Thursday, January 19, 2012

indie is NOT a bad Word

Like most indie artists, I spend much time attempting to carve out my own tiny parcel of the artistic landscape. Whatever field you may be creating your vision, we all hope for that piece of the pie. Sure, we watch the names that rise to the top of the indie charts and wonder what their secret is. But we can't get lost in trying to be them, because we're not. We are ourselves. 

There are so many things one does to build a platform. From blogging, to engaging in forum discussions, to following other artists in our fields. All with the dream of microscopic expansion. I recently was doing one of those very exercises of "Liking" other author's Facebook pages (in hope they return the love) and what I found was so many people exactly like me. Not one of them is Dan Brown or Jodi Picoult, but each doing (hopefully) what they love. Creating art in their own way and wanting to share it with others. (And finding time to retreat and write their next book while marketing the existing one.)

I heard an amazing radio interview the other morning with indie filmmaker/actor Edward Burns on the Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on Sirius Radio. He spoke of how many in his shoes hope to be discovered and pulled out of the indie world, but he never wanted that. He wanted to be the "Long Island Woody Allen" and make interesting films that showed a splice of his life. He also shared how technology continues to change the playing field. Indie musicians discovered they can do music in the basement and sell their work. Authors have been able to get their books into hands of readers at low cost thanks to eBooks. And filmmakers can shoot a film for much less now and then distribute it using On Demand television instead of praying that a screen in NYC and LA will show their film.

There is so much to be learned from reading how artists are doing what they can to make themselves heard...even if that sound is so small, only a handful are around to enjoy it. But be thankful for that handful. Friends and family talk. Bloggers give honest opinions. And before you know it, strangers are writing to you saying your art has touched them in a profound way.

As Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell said in the hit musical [title of show] - which started as a small indie musical:

"I’d rather be nine people’s favorite thing
Than a hundred people’s ninth favorite thing."  


  1. Well said! I caught that Morning Joe show with Ken Burns as well. Fantastic segment. Love how he went back to his indie roots and just went out and shot.

  2. Thanks, James. Seems more and more people are finding those roots to be a place of comfort. Nice to hear.