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10 Mind-Altering Tips For Artists Who Want To Achieve Greatness In Their Lifetime

If you are an artist, and you want to achieve the peaks of divine artistry in your lifetime, then here are some personal lessons from my time as a Creative Director:

    1. Never fall in love with your art, for you shall never improve if you do.

    Great art must be destroyed and reworked many times before it becomes great. Those who love their art will have a hard time doing so...

    2. The story is everything, and it's even more important than the art itself.

    The art itself is just a medium for expressing the story. Don't let your personal urges for creative expression get in the way of telling the story.

    3. Create with your strengths so that the technical details don't distract you from the story.

    Everyone is born with talents for a specific type of art. Use this in-born talent instead of trying to hone an artistic style that doesn't suit you. Otherwise, you'll spend more time on technical details than on the story itself...

    4. Be lazy.

    Thinking that you have to create art every single day, non-stop... is the fastest road to burnout. For most people at least. You can improve your art by spending time away from the brush (or tablet) as well.


    Explore other fun and creative fields and activities that interest you. And take the lessons you learn on your journey over there back with you to the drawing board once you're ready to return to the artist's chair!

    5. Quantity leads to quality. But only if it fits your personality type.

    You will most probably improve much faster as an artist if you focus on churning out new art quickly and consistently, instead of spending months on a single project. However, the caveat is that it must suit your personality type. If you're the type who very strongly values quality over quantity, then this could quickly kill your motivation.

    6. Spend more time learning from real life, not from other artists.

    Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes you can make as an artist is spending all your time studying the works of other artists, instead of... studying the greatest artwork of them all:

    Nature itself.

    7. Don't spend your whole life thinking like an artist, for this road will eventually lead to a dead end.

    I see so many books these days about... how to think like an artist... or how to think like a scientist... or how to think like a 12-year-old kid who's hyped up on sugar to the point of ADHD.

    And while those books can be good, all of them miss out of a most important point:

    You shouldn't be pigeon-holing yourself into a specific way of thinking. Because there are pros and cons to the thinking modes of every occupation. Instead, treat every way of thinking as another toolbox, not as a hammer. You know the saying, a man with a hammer sees everything as a nail?

    8. Art is long, but life is short.

    So use your time wisely. We only have 24 hours in a day. How we use those hours determines the heights we reach at the end of our lives.

    9. Have fun, don't take yourself too seriously.

    Have a variety of personal artistic side projects outside of work. Don't make your work your life. Especially if your work involves painting the same things over and over again everyday and you're getting bored.

    Yes, you need to work to feed yourself. But interlace that with some "fun art" time. Or find a fun-ner job.

    What's the point if you gain all the money in the world but lose your own "soul"?

    10. "Different" catches attention, but "Superiority" keeps it there.

    You need to be different if you want to stand out. Definitely. Don't be another fish fighting for food in a bloody red ocean. But... a lot of artists take this too far. Sure "different" catches attention, but if your skills aren't up to par, you won't hold that attention for long. Don't stop leveling up your skills.

    11. (BONUS) It's often not the better artist who wins, but the one who makes fewer mistakes.

    Lost out to other artists for a coveted project? It doesn't mean your work wasn't good enough. Oftentimes, it's just because the other artists made fewer mistakes with their submission than you.

    The author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, once said:

    "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."


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