I’m often asked on a regular basis what it takes to be a successful illustrator. Many think its super skills with watercolour, practical Photoshop knowledge or perhaps a outrageous amount of social media followers. Whilst these should be taken into consideration I’d like to put forward other points more concerned with mindset and outlook which plays a far more important factor when embarking and sustaining a career as an artist, illustrator or surface designer.
1 Self Discipline
Discipline is asserting your willpower to succeed. Taking 100% responsibility for your life/ career/ creativity involves giving up on excuses and reasons why you can’t or haven’t, or blaming outside circumstances. Discipline means having self-control over instant gratification. You can reframe this and take the position that you’ve actually always had the power to produce desired results
Setting out or know what you want to accomplish, experience, and knowing what success looks like for you is essential. Having well defined desires and big visions will help with the belief its possible to live off your art and create a business around it. Holding the belief that you can succeed is a critical first base for success. And ALWAYS dream big, way bigger than you you think you ‘can’
Take the initiative and plan a concrete course of action to gain focus. This could include taking control of your learning, improving skills etc will help you stay motivated and to achieve more. You may not know exactly how something is done or have all the right answers to questions, but if you put in the effort and work hard to learn and understand, they are already on the right path. Success comes to those who put in hard and dedicated effort.
You ( and I ) WILL experience fear but its important to take action anyway. Most people let fear stop themselves from taking steps to achieves their dreams. Its best to acknowledge your fears or bloackblocks and know they can’t be avoided. Try not to waiver from your core goals and objectives even when things are not going the way you hoped or planned. Remain focused and committed to what you are working toward because YOU believe in it and you will be eventually rewarded
I think we all understand in theory there will be a lot of setbacks and repetitive actions to hone our skills. However its dealing with these feelings that come with them too. Persistence often means learning something new or pushing through a barrier in order to achieve the main goal. Try to see it as an investment in your knowledge which will assist you in moving forward. The path to success CAN’T EXSIST WITHOUT FAILURES.. The most important thing is to learn from these failures and to continue moving forward. So appreciate that taking small steps will result in small achievements…and small achievements lead to a big success.
In a world where we can access information and order what we want within a few seconds, patience can be hard to come by ( We want what we want now!) Patience is an absolute requirement for the attainment of any goal because some things simply can’t be rushed or hurried. Appreciating that building a website or devoting time to a social media strategy takes a lot of time and effort, and is different to actually going through the frustration involved. Be committed for the long term and dedicated to follow through with a set of actions despite the various challenges and obstacles. The ability to remain calm when facing difficulties and adversity can not be underestimated.
Success doesn’t come without persistence, patience and practice. Over the next 6 weeks I hope to dymistify and expand on the points I’ve made here by putting forward more practical advice and recommendations which have helped me in my career.