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.
Kym Dolcimascolo got a degree in photography and film making but didn’t follow that path once she graduated from school. Instead she became a computer engineer and worked her way up the career ladder.
After working for a while in the corporate world, she decided she had had enough. So, she set herself up to leave her corporate job and started a web design company.
This career move allowed her to work with people who embraced creativity, and eventually led her into coaching for artists and creatives.
In this episode Kym talks about creating plans, why you should know your audience, and how artists can change the world.
Austin Kleon | ISBN: 076117897X & 978-0761178972 | Rating: 10/10
Austin Kleon’s incredible book Steal Like an Artist paved the way for his equally good Show Your Work! In Steal Like an Artist, Austin showed us how we could pull inspiration from everything around us. It gave us 10 examples of how we can be more creative as artists and creatives.
Show Your Work! is more of a companion book than a sequel to Steal Like an Artist. It explains why creatives need to show their work if they want to be “discovered.” In it, Kleon gives 10 examples of how we can share our creativity to grow an audience of passionate fans.
The reason you should read this along side Steal Like an Artist is, while Steal tells you how to boost your creativity, Show Your Work tells you how to share it. Both elements are necessary for living the optimum creative life.
If you start sharing your work from the beginning, there’s a timeline of your progress as an artist. There’s proof of your growth as an artist and everything it took to get to where you are.
It’s a way for fans to connect with you more deeply as you discover your own creative expression. It acts as a living creative journal of your progress.
With all that being said, here are my thoughts on each section of the book:
Marcella Chamorro’s creative journey hasn’t been a straight line. Her career path didn’t reveal itself to her until well after she graduated from college. In fact, she took multiple detours including working at a non-profit, getting her masters degree, and starting a web design business, all before finding her true calling.
She only recognized her true calling of writing, photography, and technology after running her web design business. Through these mediums she is able to help people tap into the serenity and enjoyment they crave.
In this episode, Marcella talks about letting go of your ego, getting into creative flow, and becoming more mindful.
Charlotte Eriksson grew up in a house where athletics were emphasized. The arts weren’t celebrated and you weren’t supposed to express your feelings. Her family didn’t grow up listening to music, so she didn’t really discover it until she was 16 years old. That’s when a friend introduced her music that touched her life.
From that moment on, she knew she wanted to be a musician. She knew she wanted to spend her life creating that same magical feeling for other people. And at the age of 18 Charlotte moved to London to pursue her dream. Since that moment, she has released several albums, toured all over Europe, and has published three books.
In this episode, Charlotte talks about facing obstacles, knowing yourself and your fans, and the importance of knowing your why.
“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
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I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life. Have you?
I’m not saying this because I am proud of my mistakes. I’m not, but I will tell you what I am proud of.
I’m proud of taking chances. I’m proud of bouncing back from failures. I’m proud of continuing to experiment despite the setbacks. I’m proud that I can say I tried.
If you’ve been paying attention to all the talking heads in the startup and business world, you might believe failure is a good thing. I can tell you this much: failure sucks. Failure does not make you better at business. Failure does not pay the bills. Failure is demoralizing. Even so, the truth is failure is inevitable.
If you want to achieve something great, you will also face failure. It’s not because you are dumb. It’s not because you don’t deserve it. It’s not because you aren’t special.
It’s because you don’t know what you are doing. None of us do when we begin our journeys.
It also doesn’t matter how much you follow an expert’s suggestions. You will still encounter failure. You will make mistakes. You will find obstacles all along the way.
The good news is, you will learn from your mistakes. You will learn what to do and what not to do. You will make tweaks to your process. You will adapt and change until you discover what works for you.
That is why we must embrace experimentation. We must embrace taking action despite the fact that we will run over speed bumps along the way. We must be willing to embrace the unknown.
If we don’t, we will never achieve anything. If you want to go through life without any blemishes on your record, you might as well give up now because the only people who don’t make mistakes are those who don’t do anything.
Photo by Pach Brothers
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We’re willing to fall because we’ve learned how to rise. – @BreneBrown (Brené Brown)
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Do you let the fear of failure prevent you from succeeding? Are you unwilling to take risks because you are afraid of the results? Do you stand by while it feels like everyone around you is doing so well?
If you said yes to any of the questions above, you are not alone. We all have these thoughts. We are all afraid of failure. We are all scared of taking risks. We all feel inadequate when we compare ourselves to others. These are all normal feelings.
So how do you find success while these thoughts plague your mind? The answer is simple, but not easy. You have to go on despite your fears. You have to take risks knowing you might fail. You have to stop comparing yourself to others.
Success is a funny thing. In school, there is only one right answer. We make sure kids know when they’ve gotten an answer wrong. Red ink is abundant. We make students feel like a failure if they get anything below a B. It’s no wonder we’re all afraid of failing.
In the world after college, everything changes. People no longer expect us to find the one right answer. We are expected to experiment and figure things out for ourselves. We have to re-calibrate the way we approach problem solving.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned while trying to build my website and audience, it’s that there is no right answer. If your ideas succeed more than 50% of the time, you are doing an incredible job. That same score would flunk you out of school.
One of the most important lessons you can learn is that failure is not the end of the world. Failure teaches us lessons that success never could: It teaches us how to be resilient. It teaches us how to learn from our mistakes. It teaches us how to experiment and test things out for ourselves. It teaches us how to make it in the world as creators.
As artists and creatives, we must be willing to fall. It’s going to happen. A lot. So get used to it. The most important thing is that you learn how to rise too. You shouldn’t strive for failure, but it comes with the territory. The only way you will learn that lesson is if you are willing to try.
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Something a little bit different this week. Instead of a one way interview, I had a conversation with Ryan Hildebrandt of The Maker’s Journey podcast. In it we talked about starting our podcasts, why you should provide value, writing a book, building a TEDx event from scratch, and much more.
Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan were both on extremely successful career paths. Matt was working for a seven-figure chiropractic business and Charine was offered a lucrative management position at her company. On the outside, everything looked great. But internally, they both felt they were living a life of complacency.
The tipping point came when they took a sabbatical to wine regions around the world. That’s when something struck Charine. She believed they could build a business around wine and travel. So they built up enough run way to quit their jobs and started their journey as the Exotic Wine Travelers.
In this episode, learn why experiences are better than having things, why you should invest in yourself, and why communication is the most important skill you can learn.
“Dream big and dare to fail.” – Norman D. Vaughan
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I have to admit that I’ve been holding back. It’s easy to give advice or prescriptions, but it’s much harder to do it yourself. That’s why I want to put myself out there.
For the most part, my dreams have been small. I’ve self-published one book and have another one on the way. I’ve started up a podcast, built this site, and an e-mail list, and I’ve had some wonderful conversations with artists and creatives. But none of these things are part of my ultimate goal.
I’ve heard multiple times, in several conversations, people talk about what they would do if they had a magic wand and could do anything at all. All I know is, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now.
Even though I’ve enjoyed the work I’ve done up to this point, I think I can do much better. I want to visit creatives and see what it takes to create beautiful works of art. I want to help artists grow their businesses. I want to bring artists and creatives together so they can help each other.
I’ve been able to complete my smaller short term goals, but I need to reach much farther. I need to dream big. I need to dare to fail.
We only get so much time on Earth. Which means we need to take some chances. What’s the worst that could happen? Even if you fall on your face, you can always get back up and try again.
It all starts with having a plan. What would your ideal day look like? What would you be doing? How can you begin to make your way towards that ideal life?
I want to live a creatively fulfilling life. I want to spend my days exploring what it means to live life to its fullest. And I want to help you do the same.
So, this is a call to you. What are you struggling with? What is your big dream? Are you pursuing it? If not, I want to know why.
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