21 Wats to Thrive as an Artist
1 Increase your store of images [photo and memory]. Go out and enjoy spending a day looking at things. Images are the raw material of our craft, the more you look the more effective your picture making.
2 Don't just plan to make pictures - draw, paint and make marks. It's only by doing it and not dreaming about it that we develop our own visual language.
3 The prerequisite is to keep the well of ideas full. This means living as full and varied a life as possible, to have antennae out all the time.
4 Record moments, fleeting impressions, overheard dialogue, your own sadness and bewilderments and joys.
5 Decide when in the day or night it best suits you to work and organise your life accordingly.
6 Remember there is no such thing as nonsense.
7 Think big and stay particular.
8 Work hard.
9 Finish everything you start.
10 No alcohol, sex or drugs while you are working.
11 Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to make the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
12 Make pictures honestly, and tell it the best way you can.
13 Always carry a notebook. Always! The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.
14 Chose subjects that interest you but find out why they interest you. This will help you to understand their meaning and enrich your work.
15 Try to think of others' good luck as encouragement to yourself.
16 You most likely need a good store of images - sketchbooks, artbooks about artists you admire, films, posters, photographs, poems (poems are wonderful word-pictures) and a grip on reality. This latter means: there is no free lunch. Making pictures is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you but essentially you're on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine.
17 Do it every day. Make a habit of putting your observations down and gradually this will become an instinct.
18 Avoid distractions - work in a room without an internet connection.
19 Treat making pictures as a job. Be disciplined. But have fun.
20 When you get stuck don't panic, go for a walk instead.
21 Love what you do.