If you're reading this we probably met at the Voices United conference in Virginia.
I'll be presenting a session on Aural Literacy on Friday, you can learn more about it by watching my session from 2012 Massachusetts Allstate
If you didn't catch my session, I'll have the video posted here shortly, along with a PDF of the handouts (over 20 pages of content) and a video companion to the handout in case you don't like to read. You can get those goodies by heading over to my Patreon Page and checking out the content stream.
Please feel free to reach out at TopherKeene@gmail.com if you'd like to connect, I'm always up for a quick chat on Skype, and I'd love to hear about what's lighting your heart on fire.
I am so excited to be launching this project.
For years I have dreamed of devoting my life to creativity, passion, and human potential. I've worked with young people for most of my adult life and I've seen the power and inspiration that lives inside each and every child.
Every child is a genius.
Every child is an artist.
And every adult is just a big kid.
Through years of study and mastery in singing, I've found that the people who are most stuck and unhappy in their lives are the ones who have shut the door to their creative potential. The ones who look at painters, dancers, singers, speakers, writers, and other artists and say "I wish I could do that".
You can do that.
Over the last decade I have spoken, taught, and performed at hundreds of schools, colleges, churches, conferences, and community events and I'm here to tell you that anyone, ANYONE, can learn to sing. It's not just singing, I fully believe everyone is capable of expressing themselves in all art forms, but I'm still working on taking poetry and photography and dance and painting classes to prove I walk the walk.
As for singing, I've seen 4 year olds sing their hearts out until an adult told them they weren't good enough.
I've seen 70 year olds tell me about when they were in school and someone told them to "just mouth the words".
I've seen my grandmother in tears singing next to my mother in an audience of over 1000 while I stood on stage leading the song.
I know that the arts, and music, and especially singing can help open up parts of ourselves we thought were closed to the world.
I want to help you - and everyone I can - to open to the beauty the arts have to offer.
And the world has changed just enough in the last decade to make it possible.
Through this blog, short ebooks, full-length books, podcasts, videos, and live events, I'm embarking on a journey of delivering as much art into the world as possible. With my voice and my words and my heart and my soul I will give all I can give in hopes of making a difference in your life. The look on a student's (or an adult's) face when they say "You changed me, my life will never be the same" is worth more than all the material wealth in the world.
But what about that?
It's nice to talk a big game about living a creative lifestyle and contributing art to the world, but how do you pay the bills?
I've done full-time work and part-time work, I've work in and out of the public school system, I work one-on-one with a highly select group of loyal clients, but just recently something has happened that has allowed me to take the leap.
You can learn more at http://patreon.com/TopherKeene but here's the gist:
You know Kickstarter?
This is Kickstarter on steroids.
Patreon allows people who love artists to support their work, just like the Patrons of days past.
I watch every Pentatonix video
I read Zach Weinersmith's comics every day
I now have a way to contribute to them and allow them to continue making their art.
With just a few dollars a month, I become a Patron, a supporter, a believer in their art.
And now, I'm building a tribe.
You can join me at http://patreon.com/TopherKeene and become a Patron too, and as more of us gather, some amazing things can start to happen. When we reach certain milestones, time becomes divorced from income and the freedom of pure creation is released. No longer does a project need to worry about what will sell and what won't, instead an artist can make their art and share it with the world without barriers. Patrons get some exclusive content and more access, including monthly Google Hangouts over video, but everyone in the world gets the art. The blog posts, the book chapters, the podcasts, the videos, the live events all go out into the world for free.
I'm so excited to launch this next stage.
I recently came across a forum post of a young artist asking for help freeing themselves from the perfectionism and fear preventing them from putting their art into the world.
Here's the best advice I've got, I hope it may be helpful when you face the dark terror of producing art.
I've worked with many artists, especially in their late teens early 20s, who are TERRIFIED of going out into the world without something perfect. They listen to the best artists out there and compare themselves to that highest 1% of history while their own work is still developing.
First, watch this, the most important 2:00 of your day:
Now watch it every day before you start your art making
Then, I have an assignment for you, but only if you're ready to be a real artist.
You have one problem.
It isn't a lack of perfection.
A lack of skill.
A lack of ability.
It is a lack of FAILURES.
You haven't failed enough to be good yet.
You may have failed a lot, but go out and make them big and public.
100 Crappy Pieces of Art.
Songs, pages, blogposts, whatever.
You MUST produce BAD art.
You might get lucky, fail once or twice, and produce something kinda good.
You might not.
But you'll learn to overcome your fear of shipping and putting real art into the world.
Good luck, PM me anytime, and go make art!