thoughts on vocals and artistic interaction

was writing this as part of my last post, but i decided it should stand alone as a separate post...

I've done several collabs now and I'm learning so much in this process, not only about how to make vocals but also about how to interact with the people I work with... the experience is incredible, really.  in general, I think I enjoy working closely with the producers and to have a say in how the final version should turn out... but I understand that all producers work differently, and I respect that.  Ideally, I'd like to be treated like an artist and as a true collaborator in the tracks I work on, because I think I also have an ear for music and how productions could potentially be improved... and besides, my name is on the track ;)  but then again, I am not the producer and if people like my samples enough just to go ahead and use them, then I suppose its a big compliment, right?  the whole thing is just interesting, because I tend to be very critical of my own work... so usually, after I record something, I think that I could do it better or change it slightly.  really, everything that I do is like a work-in-progress... I feel that I can't just "deliver" perfect samples to people... this is an artistic process, and often times, there is room for improvement.  however... if left to continuously improve my work, I may never finish anything... because I might always want to change it =P  so yea... maybe it's good that people just take my samples and go with them... and I think I'm getting used to it, cause it seems to be how some producers like to work.  in fact, its probably a good exercise in giving up *control* over how the final product sounds.  and, in fact... I do feel honored that people appreciate my work and that I have the opportunity to be included in their art ^^

another thing that's really important to me is feedback.  i love getting honest feedback from people on my work... and it kinda drives me a little crazy if i give a sample to someone and dont hear anything back for a while, cause i wonder if they even liked it at all... or even so much as appreciate the work/art i did.  i dont take it for granted that people like my work... of course, they dont have to like it... but if they don't, they can work with me on how i can improve it too.  feedback is nice cause it shows that people are really listening to your work and care about you as an artist who has the potential to improve... I like to be treated this way :)

what i really appreciate is constructive criticism, and the formula for this is pretty simple: first you say what that you like about the work, and then you nicely say if you think something could be improved (ie. what you dont like as much).  this technique works very well... I was talking with producer Nyanara about this (love her ^^) and she said it aptly: "you lift them up, and then put them down again."  it's brilliant, and it really works.  i am totally good with people criticizing my work, as long as its done in a respectful way.  such style of communication is actually an art that people have to learn, and it doesn't always come easy ^^

i also think positive reinforcement is really important.  art is not a contest, and in fact it doesn't really matter how "good" people's work is, especially when they're just starting out. the important thing is that people are making an effort... this is really valuable in itself, and my opinion is that it's important to encourage people to keep going, because positive encouragement is like a catalyst that will help them improve even more.  do u see what i mean...? so to me, its more important to encourage aspiring artists than to scrutinize what they did for somehow being inadequate. the more people practice, the better they get... and that's what I want to see happen, for myself and for others too ^^ that's one reason why i'm always commenting on people's stuff... I want them to be encouraged :) because it's a beautiful thing in itself, just the fact that they are making the effort to produce art <3