Creator Spotlight with Marquis Sklenar
This week, we would like you to meet musician Marquis Sklenar!
What was the inspiration behind becoming a creator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
My inspiration behind becoming a creator is feeling the need to create in order to function. I started writing songs when I was a teenager in order to get though life and high school. My favorite thing about the creative process is that there are no rules. It’s a form of self-expression, with a goal of hopefully other people relating and realizing they aren’t alone.
Can you take us through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
My creative process is different each time. I LOVE writing by myself with the piano or guitar. It helps me self-reflect on life and learn more about myself. I also LOVE collaborating with other artists and musicians. I learn so much from the musicians I work with, and hopefully vice versa. Not everything I produce makes money. I believe it’s all about timing.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
There is a big misconception that if you’re a musician, you can’t make a living. I don’t agree with that. It takes a lot of hard work and determination. But I feel like if you keep at it, and are open to learning, and keep creating, the money will come. You have to create for the right reasons.
When did you first become aware of copyright and why?
I became aware of copyright when I attended a semester at Berklee College of Music in 2013.
Have you experienced copyright infringement and if so, how has it affected you personally and financially?
I take pride in my original work, I’m proud of the songs I’ve written and cowritten, so I make sure to copyright and protect them to the best of my knowledge. You can’t control what people do, you can only control how you react. It really just comes down to creating in good faith, and collaborating with people you trust.
What is the best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
Register your songs with the U.S. Copyright Office at copyright.gov. Collaborate with good people, people you trust and finally, be original. Create for the right reasons. There are no rules.
What is your biggest copyright-related challenge?
My biggest challenge is understanding the copyright rules for new venture projects. It takes a lot of research to keep up to date with the copyright law.
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