It’s not everday that you get to thank a musical artist for a compliment they gave you. A year ago I Tweeted out (using my old Twitter handle) sketches of a band that I found a new love for, Nothing But Thieves before their show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I wasn’t expecting much at all, just primarily hoping that they saw it.
I was at a point where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue with my work. I struggled for several years trying to figure out what kind of artist I was and what kind of work I should make. That fueled to me doubting in my own skill. I didn’t think I was good. I never shared my work outside of family and friends because I was afraid my doubts were going to be concretized. Finally, I wanted to put an end to my questions and my doubts and I sent these simple drawings out into the Twitter-verse in the hopes that there would be some validation, positive or negative, from someone that didn’t know me.
To my unexpected surprise, the morning after the show, there was a comment from Joe, one of their guitarists about the drawings. To say the compliment was flattering would be an understatement. Admittedly, while it would have been flattering if the comment came from any of the five of them, the fact that it came from Joe, meant a little more. I had been following the band for 8 months at the time and I had listened to interviews of theirs. I found myself respecting how Joe would talk about the band’s creative process as well as his own creative process. I quote him on the home page of this website. I admired the fact that he changed his life to surround himself with capturing and creating song ideas, rather than having the creative process be just a convenience to the rest of his life.
It’s one thing to get a “like” or a retweet. It’s a different thing when someone takes the time to write something back. That compliment turned the tide for me as an artist and completely inspired me to finally do all of the projects I have done in the last year. I have gotten more commission inquiries in the last year than I have any of the years leading up to this.
I really wanted to be able to thank him in person for saying that, but I didn’t think I was going to get the opportunity to. I waited a year and was lucky enough to see them perform again in San Francisco. I still didn’t know if I was going to get the opportunity to say anything. But, I waited awhile after the show which is not something I normally do and thankfully, they were outside after the show meeting the fans that stuck around. I introduced myself and told him my story, not expecting there to be much of a reaction.
He remembered my work. He said how amazing it was. He was so glad to hear that I continued with my work, that I was too good not to. And it meant a lot that he was so happy to hear my story. It is so encouraging to find artists that are finding a lot of success in their own work, but still make time to compliment others’ work. Had he not said anything, I’m not sure if I would have created all of the things I have done in the past year.
Give meaningful compliments, you never know what it might do for someone! Thank you to Joe Langridge-Brown!