I want to tackle a myth today. A really pervasive one that I think locks a lot of artists into justifying unhealthy behavior. The myth of the tortured artist. The belief that you have to suffer for your art. That you have to be a martyr to make good work. That art is only good if it comes from pain. I think we’ve got it backwards. The cart is before the horse, and it’s holding a lot of artists back from embracing (and enjoying) their creativity.
As freelancers, our first instincts are always to take a job that is offered to us. Any job. Especially if it’s a repeat client or a dream client we’re working with for the first time. But sometimes, in the middle of a job, things can take a turn for the worse and suddenly all you want is out. Is it the right time to hit the ejector button? Is there a way to save the job? Can you get out without irrevocably burning that bridge?
You want to know why you don’t get things done? Behind the procrastination, the laziness, the insecurity…you know what the root of it all leads to? Fear. But you’re thinking about it all wrong. Fear is not your enemy. Fear is a healthy response. Fear keeps you cautious. Fear makes you careful. People think you have to be fearless to be creative, to make art, but that’s not true.
How many of us like to tell people we’re perfectionists? Well don’t fool yourself: Perfectionism is holding you back. Perfectionism is the fear that what you are, or what you have made, is not good enough, not worthy enough, to be let loose into the world. And we have to stop bragging about it.
You’re courting a new client, and it seems like they’re interested. They ask you the dreaded question: “How much?” What do you do? If you quote too low, you’re not making enough money, and you’ll end up hating the job. But if you quote the real worth of the job, will you lose the client? Let us walk you through some negotiation scenarios.
All artists, no matter how good they are, have to deal with jealousy and envy. You will see a peer do something you wish you could, and you will feel a pang of loss deep in your gut. That’s normal. Let me be straight with you: no artist I have ever met — no person really, forget just artists — have been able to stop that first gut reaction. But, what we can do is stop it from obsessing us.
Suddenly, with a rush of pit-of-the-stomach dread, you realize that there’s no way in hell you’re going to make the deadline you agreed to. Now what do you do? (Spoiler: the answer is not to go hide your head in the sand and hope for the best.)
Brian Wilson is a creative genius, but he’s also a tragic figure. His mental breakdown is so infamous it has even inspired hit songs. There’s been plenty of books written about Brian Wilson’s life, but this is the first one in his own words. And those words are valuable for any creative who struggles with anxiety or depression (and isn’t that all of us?)
Everyone gets nervous before events. But you shouldn’t let it hold you back. Here’s some top tips we’ve crowdsourced from the artists and art directors best at winning social hour