I wrote this after putting this idea into words in the, “about me” section of my website but it’s been something that’s been on my mind for awhile.
When you’re doing something creative one of the first questions many people try to solve is how do I stand out.
When I first began spending significant amounts of time editing video I thought the answer to this was to achieve an extreme level of technical prowess within whatever editing software I was using or in terms of finding the most epic adn expansive subject matter to point a camera at.
I still believe achieving technical expertise is extremely important but I now realize that it isn’t the top of the pyramid as far as what an aspiring creative should focus on.
If you take a step back and look at many successful pieces of art in video and music on YouTube many of the, “hits” of the last decade, the pieces of content that really stand out aren’t the most highly produced vacation videos shot in 4k of lush landscapes or the songs that feature a vocalist that sings an objectively flawless love song.
While I don’t want to knock content that falls into said categories and while this type of content will often be very successful at generating a positive like-dislike ratio as well as a substantial amount of attention, I think the content that really sticks with viewers isn’t prioritizing the technical side above everything else.
Instead, something else is utilized, the abstract and intangible characteristics that an artist themselves brings to the table and this is what is featured center stage.
It isn’t how crisp the vocals are on a song, it’s how the artist singing the vocals inflects the words and the emotional undertones in the song that go beyond the literal vibration of the vocals themselves.
It isn’t how many back flips or incredible geographical locations you can pack into a vacation video edit, instead it’s finding the truly unique places to cut your footage together or getting a unique sound byte of a local and editing it in the midst of the vacation video.
So how do you gain an advantage and become the person who can make content that stands out due to the personality behind it?
If I was going to give two bullet points as to my own theory on how to achieve this they would be.
- Don’t have skeletons in your closet
Another way to say this is you need to be the same person you are in front of the camera behind closed doors.
One way I know that I am beginning to achieve this is that when I record myself talking about things I’m interested in in front of a camera I can do it in one take and don’t need to go through the effort of putting on a mask in order to present myself in a way I’m comfortable with.
2. Play the character of yourself, my website signature, b3y0urs3lf.
Whatever you’re doing, it needs to be coming from a genuine place & more importantly you need to develop your own artistic recipe or identity. Working to become a carbon copy of other will never work if you want to make something impactful.
Being inspired is fine, even replicating other’s work when you’re still in the stage of developing your style & technical abilities.
But, when it really comes down to it and you’ve developed sufficient enough technical skills to make what’s in your head you need to be being inspired by other’s AT MOST.
You can’t be cloning stuff other people have made and expect to stand out and be a unique artist.
The last thing I’ll say is because of my believe that this is the way that being a unique artist functions you shouldn’t ever be worried about someone stealing your ideas or style and running with it.
If the secret recipe is you than the only way someone would be able to truly steal your ideas & style then be successful with it would be to become you.