Putting it all together! (the Creative Process)

The final installment on our month long series focusing on  “the Creative Process”  featured in  weekly installments to help creative business owners-

As we approach the pinnacle the next stop through the creative process is- 

CONCEPTION:  By combining our identity, inspiration and vision, committing our intention, and creating a design, model, or outline to form our creative expression. Our idea’s are conceived and in this mix of idea’s and intentions a creative “baby” given life-it may be expressed in acting, or in a new song, new item in your merchandise line, or exploring a new creative genre, like painting, fashion design, or ??? your imagination is  limitless!

CONSUMPTION:  Once we have gone through all these steps to put our creative babies out into the world then what?  We want everyone to love our babies as much as we do!  We dream of the masses loving what we have created, and imagine thousands, even millions of copies of our “creative babies” to be in the hands and hearts of “our people”.

WHAT’S NEXT?  At the end of every cycle stop and review.  Every process and step in that process is filled with learning opportunities, keep what works, and don't repeat the same mistakes again,
 as artists we have a duty to ourselves to diligently work at evolving and improving our craft.
 Are their any steps in the creative process that you feel you need to clarify or develop further?  If you look at yourcreative pyramid, if you are not starting with a strong sense of identity and how you relate to your market, it will have a direct impact on everything you hope to build upon.

Let’s step away from the pyramids and charts and look at actual example of the creative process in work with a local  San Francisco bay area artist named
Nkechi  (pronounced N-Kay-Chee) an artist, having worked as a actor, singer/songwriter/ model, she is now exploring painting as part of her creative journey.  I sat down with Nkechi  after her audition for the X-Factor to discuss her evolution as a artist,  The journey of accepting herself as a creative, and what it was like going through the audition  for a Network Television show.

(TE)How did your background help you prepare for an open casting call event?
(N)-As an actor and model I am used to the “waiting” part of long auditions.

(TE)What was your inspiration for auditioning for the X Factor?
(N)My sister suggested it. And then I decided to highlight the obvious. I believe every individual is a unique creation of God, which I translate to mean we are all God’s X Factors in our own lives.

(TE)Do you set goals for yourself as a artist or as part of your creative business?
(N)Before this year, (2012) not so much. This year, very much so.

(TE)Was auditioning for a network television show one of your goals?
(N)Being on a network television show by 2015 is one of my goals.

(TE)How did your background help you prepare for an open casting call event?
(N)I am used to riding the feelings of anticipation that build up before an audition when you are really going for something with all you are.

(TE)Let’s take a look behind the scenes at you rehersing before your audition:http://youtu.be/qqthLzo0JbM

(TE)Were there any surprises during the audition process?(N)I was surprised to see how many fellow local bay area artists were there to go for it as well.  I love San Francisco as a (creative) community.
(TE)Can you tell us briefly the steps in this type of audition process?
(N)In a snapshot it is a cattle call. We were at the cow palace after all! But in a way you are “just a number” assigned to a seat and then you hope that your mini performance plus a big dose of providence enable you to stand out enough to get called back.

(TE)How much preparation did you do to prepare for your audition? A few days.

(N) I did as well as could be expected for someone like me.  An original artist developing my sound and figuring out how much I feel called to make music. I sang a medley of “Tonight” by fun and Amazing Grace.  After not making it to round 2 I did a little second guessing as to whether I should have gone for an original but I shook that off and made a decision on steps to take in approaching a future opportunity.

(TE)What would you have done differantly ?
(N)I would have gotten a coach familiar with X Factor for help to make sure I was presenting the truest expression of my artistic voice.

(TE) What did you learn from this process?
(N)I got inspired in a bigger way than before.  I learned that my purpose has always involved being an entertainer although I’ve doubted this for most of my life.

(TE)What advice would you give young singers attempting a big goal?  (N)-Pace yourself and enjoy the process.  Where you start as an artist may not be where you end up, but as long as you are expressing your true essence you will be a winner. "Pursue your art! Whatever it is. If you want to sing, then sing! If you want to paint, paint".

(TE) I have watched you fearlessly and enthusiastically explore a variety of creative genres, acting, singing, and writing. Have you always accepted yourself as a artist?

(N)I seem to have finally come to peace now with who I am and how I am made.  I am a beautiful child of God, and so are you. After much pain, life experience and a quasi identity crisis I have come accept God’s purpose for me in sharing his love through music and art. Music and art moves people and helps people get through life experiences they don’t have words for.  I appreciate this now and want to give back what I have been given.  I pray that my music will stir people in the way others’ music has moved me.  I am a work in progress, but knowing this now has added tremendous peace to my life.

(TE)  Nkechi, thanks for sharing your journey and evolution through the creative process as a artist!  We  wish you the best success going forward, and  sharing your inspiration with our readers!


Tamra Engle is a independent Business Strategist, Producer, Speaker and Blogger based in the S.F. bay area. She provides artist's and businesses  Artist Development, Performance Coaching, Production, Project Management, Process Improvement, and  Operations Development services via private consultations and assignments with a focus on  Lifestyle rebalancing,  to help you reach your objectives.
You can read more about services to help you and join her mailing list at: www.tamraengle.com  
You can  email Tamra at guitartam@gmail.com

Sign up now for your 1 month Master Class’s to help your Creative Business:

Holiday Song Contest | Local Music Vibe

Holiday Song Contest | Local Music Vibe

During November I will be posting Holiday themed songs/spoken word/ video's from each of you. (to enter your own compostion or to vote)
This is a fun way to showcase your work and get some free promotion to new fans.
The winner- will also receive a FREE one hour business strategy consultation with me.
Submissions accepted Nov 2nd-Dec 3rd at 12 noon!!
Voting ENDS on SUNDAY DEC 5th at 5pm!!!
1) Click on the event link and RSVP that you are ATTENDING
2) Email me @guitartam@gmail.com
Email Subject: Holiday Contest
4) Include the link to your video or mp3 to your song in the email.
(In a format so I can post it on the event FB wall )
5) Send this event invite to your creative friends to enter & Fans to vote on your songs (post it on your wall)
*have fun with this, and engage your fans to participate!
Remind them they will win a free play list by rsvping YES and voting for YOU!.
to vote LIKE next to the submission
Each LIKE counts as a vote, and the MOST LIKES WINS!
I will post a song/video and everyone can vote on their favorite.
The songs will be put into a Holiday playlist everyone that RSVP'd YES will get a link to.
This is a great way to stretch your songwriting / spoken word or video chops / get free promotion! (collaborate with another songwriter and see what happens!)
The selected winner AND 1 VOTING PERSON will win 1 hr Artist Consultation w/ me-
I am really excited to hear your submissions, and what everyone thinks of the songs!!!! HAVE FUN
More info about my services at:
"providing business solutions for creative minds"creative minds"

Missed Opportunities bum me out!

In the past 28 years in the music industry you have seen the fat label cat days-hot tub filled w/ beautiful girls 1 hairy backed producers, lighting cigars w/ C notes-
To the back on the street days.... The Fat cat is now an ol broken down Ally Cat after cocaine rehab. The beautiful girls are looongggg gone with the drugs and the money-

In a way today is like the old wild west, The old model of big label music deals is dead, and it's a Indie jungle out there what few "deals" are out there are not geared toward the performer making ANY money. The one thing hasn't changed is that it is STILL the Music Business- the smart and successful people are using basic business strategies to create and monetize the brave new world. Folks that shun technology and educating themselves about how business works will be find themselves forever treading in the same small pond with no measurable earnings from their craft.

Let me give you a couple of examples of missed business opportunities that happened this past weekend:

Example 1- Who to do business with:
A client recently asked whether they should do business with a particular organization who for $400 / yr would "promote" the "selected artists" to their in house Music Supervisors and Publishing company.
(It wasn't clear if your $400 suddenly made your "a selected artist" or THEY decided which artist was bestowed that title).

Beyond that, on the website in the selected artist publishing area the word MUSIC is Mis-Spelled as MUISC. If I was not hesitant to give up my $400 I now would be.


A much better investment would be have your $400 applied toward a direct & measurable result.
I would recommend a business assessment where you are provided with the framework you will need to insure you have a catalog which is properly cleared, licensed, THEN learn to to properly use the tools to develop relationships DIRECTLY with the music supervisors/ publishers. These folks are SO BUSY that when you have established a repoire, and have a properly prepared pitch for them you have maximized your opportunity for having your songs HEARD and considered for placement WITH the decision makers.

EXAMPLE 2- Where is the business?

I recently performed at & conducted a workshop at a 1st time GO GREEN Expo:
Granted in Northern California the GO GREEN mantra is a bit like preaching to the choir, but a good cause and great info for a FREE bring your family event.
No where on the GO GREEN Sacramento website did they have the event address! or a QUESTIONS or FAQ link.

If I had not been performing there I would have given up looking and found something ELSE to do.

Needless to say it wasn't a surprise to me that the micro version of the Los Angeles Expo that I had previously performed at was a HUGE missed opportunity- & for all the business owners that paid money to have a booth at the expo???? money down the drain because targeted leads didn't know how to get to them.

LESSON: if your business provides a service- put your address on ALL of your marketing collateral INCLUDING the WEBSITE.
Website Content Review! make sure it's current and targeted DO NOT put any barriers between you and your customers.

EXAMPLE 3: What is your business?

Conventions & Expo's have booths filled with people selling you their products or service: Unless you can capture your audience in the 1st 15 seconds you have lost the sale. EVERYONE must have a "elevator pitch" (called this since you should be able to tell someone in the time it takes to get from one floor to the next who you are and what you do).
In music this missed opportunity happens thousands of times each day.
When someone asks you what you do ? I hear songwriters say " oh I'm a singer songwriter" REALLY wow! know if your a girl I assume you sound like Jewel or a guy John Mayer or James Taylor and I'm kinda bored with you.
What if you Tell me your a performing songwriter that sounds like Green Day doing a rockabilly jam w/ Sinatra developing your catalog for film & television Then I know what you sound like, and that your a developing artist with a interest in placement opportunities.
NEXT, the knowing when to and when not to pitch....

Every day you meet at least 5 people who are potential customers- properly utilizing opportunities, developing relationships so you grow your base so each DAY you have a minimum number of individuals BUYING something from you.

These are 3 examples reflecting missed opportunities for customers to buy something, or add to a strong foundational componant that you are building toward your dream opportunity.
You might not even recognize the opportunity passing by, unless you know where to look.

These are a couple of examples of area's I can help you:


If you are interested in learning how to make your passion a successful business let's talk! Face to face, phone, email or skype tele-consultations available.

I want to help you be successful, so you can help others succeed!


Gasoline Soaked Acoustic Rock Duo

Two great shows not to miss in Sept:

Featuring Tamra Engle & Jeni Day

9/19 Caffe Trieste
2500 San Pablo Ave (next to good vibezzzzzzz)
Berkeley, Ca. 8pm

9/20 Kayak & Beach Concert 9:30-6pm
Kayak in the Monterey Bay (meet cute girls or bring your own!)
followed by a amazing beach concert
for details and registration go to:

About the artists:
TAMRA ENGLE: An award winning singer/songwriter who's latest release The Blonde Flame Sessions was on the
nominating ballot for the 50th annual Grammy awards. Her sound has the rock sensibilities of Fleetwood Mac & the folk edge of early Neil Young. Her music has been placed in films, TV, & commercials: www.tamraengle.com

JENI DAY: Singer/Songwriter Indie-Music.com warns "if you aren't stirred or moved in some way by Day's guitar playing, then
you must really check for a pulse." As humble in person as she is badass with a bick in hand Jeni will soon have you saying "Girl's aren't supposed to play guitar like that!" Yeah RIGHT!
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