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Shawn Coss on Being a Popular Artist, Defining Your Success, and Business Being Hard Work – Cracking Creativity Podcast Episode 88

Shawn Coss grew up loving cartoons, but never dreamed it could become his full-time job. He grew up in a time and place where art wasn’t considered a viable career.

His dad told him he should get a “real job” instead of pursuing his dreams. The thought was, you could only be a professional artist if you went to an art institute, or learned at Disney. Like most people who grow up in difficult financial situations, Shawn’s dad didn’t want Shawn to grow up with the same hardships he had to go through.

Shawn hit his first break when he met Kris Wilson of Cyanhide and Happiness through MySpace. Kris liked Shawn’s work so much, that he invited him to work on the C&H team.

Cyanide and Happiness provided Shawn enough financial stability to start his own clothing company, Any Means Necessary. One of the clothing company’s campaigns, Inktober, brought an influx of fans and attention.

This brings Shawn to a an exciting but difficult crossroads. Should he go all-in on his company or keep it as a side hustle.

In this episode, Shawn talks about why there’s no formula for becoming a popular artist, defining success on your own terms, and why running an art business is such hard work, among many other things.

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Katie Hornor on Sharing Your Gifts, Respecting People, and Defining Success – Cracking Creativity Episode 86

Katie Hornor knew from a young age that wanted to serve God. She also realized that she had a teacher’s heart, so she majored in education.

After finishing school with a degree in education and a minor in Spanish, Katie and her husband moved to Mexico as missionaries. While in Mexico she worked at a Bible college and local mission college.

But one of the most pivotal decisions in her life was deciding to home school her children. This was the moment she realized that other parents in Mexico had no resources for home schooling their children.

So, to supplement her income and help out parents who wanted to home school their children, Katie and her husband started a home school blog. Katie realized their was a massive whole in the market for home schooling in Spanish, so she filled that gap.

Her home schooling blog became so successful that bloggers started approaching her asking how she grew her business. Katie now helps teach bloggers from all over the world how to grow their blogs and businesses.

In this episode Katie talks about sharing your gifts with the world, respecting everyone even if they don’t deserve it, and defining what  success means to you.

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Angela Ferrari on Believing in Yourself, Having Fun, and Struggles and Success – Cracking Creativity Episode 80

Angela Ferrari has always lived a creative life. When she was young she lived in a rural area where she figured out creative ways to play. She would build tree forts, spray paint plants, and turn her mundane environment into stories.

Angela continued that creative streak in college where she studied studio art and painting. After college, she moved to Portland, Maine and started working at a restaurant. While working as a waitress, Angela forged relationships with the restaurant owners and patrons. After a while, Angela was able to quit her job as a waitress to work on her art full-time.

For some, having a successful business as an artist would be enough, but that wasn’t the case for Angela. One day while doing yoga,  she had a vision about a dog doing yoga. This would eventually turn into her first children’s book Digger’s Daily Routine. Even with three completed books and a newly released podcast, it still feels like Angela has more creativity to share with the world.

In this episode Angela talks about believing in yourself, having fun, and how struggles can lead to success.

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Bob Baker on Following Your Curiosity, Being Persistent, and Finding Success as an Artist – Cracking Creativity Episode 69

Bob Baker has always been determined to make a living from his creative career. He started off his career by creating a music publication from scratch, with no prior experience. He didn’t let his lack of experience prevent him from achieving his goals. He just experimented with different ideas until he made it work.

Since that first publication he has expanded his interests well beyond a local music magazine. He has dabbled with writing, painting, and creating courses for aspiring artists. He even got into stand-up and improv comedy.

Bob has not let the starving artist mentality prevent him from making a career out of his creativity. In fact, he has thrived as an artist and creative.

In this episode, Bob talks about doing things that interest you, why you need to be persistent, and what separates successful artists from unsuccessful artists.

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Chris Dessi on Building a Personal Brand, Becoming a Tastemaker, and Defining Success – Cracking Creativity Episode 56

Chris Dessi was fired three times in two years, but that didn’t stop him from building a successful career. Instead of letting those setbacks get him down, he leveraged them into building his own business, writing multiple books, appearing on TV, and running his own summits. In this episode, learn about the power of a personal brand, being a taste maker, and defining success.

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Puneet Sachdev on His Journey Into Creative Philanthropy, the Key to Successful Projects, and the Importance of Mindfulness – Cracking Creativity Episode 55

Puneet Sachdev worked for years in the hotel industry and with General Electric as a management consultant. He now uses that knowledge in his work as a consultant, creative philanthropist, and coach.
He is also the author of Deepa Wishes Daddy Happy Birthday, a book based on the time he’s spent with his daughter. He uses 100% of the proceeds from the book to support the education of underprivileged children. The book also began his work as a creative philanthropist.

In this episode, learn how Puneet turned his idea into reality, why you need to put yourself out there, and the importance of being present.

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Catherine Orer on Multiple Paths to Success, the Importance of Gratitude, and Becoming Part of a Community – Cracking Creativity on Episode 53

Catherine Orer was an award winning communications and PR expert for multinational corporations for years, but that job never felt fulfilling to her. So, when the opportunity to study at Christies in Paris opened up, she jumped on it.

While in Paris she gained hands on experience working in contemporary art galleries. After her studies, she brought this knowledge and experience back to Canada. While working at an art gallery in Montreal, many artists approached her for help. This began Catherine’s journey as The Artist Entrepreneur.

In this episode, find out why gratitude is so important, why there isn’t just one path to success, and why artists should find support.

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“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill Quote Art

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Print available on Storenvy.

Like I have talked about many times before, failure is not something to be ashamed of. Each of us encounters failure in some form or fashion throughout our lives. Artists from Walt Disney to J.K. Rowling had to go through hardship to find success.

Here are just a few notable examples of people who have failed:

Walt Disney

Early in his career Disney created an animation studio called Laugh-O-Gram Films. This studio became loaded with debt and ended up bankrupt. He could have quit after this failure, but he chose to go Hollywood instead. There Walt and his brother Roy set up another studio.

Now, Disney is one of the most iconic brands in the world, and his characters are nearly universally recognized.

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg may be known for his many blockbusters, but he hasn’t always been so successful. Before becoming the icon he is today, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Cinema Arts three times for having poor grades.

Spielberg went on the create some of the most iconic movies in film history. In 1995 he was rewarded an honorary degree from USC, and in 1996 he became a trustee.

Harrison Ford

You may know Harrison Ford as one of his many iconic characters like Han Solo or Indiana Jones, but Ford was not always a successful actor.

Ford began his acting career as a contract player earning $150 a week. Initially, he did not find much success. One studio official even told Ford he would never be a movie star. Before catching his big break, he had to become a carpenter to supplement his income.

Ford is now one of the most well known actors in Hollywood and has acted for over 40 years.

Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel was the editor-in-chief of the Darthmouth humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern, and was kicked off the staff for breaking the Prohibition law. So he began using the pseudonym “Seuss.” He later became known for his pen name Dr. Seuss.

Seuss spent years making a living by drawing cartoons for advertisements and magazines. On his boat trip back from Europe, Seuss, the rhythm of the ship’s engine inspired his first book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. This book was rejected 27 times.

Seuss was going to destroy the book until he had a chance encounter with a friend who had just become editor at a publishing house’s children’s section.

That moment changed his life. The book became a sensation, and he wound up publishing over 60 books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.

Stephen King

Stephen King may be known as one the the greatest horror writers, but it wasn’t always this way.

When King left university, he got a teaching certificate, but wasn’t able to find a job initially. So he had to work at a laundry, where he wrote short stories on the side.

King even threw away his first novel, Carrie, because he became discouraged writing. His wife retrieved it from the trash and encourage him to finish it. That ended up being the tipping point of his career.

Since completing Carrie, King has written over 50 novels and nearly 200 short stories. He has sold over 350 million copies of his books and many of them have been adapted into films and mini series.

J.K. Rowling

Before J.K. Rowling found fame with Harry Potter, she considered herself a failure. She had a failed marriage. She was jobless and raising a child by herself. She was clinically diagnosed with depression and contemplated suicide.

Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book while on welfare. You might think after the outrageous success the books had that publishers would have killed for the chance to publish the book. You would be wrong. The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected it.

We know the rest of the story. Rowling ended up writing seven Harry Potter books in total, which turned into eight films. According to Forbes, she became the first billionaire writer and the second-richest female entertainer.

These stories show the failures of some of the most well known artists of our time. Each one reached a low point in their careers, but was able to overcome them and move on to great things.

Failure is not uncommon, it is inevitable. Click To Tweet

If you are to learn anything from these people it’s that failure is not uncommon, it is inevitable. It is only by making it through these failures that one will find success.

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Thanks to Business Insider for the list of failures.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather Quote Art

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather

Print available on Storenvy.

How many times have you given up just when you were on the cusp of success? You know you could do it, but chose to give up instead. It happens to many of us. It is often the factor that separates success from failure.

I have given up on many projects. I wanted to build a website where people could discover where to buy things they saw on Pinterest or Tumblr, but I gave up. I started a blog where I posted something new I learned that day, but gave up on that too.

I have quit on many projects without success. Could they have succeeded? Quite possibly, but I chose to move on to something else instead.

What separates someone who succeeds from someone who fails? Persistence.

The problem many of us have is, we give up when things don’t go the way we planned. We look at the success others have and wonder why we aren’t getting the same results.

We need to stop looking at others and focus on ourselves. We choose to ignore the hard work that others had to put in to get where they are. Instead, we choose to envy their status. This is an unhelpful and self-destructive practice.

Instead of envying what others have, congratulate them and figure out what you can do to find the same success. Don’t aspire to be a second rate version of someone else, choose to be a first rate version of yourself.

How do you do this? By putting in the work. Instead of giving up at the first sign of failure, choose to move on.

Malcom Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to master any skill. Have you put in your 10,000 hours? Have you put in the hard work necessary for success? Will you choose to hang on while others let go?

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Photo by Sean Hobson

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” – Earl Nightingale Quote Art

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” – Earl Nightingale

Print available on Society6.

What do you want? This may seem like a simple question, but most of us don’t know the answer. Do you want to achieve fame through your work? Do you want to sell enough work to live comfortably? Do you want to travel the world displaying your work? Do you want it all?

The problem many artists face without knowing it is, what do you want out of your art? Sure, you may get joy out of the sheer act of creation, but what is the underlying purpose of your work?

If you want to create art for art’s sake, that fine and good. If, however, you want more out of all the hard work you put into your art, you need to find purpose.

My purpose is helping artists achieve the goals they set out for themselves and their artwork. I want to take all the knowledge I’ve learned over the years in marketing, psychology, and creativity, and use it to help others like myself. If I can’t use my knowledge to help others, what’s the point in having it?

If you can find and set out a worthy goal, you will find success along with it. Click To Tweet

My challenge to you is to find your purpose. Discover what your goals are for your work. If you can find and set out a worthy goal, you will find success along with it.

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