Realizations along the way

I had the pleasure to present my artwork, life story, and these 20 realizations to Mark Creegan’s Design 1 class on March 10th. I spoke close to an hour and it definitely was the most cathartic experience I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if many in the class got anything out of it, but I know I did. Below are the 20 realizations that I presented for the class. Hopefully some of you can get something from them. Thanks Mark for giving me the opportunity to present my work and what I’ve learned along the way.

A list of realizations I’ve come to find as personal truths.
Follow them at your own discretion.

1. It is okay for artists to have day jobs.

2. Try and make your day job align with what you’d like to really be doing as closely as possible.

3. If you can’t do that, look at how your day job can feed your art or design creatively.

4. Try and see how digital art and physical art can be connected as many ways as possible.

5. Your design should feed your art.  Your art should feed your design.

6. Try not to have any gaps on your resume – if your job isn’t involved in what you want to do for a living, freelance when not working.  Keep Dunkin Donuts off your resume. Hint….Volunteer work or internships can go on your resume.

7. Don’t get bent out of shape trying to label yourself as a Designer, Painter, Sculptor, Writer, Musician, etc. because it’s all related.

8. Learn how to learn. Become an expert at what you are passionate about.

9. If you don’t know how to become an expert ask questions.  You can interview anyone you respect in order to find out more information.

10. Don’t wait for the powers that be to find your talent, become the powers that be.  Curate a show.  Start an art & design blog.  Start a band.  Build your network by interviewing people you respect.

11. Learn software as need be.  Don’t focus on trying to know everything at once.  The trick is knowing where to find the answers, when you need to find them.

12. Remember that design or art projects are only as strong as the concept, regardless of their implementation.

13. Draw!!!!!  Write!!!!!

14. When you don’t feel like drawing, write, and vice versa.  Both of them feed creativity.

15. Keep a sketchbook on you at all times.  You just never know when an idea will pop in your head.

16. Don’t be against working jobs that have nothing to do with art or design because they will feed you creatively if you allow them to and can give you something to draw from for inspiration in the future.

17. If you find yourself working on a construction site don’t tell anyone that you work with you have an art degree.

18. If you find yourself enlisted in the military don’t tell anyone you are serving with that you have an art degree.

19. Get over the stigma that you need a sloppy old studio to sling paint in or a huge loft to house your super computers.  Your studio is your brain.  You can take it anywhere and it is rent free.

20. Realize that committing to art and design is a life-long journey.  Don’t be upset if you haven’t “Made It”  five, ten, twenty years after graduation.  Actually, expect to never “Make It”.  Keep it for yourself and remember number 2.  (Try and make your day job align with what you’d like to really be doing as closely as possible.)