D.I.Y. or Die:
How to Survive as an Independent Artist
Documentary Now Showing!

D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist could have been made about our lives. Although this documentary,a “celebration of the underdog,” was released in 2002, Sean and I just watched it last night for the first time. I think a lot of people we cover, artists, musicians and labels, our fellow bloggers and a lot of our audience will really appreciate this documentary. The director, Michael W. Dean, interviews people who live and work DIY, including Ian MacKaye, J Mascis, Jim Rose, Lydia Lunch, Ron Asheton of The Stooges, Dave Brockie of Gwar and many more. The movie is a collection of stories about what defines DIY and what appeals to people who choose to create and work for themselves. This doc really hit home for us, because CVLT Nation is truly a labor of love, one that we created from scratch out of our passion for the music, art and culture we cover. Doing something DIY doesn’t mean you have to necessarily be broke, but you definitely have to be OK with being broke, and I think you have to adjust your own definition of wealth. Wealth is not something found in numbers, it’s something found in yourself. We figure we could work for someone else and make more money, have a “safety net” of sorts, but we would lose so much happiness and fulfillment by doing so. It’s amazing to hear that people we admire so much agree, and give insight into how being creative and doing it for themselves has enriched their lives. This is a must-watch for everyone who comes to our blog. Many of you keep DIY businesses like ours going, because the vinyl you buy is, a lot of the time, packed and mailed to you by the owner of the label you’re buying it from. I think it’s the wave of the future, a return to a barter system where all of us can have a good quality of life, not just those on top. So after the jump, get inspired and watch D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist

D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist from SkullKrusher on Vimeo.

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The Author



Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.

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1 Comment on "D.I.Y. or Die:
How to Survive as an Independent Artist
Documentary Now Showing!

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Tim H
Thank heaven for Ian MacKaye! This doc hit home for me as well. Like so many others, the path chooses us. And if that path is art, real raw challenging art, then that path will 9 times out of 10 be hard. I see it all around me everyday, people being consumed by money, fame, “things”. Like you put so well, happiness is in yourself, not in material wealth. But living in LA in 2012, to find that wisdom requires soldier work, defensive de-programming and unrelenting courage. So one thousand Monk salute to you cvltnation, for keeping it real, and… Read more »