Ten Random Things I Have Learned From Being An Artist 

1) Believe it or not, your work doesn't speak for itself. Perception may not be everything but it is a HUGE part of what we do. The way you speak, write, look and present your work will either elevate it in people's eyes or take it down several notches. 

2) If you choose to compete with the locals, then you will stay local. It is better to to band together with your peers to help each other out (by organizing shows together and trading information and resources) and then set your sights on competing with the national talent. By doing this, you can avoid the petty squabbling and mean-spirited "competition" that aspiring artists often find themselves embroiled in.

3) If you are chasing a certain trend because it is currently popular, then you have already lost the game, because whatever is currently popular is by definition on it's way out. Failed artists chase trends, opportunists anticipate trends, true artists ignore and/or create them. 

4) If you gauge your self worth from a stranger's opinions, you are screwed. On the other hand, if you don't occasionally get honest critiques from insiders that you respect, you are screwed too... Beware the Dunning Kruger effect! 

5) You will hear the word "no" way more often than you'll hear the word "yes", but once you hear the word "yes" from an industry gatekeeper, most of the people who earlier said "no" to you will now say "yes" as well... 

6) Never talk shit about anyone else - word travels quickly and talking smack about others ends up making YOU look bad, not the person you are talking shit about! 

7) Never rest on your laurels - always be planning the next step. 

8) Stop worrying about being commercial. Worry more about becoming the best artist you can be. If you have to support your craft by getting a job unrelated to it then do so and develop your art without the immediate concern of making a living from it. If you start making compromises and decisions about your creations based solely on making money, you may eventually end up despising what you do.. 

9) Learn how to graciously accept a compliment and graciously accept a criticism (even a rude and hostile one; responding in kind will make you look just as bad as the one doing the insulting) The best way to respond to a critique is to say "thank you"... Not with excuses or counter-critiques! 

10) Whenever you are in a slump or feeling uninspired, that means it is time to promote the work you have already created. Conversely when you are feeling creative; then work like hell and leave the promotion to others (or wait to start doing it again during your next inevitable slump).. 

Feel free to share and add to this list as you see fit.. 

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