, I imagined black and white videos with colorful lower thirds. Maybe that might help? Also, I have a couple contacts that might come in handy if you’re interested in the local music scene in the Triangle.

    Side note- you would be an incredible social media manager. In fact, I’ll probably endorse you on LinkedIn after I post this. You’ve got a quick wit and online personality that not a lot of people pull off. Good luck with the project and let me know if I can help (because I want to live vicariously through you, that is)!

    • Iris, you’re so phenomenal. Thank you so much for the endorsement, encouragement, interest, suggestion and willingness to help! I appreciate it so much:)

      Should I sign off with LYLAS since I just used a smiley face in a WordPress reply?

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