Blog Post by – Steve Tanner

In the movie Kodachrome Jason Sudeikis plays the part of a record company producer trying to sign a rock and roll band to his label. But in the middle of negotiations he tells the band captain that their 2nd album was commercial and that they compromised their art. He promises that under his company’s label the band would have full artistic license.

Many artists, writers and other specialists feel boxed in by this same dilemma. They want to continue to pursue their best art, but they also need to have commercial success in order to have the time and money to be able to devote themselves to their best efforts.   They want to be authentic but feel like they need to change their music/message in order to be more commercially acceptable and successful. But this compromise comes at a great cost. At the risk of revealing my age, I remember when after the Doobie Brothers cut two albums Minute by Minute and Livin’ on the Fault Line that many long-time fans complained and stopped following them. Also when Eric Clapton released a slow version of his hard rockin’ Layla, again many fans complained. In these cases the artists were simply morphing and changing according where they were at the moment.

The marketplace is always searching for something new and authentic. Others change accordingly in order to mimic their commercial success. Meanwhile the marketplace is looking for something new and authentic. So artists and writers often feel compelled to make a decision: do they only want to be commercially successful (which usually has a very short shelf-life)? Or do they want to keep their art, music or message fresh and authentic? …like something they allow to grow whether it is commercially successful or not? I believe that the only way that we keep our art, music or message growing and maturing is by staying true to ourselves without regard for commercial success.

The way we keep art, music or our message growing is to keep our main motivation to be the joy, pleasure and sense of purpose and clarity we receive from doing them. In this way any commercial success is incidental. We can choose commercial success but the only way to sustain and grow our art, music or message is to do it because it feeds and inspires us. To do these things for any other reason will not stand up to times of discouragement.

But here’s the paradox in everything I just said: when we put authenticity above commercial success, often we influence others. Like I said the marketplace is always seeking authentic and fresh. And then who knows? I want encourage you to love your creativity. Love the process of what you are creating more than any commercial success it may bring! Keep loving the process and appreciate the beauty of who you are! Have fun!

Steve Tanner (MDiv, CNSF, CTA CC) is a Certified Neurosculpting® Facilitator, a certified Life & Transformation Coach and a member of the Idaho Life Coach Association . Steve believes in the power of using writing and Meditation as tools for exploring your creativity as well as finding healing and transformation. For info about workshops and seminars contact or visit


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