Ideas to manage unnecessary production in the music industry for independent artists:
Screen print, heat press, or paint new designs on old merchandise.
Make patches with salvageable material from damaged merchandise.
Is that a broken guitar string or new wire for wraps?
Turn unused handbills into rainbow scratch paper for personalized promotions (handbills, homemade cd covers, invitations) using black paint mixed with a little dish soap.
Give a discount for shows people bring a handbill in for to be reused for the rainbow scratch paper.
Print one batch of posters for each tour with room to write specific details for each venue/date.
If any clout, have poster signing sessions so they are less likely to end up in the trash.
Offer personalized playlists and charge extra to burn CDs.
Donate unused instruments to schools or a kid near you.
Consider what art installations or repurposing could be done with any broken gear or extra office supplies.
Could busted speakers be gutted into themed furniture?
Can a broken guitar case be turned into a guitar stand?
Collect and loop used wristbands for handmade streamers.
Create ticket collages for home craft stage or photobooth backdrops.
Wrap/tie/knot old instrument cables into wall art.
Broken microphones make great balloon/decoration/paper weights for any entertainment themed event.
Drums that are no longer playable could become flower pots, foot stools, or end tables.
Even broken glass can be used for mosaics.
Look at what is lying around unused, find a way to make a new purpose for it.
1. Taking care of anything is easier said than done.
2. Documentation of a process standardizes the practice over time.
3. Archives serve as safekeeping for memories that could otherwise be lost.
4. Recordings show the evolution of how design and technology have influenced today’s work.
Artists have an inevitable need for archiving because art is communication. From storage to showcase, shelving ideas into archives preserves content for potential backup or later use.
Protocols such as Open Archival Information System are reference models to guide people in maintaining digital or physical assets that are flexible for specific needs. Sustainable documentation handles the continuation of practices through high quality file transfers (from person to person), exports (from file type to file type), technological progression (format to format), etc.
Art has evolved as both a reflection and through the mediums of technology, time, and people that have transcended into pieces of cultural time capsules. Progress is built off of the work of the past and ideas for the future. Reality turns into ideas through curation of learning.
If asking, once again, what do artists leave behind? Archive the journey for answers left to find.