CHILLY : BALANCING COMMERCIAL AND PERSONAL WORK AS AN ARTIST
In this edition of our artist spotlight, we had the pleasure to talk to CHILLY, our first-generation student, about what he has been working on during the first half of 2021. CHILLY has shared the details of his day to day, his goals for the near future as well as his long term goals. We ventured a bit further into his work process and the method of balancing his commercial and personal work on top of his hectic schedule.
Business during Covid?
For me, it’s fine since I already secured a good project before Covid so everything is still ongoing. My career is going well at the moment because I’m doing so many things, not just music but other creative fields that I’m involved with currently.
What do you have going on right now?
Currently, I’m working as a freelancer for both music and design work. I’m planning to open my own studio space. It would function on both sides of commercial and experimental projects, which would eventually help artists to achieve bigger and greater things.
I would like to have a studio that can accommodate artists who are struggling to find appropriate working space. I want to offer a space where they can feel comfortable and at home, as well as to boost their creativity.
It’s not a co-working space but more like a place that would connect filmmakers, independent and commercial musicians to have an opportunity to work alone or with each other on a specific project. It also gives an opportunity for artists to challenge themselves to try out another part of the production process.
For my personal career, I have worked with many organizations, NGO’s, and others so I have accumulated a lot of experiences and networking. They offer support and mentorship that help me make my work and turn it into a portfolio that would be later used as a reference for future projects and clients. Seeing my accomplishments and past work gives them reassurance that I’m most fit for their project.
I am putting together a portfolio website but right now when clients ask me, I redirect them to my social media and my old clients’ page where my work is displayed there.
I think having a portfolio is good since it kind of serves as a menu to your restaurant as an artist. It’s a simple way to store your work online even if it’s just on your social media. It’s as simple as compiling it into a folder neatly on your profile. For example, when I was doing Bootcamp with TSI, my pictures would be stored in a folder and captioned appropriately so then I can reference them back later when I’m building my website.
Websites that offer you a cheap, even free option to make your own are Squarespace and Wix.
If you want a custom domain, you can subscribe to it later. For now, I’m using a free one just to have a space for my work
Normally for social media, I post whenever I have events or some pictures. I focus a lot on my captions, as they have to be related to the content and what can people take from it when they read it. They also have to be bilingual.
I’m a young and emerging artist but I still put a lot of effort and attention into my social media, even if there’s not a lot of people following my content. Putting a lot of effort and care into your social media shows your level of commitment and seriousness as an artist to the audience because what if suddenly you go viral and people look back at what you posted…
When the audience wants to know more about you, of course, they will go on your social media and get to know you more!
Behind the scenes business
There are so many ways to be in contact with your clients, whether it’s email or social media. I’m not too picky when it comes to the medium, if they contact me by email, sure. If they contact me on Facebook, I will gladly reply back.
For new artists that are just starting out, you have to be professional but you don’t have to be super serious all the time.
You have to be friendly and ask what you can do to help them, and send them your work!
I will do my best to provide the best possible service to my clients by learning from my past projects, adapting and improving, and these developments will be a bridge for clients coming directly to me.
Regarding dealing with clients, I encourage new artists to have a mediator to prevent misunderstanding, tension and bad work experience. Needless to say, when you are working on a project, and you might deal with clients who are not the nicest when communicating requirements and feedback, you could feel discouraged and not in the mood to be creative anymore. So if there’s someone to relay the message in a less volatile way and properly filter the valuable feedback part, it will maximize the quality of work and the quality of the experience as well.
Make a clear list of deliverables and schedule revision times to avoid complications down the road. Also, establish a clear revision based on the decision made between producers/artists and clients
Mentorship and Guidance for new artists
New artists need to have someone they can trust and go to when they encounter problems. For me personally, TSI offers opportunities for me to meet people such as Soria, Brendon and other people working in TSI. They are knowledgeable with the music industry in so many different ways. So when a client asks me to provide these services and documents, I will go to them and ask for direction, or to provide more information so that I can further understand the work I need to do for clients. I can also ask them to help review and give feedback on what I need to submit to clients.
Having a community is crucial for your career as a creative.
What have you learned from TSI that you still practice daily?
TSI was a great experience and offered me a great opportunity to test my strength. I gained a lot of knowledge about the music industry and opened my eyes to the many possibilities within the industry, it allowed me to explore more. Being a singer-songwriter, I want to know what other areas I can do and to offer. Some people think being good at one thing is fine, like a singer only knows how to sing. But I want to try to learn other skills as much as possible. Example, I learned how to compose, produce and more. The knowledge I have gathered so far. plus TSI’s encouragement and support, allows me to invest in my own startup.
TSI also promotes my name and brand online so I have more opportunities and knowledge, skills that I need to improve and move forward in my music career. A lot of tools have been handed to me through TSI, and I’m trying to use those tools every step of the way.
TSI is like a bridge connecting me to those people that I consider as an inspiration and role model, who I otherwise would never meet in real life.
What’s memorable for me is when TSI organised the first SoundWave Concert at Hard Rock Cafe. It was so long ago but I still remember being able to be on stage performing with many eyes on me was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime moment for me.
I’m very proud to have that as one of my accomplishments and very thankful for the opportunity.