If you haven’t heard of mxmtoon yet, then buckle up because you’re about to get inspired. This talented 21-year old creator from Oakland, California is defining what it means to be a multi-hyphenate creator. The singer-songwriter has a thriving music career that began on SoundCloud but has grown through a strong relationship she’s built with her fans across other platforms like TikTok. She has since expanded her creative work to include a gaming presence on Twitch and a podcast. And she’s not stopping there. mxmtoon’s second album, rising, was released on May 20th and has already become one of the top US debut albums according to Spotify.
We sat down with mxmtoon, also known as Maia, to talk about her career, what inspires her, and how she hopes to inspire others. We hope that this interview will inspire you to not only pursue a variety of interests, but to take the leap in turning your passions into a career. Don’t put yourself into just one box – you’re a multi-hyphenate creator, too. Luckily, you have all the tools you need to promote your brand online with Picsart.
Q&A with mxmtoon
What made you decide to turn your love of music into a career? Where did you start?
I started playing music at the age of 6. I started with the violin, went to trumpet, studied cello for 8 years, and learned to sing and play ukulele when I was in middle school. Music was never something I thought would turn into a full time career because it always seemed so unrealistic, even though it was so intertwined with everything I did.
When I graduated from high school, I had garnered around 10,000 followers on SoundCloud, and decided that I could give myself a year to figure out what music may look like for me. I had no expectations that it would form into a full-time job, but I’m so thankful it did. Sometimes all it takes is a leap of faith.
What’s your advice for someone looking to take the first steps to turn their passion into a side hustle?
It never hurts to try out as many hats as you want. People are so diverse in their interests and hobbies. I am a firm believer that creativity of any kind always leads us to understand ourselves further. Music may be what one person is passionate about, but others may find their drive for creating a podcast.
If you’re looking to turn a hobby into a job, my first rule of thumb is don’t go in with any expectations. You should always make sure you are leading with a pure love of what you do instead of holding yourself to a certain standard.
I don’t really believe in a “grind” mentality because I think that can easily lead us to burnout or resentment toward things we used to love, so just focus on honing your craft instead of building a number.
Creators now have the ability to share their work directly with the world on social media. What’s your advice for finding the right audience, promoting yourself or your products, and building a close-knit community on the internet?
Always be authentic to yourself! Trying to “brand” yourself and be super curated is definitely a pathway for some people, but I’ve always found it much easier to just post things that I genuinely really love.
Being true to yourself makes sharing your work that much easier with an audience, and people gravitate toward people that they can relate to. So if you want to build an audience that you can really cultivate a community with, just be yourself! I share shows I like, follow comics, and make playlists with music I love, and all of that brings me closer to people within my audience that enjoy the exact same things.
What tools or resources would you recommend for up-and-coming creators?
All-in-one tools like Picsart are complete game changers for creators of all backgrounds. You can essentially do all content creation on your phone now. I use apps on my phone more frequently than I open up my computer to edit things. Picsart offers so many tools for people to instantly access from their device and makes it incredibly easy to fluidly learn and introduce yourself to photo editing.
What are some of your favorite tools or features on Picsart?
I love the integration of Picsart with iMessage. I love to drop stickers into text threads with people and confuse them over how that’s even possible! I’ve gotten a lot of friends to download Picsart so they can do the same.
Editor’s note: If you want to learn how to make your own iMessage stickers just like Mxmtoon, here’s how.
You have a new album coming out! What inspired the songs on rising?
A lot of the music I grew up listening to played a huge role in inspiring the songs on rising. Bands like ABBA, musicals like Hairspray, albums like Facing Future by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, and more were the pieces of music that I grew up loving and listening to.
What are you passionate about? What empowers you to create?
Representation plays a massive part in what inspires me to create and to keep doing so. I didn’t have role models that could directly reflect my experiences and identity growing up, so it’s really important to me that I can empower other voices to feel like they have the power and space to share their stories with others.
By being open and honest about who I am, my goal is to allow others to see their lives are always worthy of being shared in the same way.
As a multi-hyphenate creator, how do you prioritize your time?
I try to just make sure that my schedule consists of things I enjoy. With so many different avenues of creation it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by swapping through so many hats. But, when you truly enjoy what you’re working on, it makes it easier to flip through whatever role you need to fulfill. I make an attempt to really focus on the creating part of what I do, so I take as much time as I can to write or draft amongst things like Zoom meetings.
What’s a piece of advice someone gave you that you still carry as a creator?
You should always feel empowered to say “no.” It’s incredibly easy to be swayed into doing something creatively or even personally. So, feeling like you have the agency and power to say “no” is so powerful.
Creativity is never a given. It’s a muscle that you need to maintain and care for just as much as anything else! Being able to prioritize your own well being will only benefit you when it’s possible. Always know you can say “no.”
How to Turn Your Passions into a Career
Feeling inspired? As mxmtoon shared, there are so many passion projects you can take on, you just need to give yourself space to experiment and find what most excites you. Once you’ve found it, there are tons of tools you can use within Picsart to promote yourself online to help build your audience.
So whether you’re a singer looking to make your own album cover and resize it for streaming music platforms or you have a YouTube channel and need eye-catching thumbnails, we’ve got you covered. If you’re a gamer and want to create Twitch art like mxmtoon, check out these gaming templates to get you started, so you can spend less time designing and more time focusing on what you’re truly passionate about.
Whatever you make, we’re excited to help out along the way.
Picsart is a full ecosystem of free-to-use content, powerful tools, and creator inspiration. With a billion downloads and more than 150 million monthly active creators, Picsart is the world’s largest creative platform. Picsart has collaborated with major artists and brands like BLACKPINK, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, Lizzo, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, One Direction, Sanrio: Hello Kitty, Warner Bros. Entertainment, iHeartMedia, Condé Nast, and more. Download the app or start editing on web today to enhance your photos and videos with thousands of quick and easy editing tools, trendy filters, fun stickers, and brilliant backgrounds. Unleash your creativity and upgrade to Gold for premium perks!