In a world where Instagram is the new Linkedin—for some industries at least—many young artists often feel pressured to grow their following apart from improving their craft. And while the socmed platform has definitely helped a lot of artists gain exposure and find job opportunities, the downside is some begin to measure their worth as young professionals on the number of likes and followers they get.
Recently, Davao-based visual artist and filmmaker Breech Asher Harani, along with four other Filipinos, landed Forbes Asia's 30 Under 30 list. While doing research on the impressive individuals and the work that got them recognized, we found Harani's IG account and were quite surprised to see that the accomplished artist has a pretty modest following at a little over a thousand. A fact we honestly found all the more inspiring.
Sure, a dedicated fanbase can definitely help, but there are many paths to success, and you can always forge your own. While having talent is obviously necessary, there's also networking, joining contests, collaborating with other artists, or sending out your portfolio to patrons and different companies.
In an interview with Candy, Harani talks about his creative process, and his advice to young creatives who want to pursue a professional career in the arts.
Candy: Could you tell us about your creative process and how you approach a project from inception?
Breech Asher Harani: All my projects start forming before I sleep at night. I have a habit of imagining things before sleeping so when I wake up in the morning, I write them down, look for visual inspirations until I start making them.
When I feel like I can do it alone, I do pre-prod, production and post-prod all by myself. But if I have other technical stuff that I can't perform, I collaborate with artist friends abroad. Collaboration is more fun.
C: What's the best way to get inspired that isn't dependent on finding pegs?
BAH: For me the best way to get inspired is to not find inspiration at all. When you pressure yourself to get inspiration, most of the time you will never find it. Usually, what I do is just relax, erase all the worries, and suddenly one simple thing that I see or hear around me could be an inspiration.
C: What's the most effective way for you to keep learning and improving on your craft outside of classes and workshops?
BAH: When I go to different places, the first thing I do is to observe and talk to people, strangers or acquaintances. The expressions, the mannerisms, the color choices, and their philosophies in life are for me the best way to improve myself and my craft. I don't know what it is about conversations, but they help me go across boundaries and that really helped me find new concepts and ideas for my artworks.
C: Are there any emerging communities for artists that newbies can join?
BAH: There are actually a lot of communities out there. Though I can't name them one by one but the unfortunate thing is most of them are exclusive. I'm a part of 5 artists communities but it's a close group so it's hard to infiltrate for others. The reality is, the world love exclusivity, it kinda makes people feel valid.
C: Best advice you've ever received that helped you with your career that isn't about/directly relate to art.
BAH: "If you are afraid to jump, then that's exactly the time you jump."
C: What’s your advice to fresh grad creatives who want to pursue their craft professionally, especially in the time of COVID-19?
BAH: My advice for them: There is no absolute way of doing things. In life, in art, our approaches in achieving our goals differ. The important thing is, they find their own voice, their own style or their own secret recipe to success. Nowadays, even if we are isolated in our homes, it's never an excuse to not be creative. The internet connects us all, use it as an advantage.
Calling all creatives!
Candy Bulletin is finally here! If you're an aspiring writer, vlogger, artist, or kahit marami ka lang talagang time, submit your entries here and make your mark in the Candy community! Share your feels, show your skills. Don't worry—we won't judge. ;)