2013 marks the 10th year I've been working in the music business.
10 fucking years.
What started as a chance to pay my rent while at LSU by making buddy icons for Sonic Youth has evolved into an obsession, a way of life. I went to college for art and drew my way through it. Well… almost. I knew early on that all I wanted was to make sure my work was seen and the artists I've worked for over the years have given me that opportunity. There's no way I could thank all of them here, but Mars Volta, Jimmy Eat World, AFI, and Foo Fighters deserve a special shout out. Thank you guys.
I wouldn't have gotten here without my mentor and best tattoo'd lady friend: Kristen. She tapped me when I was just a lowly fan site owner and helped me make the leap to official site developer. She understands the basic concept that hard working fans, no matter how unlikely their location, deserve a chance to participate. And it's not just about using hardcore fans for your bidding, it's about cultivating that relationship and understanding that particular fans' perception of the artist as a campaign. Thank you Kristen. Swap meet?
I also have to thank my “boss for life” John Silva and his amazing staff at SAM for making me a part of their family and spoiling me with the best job in the music business, even though I only lasted two years. I think I go into the office even more now that I've quit (and not only for the free lunches), because one does not simply leave the Samily… Speaking of ex-co-workers, danke to my friends at SoundCloud like Eric, Robb, and countless others for helping me take web development much more serious and introducing me to the world of open-source, international travel, and collaboration.
I know, this is starting to sound like an acceptance speech. Next up I'll thank my loyal fans and the Lord, but the truth is: I'm very lucky and I can't thank all of the folks above, artists, and my network of colleagues for their guidance and continuous inspiration over the past ten years. I owe each of you a cold beverage to be redeemed at a future wasted night out of your choosing.
Something I would have done differently
This. Sharing stories and open-souring the knowledge I've gained.
For a large part of those ten years I kept everything I did very secret, thinking that my techniques and the ways I executed on projects were my biggest asset. This is partly true, but I was looking at it in the wrong way.
Not only does sharing free yourself of your ideas to make room for new ones, it also encourages your peers to share not only their opinion of your thoughts but ideas of their own. In fact, every time I post an idea, I'm constantly greeted with several new ones. If only I would have started doing this earlier!