Morale on a Shifting Landscape

    Maintaining morale in the shifting landscape that is the life of the artist, it’s tough! Nothing is certain. I guess that’s almost a universal truism, but it seems to be more true in a vocation that is fundamentally about questioning social norms.

    Or maybe that’s just my iconoclast nature.

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    I was hammered by doubts for the past few weeks, which is strange because ALGORITHM’s views are again on the rise. As of this morning, it’s now averaging more than 12,000 views a day, which is a little mind-boggling. 

    That’s 48 completely sold-out movie theaters, 9 months after it’s initial release! And it’s doing that every single day!

    For a few months I’d been trying to find a company to do ALGORITHM’s DVD/Blu-ray combo-packs. It’s called either manufacturing or more specifically, replication. 

    Disc manufacturing breaks down into two categories: duplication, which uses lasers to burn discs. This is faster for a few discs, but much slower for larger orders. 

    Replication is when the manufacturer takes the digital image of the disc, an .iso/.dmg/etc and creates a glass disc that has been etched to match the data on the disc. That glass disc is then used to press plastic before it hardens. Replication takes longer in the beginning, but after the glass master has been made, it gets much, much faster than duplication. Replication also tends to produce less errors over the entire run of discs.

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    Anyway, I was looking for a company to do that for me. Some were out of business. Some got bad reviews. Some simply didn’t respond to email inquires and in the case of Pacific Disc, they’re number had changed and is now a makeup company.

    I guess that’s the nature of businesses. 90% of all businesses fail. Disc manufacturing doesn’t seem to be an exception.

    My artist mind wasn’t telling me that. My artist mind was telling me that people didn’t want to work with me specifically. I couldn’t explain why, but it was clear from the lack of responses I was getting that somehow my name had spread through the industry and people had blacklisted me.

    Naturally, that cascaded into my letting down the people who believed in me during the crowdfunding campaign. It meant I wouldn’t be able to sell discs according to my distribution plan because I couldn’t make discs to sell.

    That, then led into believing that Intelligent Design [#IDShow] wouldn’t happen because no one would trust me because I had failed with ALGORITHM. That means I’d be done as an artist. And I’d let down Wallace, who had believed in me enough to come over and help me brainstorm Intelligent Design for a day.

    That played on my deep insecurities from being rejected and being an outsider as a child, of never being picked for sports teams, of never doing well in school, of never having a girlfriend until much later in life, of not having a normal career and fitting into to society in a standard acceptable way.

    Sometimes that’s the way my mind sometimes works. Sometimes it likes to kick the crap out of me, especially when I’m already down. Truth, reality, facts they often play almost no part in my reasoning.

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    However, I believe we experience adversity and we struggle in order to show us truths about ourselves and about life, if we’re open to it. The truth is, as I explored in a previous post, that those failures and rejections I experienced as a child weren’t my fault. I was just a kid. I had some physical and mental disabilities too, compounding my difficulty. Of course I couldn’t keep up! I had quite a few handicaps!

    In recognizing that, in seeing each event under a different light, and by forgiving myself for the failure that couldn’t have been anything else, I changed the way my artist mind works. The doubts still come, but now I know the source is a lie and that lie has been exposed. Once a lie has been exposed, any power it once had is gone.

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    Around the same time I recognized the lie and saw it for what it was, I also found a company called Disc Makers that I’m going to work with. They can make the combo-pack I need and the price I can afford. They’ve been around for almost 100 years and their costumer service is awesome, so far.

    Don’t worry, if they screw up, I’ll post about it.