Artistic Hype Cycle

Posted on 18 December 2017

Quantum computing chip
In technology there’s a thing known as the “hype cycle”. It has to do with the progression of new technologies into public use. It seems to me this applies to new talent as well.

  1. The trigger: a technological breakthrough or a successful first outing as a performer.
     
  2. Peak of inflated expectations: people get over-excited by the potential. Performers may experience ego-inflation.
     
  3. Trough of disillusionment: reality sets in. The technology doesn’t provide the expected magic. Performers find they don’t just get rich and famous.
     
  4. Slope of enlightenment: people start recognising the real benefit of a technology. Performers start recognising where respect is genuinely due and are ready to do some real work.
     
  5. Plateau of productivity: a technology is picked up by the mainstream. Performers become a solid part of the artistic community, creating and getting recognition, whether or not they attain “rich and famous”.
     

I’ve seen friends come out with a first book or gain a role in a television show who suddenly fly up to the rafters cawing: “I’m going to be famous forever!” If they then do not put in the work to support that new found visibility, their fame evaporates. You have to keep producing work that is of value to your public. Should their interest wane, you keep at it: improving your skills and working harder to create works of real soul and integrity. In this way your public will eventually return to you, because they trust your vision.

In peace and kindness,

Katherine


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