A few weeks ago, Instagram Music got in touch with me to ask if they could interview me and feature me on their blog, Instagram @music account and Twitter. Of course I said yes! Big thanks to Instagram Music Editor Alex for reaching out.
The article is now live and you can check it out below. Once you have done that, you can scroll down to read the backstory and learn how you can use my experience to help your own DJ or life mission!
Read the article –
Funky Fresh: Behind School of Scratch, the Online Record Scratching School for DJs – APRIL 2020 UPDATE, Instagram music is no more, so here is an image of the article before Instagram music was closed:
The backstory and how you can use my experience to help YOU
What does me being featured on Instagram have to do with you?
I thought you could use my experience and the things I have learned to help you on your own journey, whatever your creative expression and outlet is.
Let’s take a look at how this all came about.
My @schoolofscratch instagram account really started generate interest and followers when my awesome coach Arminda Lindsay linked me to the #The100DayProject with Elle Luna & The Great Discontent:
Initially I made a decision and a commitment to do the project for my brush lettering as #100DaysOfEmmasBrushLettering and it was only after that I had the idea to do a second series as a scratch DJ with the tag #100DaysOfSchoolOfScratch.
The creating process was pretty simple:
- Create scratch videos.
- Share the videos on instagram.
- Repeat 1 & 2 daily.
- If I missed a day or two, I still carried on.
Although simple, it wasn’t without it’s challenges. Sometimes I was short of time or I didn’t record anything I was really “happy” with, or I didn’t “feel” inspired to record (which I learned doesn’t make any difference if you just BEGIN!)
I actually stopped my parallel #100DaysOfEmmasBrushLettering project on day 62 in favour of the DJ project and I am SO glad I did! (Thanks Naz of RYPL for the prompt.) The focus made all the difference.
Little by little, more people started following me, culminating in Instagram getting in touch.
My Approach to Creating and Sharing and Why Waiting to Be Discovered Is a Bad Idea.
I don’t subscribe to all that ‘being discovered’ nonsense and instead opt to get to work! As brutal as that sounds.
Getting featured by anyone as far as I can tell is random and we have no control over it – see the video below on “How I Won The Lottery”.
What we CAN control is the process of making stuff and getting into ACTION.
There really is no secret formula. The secret is YOU and putting in the work.
I have no control over how anything I do is received, who sees it or whether I will be featured anywhere. It’s not even my focus. All I know is that if I do not make stuff, the chances of interesting connections and collaborations happening are ZERO.
I didn’t have a goal or specific intention for Instagram to feature me, I couldn’t have ever imagined that instagram would feature me. I didn’t even know about @music.
I made scratch videos that I wanted to make, that I felt good about and that were an expression of what I was feeling at the time. Some I loved, some I didn’t. Some got more likes than others. None of this matters.
To sum up, here is what I recommend:
- Create something.
- Share it.
- Repeat daily.
I want to encourage YOU to show your work (read Austin Kleon’s book of the same title), share your creations, art and creativity! Please don’t hold back. We need you! I’m really no different to you, I judge my work, experience doubts, have worried about what others think AND then I hit publish as close to everyday as possible, because that is what it’s all about. In my experience, nothing happens outside of creating something!
There is no guaranteed path to become featured on high profile sites AND without doing the steps above, none of the connections and features that have happened as a result would have been possible.
I encourage you to experiment with the process and test it out for yourself. You might just be surprised!
Here are some more behind the scenes thoughts on this which I shared on Periscope.
Skip to 2:05 for the main point.
One Thing Leads to Another
Other connections and projects have also come into being since I have started creating and sharing videos on Instagram.
Somewhere into the 100 days, DJcity saw my work and contacted me about creating a video series in partnership with them: Scratch Combo of the Month, which is published on their site and all of their social channels every month. As a result, I have exposure to a much bigger audience and more people are aware of my School of Scratch.
The bottom line is, I wasn’t waiting to be discovered. I was focused on the process of creating and putting in the work.
I also want to share with you is that this is not an overnight process. It takes time and patience! I want you to know that I have been putting out videos for years before all of this “suddenly” happened. My first upload to YouTube was on Mar 5, 2006. The reason I think this is great news is that it takes the ‘magic’ and mystery out of it and makes it doable. You just do the work! The sooner you get started creating and sharing the better! Check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s video that busts the myth of overnight success:
Summary & Next Steps
- Create stuff.
- Don’t judge the result.
- Show your work.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. Even when you think no one is watching or that no one cares.
- You can’t tell what will become “popular” and what won’t. Create anyway – see the “How I won The Lottery” video below.
- One of my most “popular” videos wasn’t providing any “serious” value in my eyes – it was me sat in the bathtub scratching!
- I didn’t know what I was doing or have a plan of any kind, other than to find the next beat I wanted to scratch to and make the next video. Experiment!
- I kept making stuff I liked and what was fun for me.
How will you start and keep creating TODAY?
You got this! Ready? Let’s GO!
If you are curious about creating, sharing and want to dive in a little deeper, here are my top resources:
Further Reading & Resources
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.
How I Won The Lottery
Great video on creating stuff and putting it out there.
If you would like additional help with creating something awesome, going confidently in the direction of your dreams and living the life you imagine, you can get in contact with me here.
What is School of Scratch & How do I join?
School of Scratch is designed to help you learn and become awesome at scratching. It is the definitive online how to scratch course. Learn at your own pace, using clearly broken down, high quality HD scratch tutorial videos. You can find out more about and join here:
Or sign up to receive some turorials from inside the classroom using the form below.
Happy Scratching! 😀
– Emma Short-E