New roles for artists

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“What matters is to know what you want and pursue it,” says Smith. She urges us to recognize that suffering is part of the package for everyone. “Life is going to be difficult.” Ride with it, she urges. Nothing is perfect. There will be “perfect moments and rough spots.”

We’re pioneers in a new time, she argues.” Everyone has access that they’ve never had before.” It’s a ”pioneering time because it is a time of the people…technology has democratized self-expression. People have more power than ever.” But as Smith explains, we are still trying to figure out how to use technology, and this stage is like “a painful adolescence.”

Artists are no longer in a day and age where all they can be consumed with is their art. Now they have to be artist, manager, PR Team, and social media maven. These words from Patti Smith inspired the team at Gwarlingo to talk about the technological shift for artists.


Ashley Perez lives, writes, and causes trouble in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She runs the literary site Arts Collide and does work of all varieties for The Rumpus, The Weeklings, Literary Orphans and Midnight Breakfast. You can also find her on Twitter: @ArtsCollide. More from this author →