I like to do things myself. I like to learn, I like to produce, I like to have control, and I often find that I get a lot of satisfaction when I do something with my own hands, rather then send it off to be done.
This is by no means the smartest thing to do all, or even some of the time. For example, if I tried to build my own car, I’m certain that it would take me years and I wouldn’t have near the budget to make the quality parts that modern cars have.
However, there are a lot of times that this works out for me. I like to print my own stationary like cards and watermarking letters. I have published my own CD and two books of poetry – well, technically my media holding house King Kabuz Media published them. I do my own banking and taxes and filed the papers to incorporate my company last year. I’ve built my own website and configured my own servers.
Indie. Independent. I’m independent from the traditional hierarchy of getting somebody else to do the work for me. I think I borrowed this mentality from the Punks who did everything themselves from making their own clothes to hand crafting their album covers. I think this also comes from my fascination with hackers. Hacking: to make things work with the resources you have.
The problem I’m finding with this kind of attitude is that it makes some kind of invisible block to ask for help, which in turn affects how I speak about what I do, which in turn maybe makes me sound conceited.
For example, if I were to have a book agent who got my book in the hands of a distributor who in turn ordered 10,000 copies of the book, I think more of you would have known I published a book. It’s bound and everything! Order yours today for the small price of $15. Some restrictions may apply. How could I possibly communicate to 10,000 people that my book is valuable, inspiring, and worth adding to your library? And if I do try to starting convince these 10,000 eager fans to buy my book, how many will say: “Why would I buy Ned’s poetry when I can just write my own stuff?”
I firmly believe that this indie attitude filters over into many of the things that I do. This approach allows me to put my unique touch on what I do. I get to make it how I want to. I don’t have to sacrifice to be more marketable.
I guess in a way I feel I’m resisting the system. Hazel Dooney – a well known Australian artist – has talked about this for quite some time with regards to the antiquated art gallery business model she has become fed up with. Why should I blindly follow a system that, for starters, has got our world in this position, and also doesn’t feel right to me which doesn’t allow for my personality to apply?
I resist the system by thinking for myself, using my capacity as a human to make decisions that align with my ethics. It may take more time, it may inhibit success, it may make my road forever uphill.. but you can damn well put your money on me leaning into the slope as I keep on trying.