OTHERS FIGURED IT OUT. YOU FIGURE IT OUT.

OTHERS FIGURED IT OUT. YOU FIGURE IT OUT.

[More thoughts on “Ignore Everybody”.]

Old timers in the creative game get asked a lot of questions from the young folk just starting out.

“How did you land your first job interview?”
“How did you find your agent?”
“How did you find your publisher?”
“How did you know when to end the book?”
“How do you know where your market lived?”
“How did you convince Ewan McGregor to accept the role?”
“How do you get the New York Times to cover your story?”
“How did you persuade your investors to back your company?”

As if there’s some sort of secret master blueprint all the big shots are using, and if only we mere mortals could get our hands on it…

Eventually the old timer, having given all the answers he can, will tell the young person, “I’m sorry, I really don’t know any more than that. I just figured it out. You figure it out.”

The fact is, the old timers made it the same way we all do. They just stumbled along, trying different things, until he found something that worked. Some of it was luck, some of it was skill, all of it was tenacity.

There is no secret blueprint. There is no secret recipe. There is no A-List tooth fairy. We’re all here for a very short time in the end, so time to get busy.

Others figured it out. You figure it out.


THE AUDACITY OF WANTING TO BE CREATIVE

THE AUDACITY OF WANTING TO BE CREATIVE

[More thoughts on “Ignore Everybody”.]

Once Ignore Everybody got successful, there were more than one naysayers out there, saying something like, “Well, truly creative people don’t need somebody to tell them how to do so, so your book doubtlessly deserves to fail, Loser.”

Heh. Well, yeah, Merry Christmas to you, too.

Fortunately, the book didn’t fail and secondly, though it may be true that extremely creative people don’t need to be told how, that is ONLY after the fact, after they have found their groove.

Before the fact, there’s tends to be a very long embryonic stage (late childhood and early adulthood, mostly, often lasting many years), where lots nurturing and encouragement is key.

Thirdly, the fact is even the most brilliant of geniuses lose their mojo sometimes, i.e. fall into disenchantment with their whole process and need a little jolt to get going again. Even the biggest Titan in this game is still only human. So reminding them of why they got into this game in the first pace could certainly be helpful.

Fourthly, for every genius out there *not* needing any help, there are hundreds of normal people in normal jobs who could use a little bit of extra creative Oomph! in their M.O., who could use a creative outlet in their lives, however modest.

Lastly, it’s the economy, Stupid. Companies are under increasing pressure to innovate nowadays, and that’s much more likely if the corporate culture allows more creativity to thrive within their midsts. So there’s an actual profit motive in there somewhere.

I’m not someone who gets all high and mighty about creativity (I prefer to think of it as something far simpler: a higher brain function that makes problem solving easier, not some kind of new-age, quasi-supernatural experience), but I still think it’s damn vital to our existence, and at least once in our careers, we owe it to ourselves to pay it some serious attention.

Not to mention, it’s a whole lot of fun when you do so. Cheers.


FLIP BURGERS

FLIP BURGERS

[More thoughts on “Ignore Everybody”.]

When art is a hobby, you can afford to take your time. You’re only doing it for your own amusement, after all.

But once you turn pro, all that goes away. Especially if you get really successful, with suddenly everyone wanting a piece of you, like, *yesterday*.

So the only way to stay in the game at this level is to crank it out, in much the same way a short order cook cranks out burgers at a diner. Cheese, no cheese, medium, rare, hold the pickles, Yessir, right away, Sir!

In other words, yeah, being an artist is a job. And the more you treat like a job, with all the usual pros and cons, the easier it is to be successful and happy. It’s the prima donnas who treat every brushstroke like it was life or death who flounder.

Don’t let all that high-falutin’ arty-farty stuff slow you down. Get out there and start flipping burgers. Shut your mouth and get to work.


DON’T WORRY IF YOU CAN’T MONETIZE YOUR SPECIAL THING. MAYBE THAT’S NOT THE POINT.

DON’T WORRY IF YOU CAN’T MONETIZE YOUR SPECIAL THING. MAYBE THAT’S NOT THE POINT.

[More thoughts on “Ignore Everybody”.]

My favorite thing to do has always been the little business-card doodles I’ve been cranking out since 1997.

But I never really tried to monetize them. For one thing, I’ve always believed that with the occasional very rare exception, people generally don’t buy art. Not really. For the vast majority of artists, the fine art market is a lousy business to be in. And no lousy business is worth the hassle, I don’t care how pretty you are.

So along the way I had to find something else to pay the bills. That’s why my friend and former client, Jason Korman co-founded the organizational consultancy, Gapingvoid Culture Design. It makes good use of my art, but the art is not the main point of the business, cultural change inside the workplace is.

Nobody needs *yet another fine artist*, but everyone wants their business to function better culturally. And my work, in tandem with everything else Gapingvoid does, has proved very helpful in that regard. So it makes sense.

But even if I don’t monetize the cards, doesn’t mean they don’t help my day job, indirectly. The more of them I do, the more they influence my client work in a positive way, the more they keep the “day job” interesting and useful..

So there’s a lot of “indirect” benefits going on. A ton. And I’m fine with that. It may not follow the Hollywood script, but it’s worked out beautifully, regardless.

So quit worrying if your side hustle isn’t allowing you to quit the ol’ day job. Maybe that’s not the point. Maybe something larger is in play.

In the meantime, as always, keep working.