The Struggle of Authenticity / by Tristan Irvine

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"How do I get organic followers?"

Here is the first day to writing a huge length of Blogs. I have a lot to share an say, but at the moment all that goes through my mind is the fight with authenticity in which I am facing. I think as an artist in these grueling days of Social Media, it is something we all war with. Growing up it was called 15 minutes of fame, but now that has all been reduced to just a few minutes, if not 15 seconds. How does one battle with such competition for just 15 seconds, and how does one convinced themselves that it's even worth it? The answer is simple, you don't!

Yes, I too was gripping to that ride of 1k followers on IG, or trying to get over the 300 hump on Facebook. A clear message in my head, asking if I am good enough, and am I worth it? Numbers don't lie after all right? Yes, and no. Yes they lie, because every follower you have out there is not an organic follower. To them you are 5 seconds, if not less. The door swings both ways, if you are not worth their gaze, neither are they. Don't spend time looking at time lost, and keep your gaze forward! The secret to all of this is all within you. It's like a bad Sci-Fi novel, where an adventurer goes out seeking the mysteries and truths of the universe. Only at the end to realize everything was inside of them. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself, subjectively, is the punchline. As told by the great comedian Bill Hicks, or you may have found it while blasting Tool every night. 

What exactly IS inside you, anyways? That's a confusing rhetoric on itself. A bunch of frustrating hippy dippy bullshit! How can you get more exposure from other people, from what's inside you? I don't think I have all the answers, but this is something I've recently had to face, until the aha moment took control. Here's where the numbers don't lie, organic likes and follows. Remember that everyone is all searching for their place in the universe, most looking into everyone else's life. Some for entertainment, some to escape looking into themselves, and some just to learn more and more until they explode!  You are some one, you reflect this to a certain extent. There is only one way you can achieve that naturally. Make stuff that makes YOU happy. Work hard at it, let your early iterations be crap, and observe how everyone else's works. Research is the air beneath our wings, that leads us to a clearer resolve as an artist. 

The journey of self doubt doesn't come from trying and failing, the journey of self doubt comes from never doing it in the first place. Okay, maybe you did it once or twice, and it discouraged you because you thought it meant you were not talented. Talent is all about perception, and the rest is hard work to get to that vision (or somewhere close to it). It will NEVER be perfect. Perfection is something that is not decided by us, it is decided by chaos. Perfection comes from existing within the chaos, and surviving. Like the Shark, it did not decide one day to be a shark, it evolved into perfection. Evolve, ride your vision, let the world see how you see it. It is not about the destination, but rather the journey that builds confidence. Confidence is not arrogance, do not be fooled. Those are but False Prophets of the art world. These people try so hard, do not try, do! Yoda once said, "No! Try not, do, or do not, there is no try!" You're either showing up and moving forward, or you're losing moments that can teach you everything you need to know. Experiences that will define who you are. These moments, will awaken you, and drive you. 

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Now that you are clear on the bouts you will face on the road to self discovery, it's time to get down to business. How do I get organic followers? How does everything feel like more then five seconds of attention. Here's where the balance comes in, do, but do not. There is a theory among social media experts that there is a natural ebb and flow to when people spy their social media, and this is when you should release your work. This is where is gets interesting, where you become the master of time. Most times we create something, and we immediately release it. Do not release as a reflex. PLAN your releases, around lunch time, and when people get off work. 11-12pm, and 4-6pm, you stick to those times, you will see a boost in views, likes, and follows. Be aware, you're going to get follows and unfollows a lot, deal with it. It's lost constantly liking your work, that's who matters. For Instagram hashtags at the right time, will attract new potential organic views. Set a schedule for yourself. If you miss a day or week, it doesn't matter, just learn to stick with it. Create habits. All this is the hard work, you must endure. To open your world, go to meetups, parties, or get to know like minded people. If they don't want to share like you do, move along. The more you do it, the better response you will get. Remind yourself why you love what it is you do, and let that be completely separate of anyone else. It is only for you to know, and for you to get at. Those are all the do's. 

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Let's talk about the flow, or the state of flow. The act of doing, by not doing. Have you ever tried to be cool, and it has blown up in your face, and made you embarrassed? Made you feel like you're rolling 1's, or thinking Mercury is in Retrograde? Well to gain perfect Harmony with the Tao, you must practice Wu Wei. The act of being completely natural. When we are thinking about what we're doing, we are too focused on what we are doing that we spend no time letting our intuition take over. You must flow like a river, and let the gravity of your exploration guide you. Finding a balance between letting go, and directing yourself to your goals is where you want to be. It is the ONLY way to be authentic. Let go of your ego (who you think you are), and your predetermined idea of perfection (how you think things should be), and let it happen. Take the tools you have discovered so far, and let your intuition guide them. Learn to trust yourself, and let your creativity flow through you. If you shut yourself down, and dismiss such things from occurring, you will never find out how to truly listen to yourself. That is true confidence. That is authenticity. 

Moving forward, I would like to let my ideas flow into future blogs. Let it be about self help, demos, and how tos, I will keep an open mind. I would love to hear any comments, or stories you would like to share! Let me know what you thought of this entry. We are all in this together! Enjoy the many experiences there are to have! 

Thank you,
Tristan Kennedy Irvine