Monday, August 3, 2009

The Average Culprit

There is something lurking beneath our creative exterior as artists. There is a force that seeks to bring us down to ordinary.

The Creative Law of Average states that each individual who is creative by nature will at least occasionally be tempted to succumb to the forces of second-rate.

These forces induce artists to put out "average work". Some artists do art as a part time thing; others have made a career out of their passion. Career artists often lose inspiration to complete things in the excellence they once used to when they did it all for fun. Deadlines, "mean" agents or managers and the pressure to live up to the expectations of many can cause stress and produce substandard work. To combat the Creative Law of Average, may I suggest:

1- Keep a picture, phrase or Bible verse in a place of prominence in your workspace that reminds you of why you started doing what you're doing.

2- Keep in mind who you are, what you are capable of and what standard you want to live up to. Write a mission statement for yourself. When you choose art as a career, you are your own business, and you must treat yourself as such.

3- Find an accountability partner and a mentor. An accountability partner should be someone who will stay on you and check with you on your deadlines and goals. If your publisher has given you a deadline, or you have a performance on a certain date, set goals for yourself (way ahead of actual due date) and start your work early. A mentor should be someone in the same line of business. Build a relationship with someone/people who are at a level you want to reach. You can build these relationships in community organizations or online.

4- Help someone else. No matter where you are as an artist, there is always someone else behind you, waiting to build up to what you have. Help another aspiring artist with their music, or offer to critique their writing (whatever your skill set is). Let them know about a great place to build a free website for themselves ( among others) to help with marketing, or recommend them to your stylist. A little bit of guidance can go a long way.

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