I get asked a lot about being an artist and how I started and stuff. I know it's of interest to people wanting to get started on their own path of being an artist, but honestly it's not really like there's a formula or something that you follow and you suddenly become an artist.
The first thing is to decide if you want to do music because you're passionate about it or if you want to make money doing it. Some people are passionate about it but don't want to make the commitment to earn a living from it. I mean like they love singing in school or at church and think it's something they want to do as a career. But when I've asked some of them to put their singing on youtube so people can critique it, they get all shy about it or are freaking out that they'll get made fun of. It's then that I tell them they are kidding themselves if they think they'll make a career out of it. So, like the first thing you have to do is be ready to deal with haters and people hating on your music and skill.
Next thing is always remember that there's someone better than you in every way. Someone more skilled, more popular, having more opportunity, more experience, more, more, more. You're never going to be on top. Even the artists who are world famous aren't the best. There's always another artist with more awards, more fans, more albums, more money, etc. Get used to knowing that you're always trying to get better and you haven't arrived. If you can't accept that you're not as good or as bad as others (or yourself) think, you're wasting your time.
As a Christian, though, I get so many fans messaging and emailing me about my being an artist. Honestly, it's annoying to read some of the messages because while I'm a Christian and try to please God in everything I do, I don't consider myself a Christian artist the way they try to label me.
I'm an artist who is a Christian.
I'm a Christian who is an artist.
Just like a lawyer can be a Christian and a teacher can be a Christian, I'm an artist who is a Christian. I don't consider myself SINGING FOR GOD any more than a taxi-driver would tell people they are DRIVING for GOD. I sing because it's how God made me. I don't specifically consider being an artist as some special category of person who is doing it "FOR THE LORD". I no more say that than an auto-mechanic would advertise "I'm a mechanic for the lord". Of course you want to please God in anything you do if you're a Christian, but I think too many people mix up music and being a Christian as though there is some special category of artist that is reserved to only be about worship and praise music or being on a praise and worship team at a church.
Simply, being a Christian is a full time job with everything I do in life, not just a prefix before the word "artist". As an athlete, I always tried to have a Christian attitude and treat others like God wants me to. But it doesn't make me some unique category called a Christian Basketball Player. I'm a Christian. It's like we don't label other artists "Jewish Artist" or "Buddhist Artist". Their belief in God is what they choose to be personally. Their career may not involve work within their synagogue or temple. I don't sing in church and don't make music that is for praise and worship. There are many of my friends that are called to be a praise and worship singer. I'm called to be an artist who makes music that my peers will listen to and hopefully have lyrics that encourage them and give them hope to overcome life's disappointments and challenges.
So, being an artist is what I am trying to be. Being a Christian is what I am. When I'm on a stage performing, I'm performing because it's a gift inside of me given from God. Just the same as an accountant does well with financial stuff because God made them to handle numbers good. When I'm on a stage, the fun I have and enjoyment you see is because I am wired to perform and share the music God inspires me to write. Christians tend to think that just because I'm very comfortable speaking about my faith on social media or sharing my experiences in lyrics that reflect my faith journey, somehow I'm a "Christian Artist". I only have a problem with this label when it comes to the religious Christians who want to judge me or others for "how" I should be as an artist.
My personal call from God is to love Him and love people. No more, no less. If being an artist helps me fulfill that, then great. If being a pizza maker helps me fulfill that, great.
So if you want to be an artist, then be an artist. Just know that being an artist is a lifestyle and requires a lot of hard work. Never let people label you or try to put you in a box that they define. Who you are is who you are, regardless of people's acceptance or approval.
Pleasing God in whatever I do is my goal and so far He has helped me have some impact with music. I hope it stays that way.