1) Practice! Practice! Practice!
Making a commitment to get better at what you do is the exact same thing as actually getting better at what you do. Every great artist or creative started as a lesser version of themselves and has achieved greater and greater things only through the making or the doing of their work.
So get your notebook, make your sketches, write down your ideas, and just get stuff done. Pretty soon all that “practice” won’t be practice anymore.
2) A Little Passion and Enthusiasm Can Go a Long Way
You may not be the most skilled artist or the most “naturally talented” but having passion for what you do will take you much farther than just having some kind of “natural” aptitude.
Passion enables you to fight harder and last longer than your “more skilled” counterparts.
Enthusiasm will help you stay positive through some tough challenges. That fight, that struggle and being able to get through it, builds a better work ethic and stronger character which ultimately, makes you a better artist.
3) Creative Blocks Aren’t Real
When you feel like all your ideas just don’t work or you think you have no new ideas, it’s not because you’re actually creatively blocked. It’s because you’ve allowed yourself to think you CAN be blocked.
The human mind isn’t actually capable of not producing ideas. That’s all humans do, constantly and involuntarily. We organize and we look for patterns and solutions for everything around us whether we want to or not. That’s just how our brains work. This method for finding new ideas works on that basic principle.
4) You Have to Create the Conditions in Which New Ideas Can Happen
We, as artists and creatives, like the notion that our best ideas just “come to us.” There’s something mysterious and romantic about being “inspired.”
However, in reality, great ideas come from the synthesis of all our experiences and circumstances – unconsciously, more often than not – which can make it feel like our ideas just suddenly appear out of nowhere.
The truth is, new ideas come from new information and new experiences. That is why going out to see and experience the world is essential for finding new ideas for your work. Nothing new will ever happen just staring at your computer screen all day or by sticking to your comfortable routine. Ideas don’t actually come to you, you have to go to where ideas happen.
5) Focus is Your Best Friend
Don’t half-ass two things. Whole ass one thing. – Ron Swanson
There’s always the temptation to want to do a lot of things well, especially for most modern creatives and artists. We all want to be great designers, illustrators, Photoshop magicians, or photographers. More to the point, we want to be all these things, all at the same time. So we “work hard” and study and hone many different skills, working with as many different ideas as we possibly can.
Sure, it can feel great knowing that you’re able to take a decent picture while also being able to design a decent web page and a decent logo to match. But that’s all they will ever be: Decent. Passable. Adequate.
Wouldn’t you rather be a singularly fantastic Photographer rather than be a middling designer/illustrator/videographer/web developer/photographer?
What are other true things you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below.