Why Classics Are The New New

A few weekends ago I had a lovely time away at a music festival with my music-blogging husband Chromaticism – we had 3 days in the sun in Portugal at the Reverence Valada Festival! Ian writes music reviews, so he was ‘working’ and I just soaked it all in!

This year  we were being treated to a few ‘older’ bands – ‘classics’ like Nik Turner, The Damned and The Sisters Of Mercy. Ian & I had a discussion about what these bands would be playing – old or new ‘stuff’?

When you go to see a band that’s been around for a while, what do you want to hear? I said that if its a band I’ve been listening too for years then of course I want to hear all their ‘classics’, all the great music I’ve grown up with. That way I can sing along and the songs are nostalgic and have certain meaning.

Ian argued that if a band isn’t recording new tracks then they aren’t moving forward. They’re stuck in their own past, they’re ‘cashing in’ on what was successful years ago. So maybe they ‘don’t got it anymore’, maybe they can’t sing anymore, maybe they shouldn’t be on stage?

I’ve talked before about how as artists / designers / makers we are wired to feel like we have to make something ‘new’ and how we are expected to be produing ‘current’ work all the time – and this is hard work!

BUT, is this what society has decided is ‘acceptable’? Just because your making new work, doesn’t necessarily mean that clients are going to buy your art and are going to like it. Maybe your new work takes you off in a tangent you haven’t explored before. Maybe your new work investigates a new material, colour palette or process. Maybe your new work is experimental and needs time to evolve.

What if you are ‘known’ for a particular style of work or colour theme? What if you like making the work you’ve always made and you are happy making it again and again. What if thats what sells and thats what your clients actually buy?

The debate is interesting – should you always be moving forward, creating new work over and over again or should you take stock and acknowledge what you’ve achieved and what you can sell? I believe you should be selling what ALREADY YOU HAVE AND make new work at the same time! Selling your classics can pay for your new!!!

What I’ll tell you is that at this festival, the older ‘classics’ still rocked BIG STYLE – these musicians still had ‘it’ – The Damned and The Sisters Of Mercy especially! When they got on stage, they had something special going on and their music seemed equally current NOW than it was 30-odd years ago when they first produced it. So why shouldn’t they continue to play it and be honoured for this offering to the world?

My argument is that, in fact, at this festival they introduced a younger generation to their music – new fans who appreciated their work equally to their older following. You can’t beat a good classic – good music is always good music – as is art. Added to this these classic bands bring to the table experience in their craft, life skills and a full story to go with their music – and a long standing relationship with their fans (i.e. their clients).

I already know that after 20-odd years as a jeweller myself, I have my own ‘classics’, my own ‘iconic’ styles, and my own pieces that sell well. I don’t fight this anymore – I make it and sell it.

As artists / designers / makers, we will always need ‘the new’ to challenge ourselves, to push us forward, to break new boundaries BUT we have to learn to be comfortable with our ‘classics’. These are still part of us, still equally important to our WHOLE story, still our creative minds AND they can still be making us money whilst we re-invent ourselves and propel our art into the future!

So what are your classics?

#classic #new #sellwhatyouhave #changeyourmindset #mentortip

So I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below & if you liked this post then please share it with a friend and spread the love!

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