Learning to see

Most people to this day think of [the sciences and the arts] as so radically different from each other. But I want to posit a different way to look at it. It comes from what I think is a fundamental misunderstanding of art on the part of most people. Because they think of art as learning to draw or learning a certain kind of self-expression. But in fact, what artists do is they learn to see.

~ Ed Catmull

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Success

To be a successful creator, you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, clients, or fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only 1,000 true fans.

~ Kevin Kelly

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Making choices

To create art we make choices. We do it with intent, seeking to make a change for certain people. When we find that our choices didn’t succeed, vulnerability with lots of personal angst is an available choice. The alternative is to learn from what didn’t resonate. Was it our choices in how we did the work, or did we bring this work to the wrong audience? You are not your work. Your work is a series of choices made with generous intent to cause something to happen. We can always learn to make better choices.

~ Seth Godin

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Trust yourself and promise

What we seek out is someone who sees us and consistently keeps their promises to bring us the magic we were hoping for. Someone who has committed to rhyming with what they did yesterday. When you trust yourself enough to turn pro, You’re entering into a covenant with those you seek to serve. You promise to design with intention, and they agree to engage with the work you promised to bring them.

~ Seth Godin

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A big ol’ distraction

Quit your yakkin’ and get busy. Quit wasting time obsessing about pimping your ass and checking your stats. Instead, MAKE stuff. Make AMAZING stuff. Make stuff that is so good that people have no choice but to find out about it. Otherwise, you REALLY are just wasting your time. This game is already TOO hard and TOO BIG a time suck to fritter away on what is, for the most part, a big ol’ distraction.

~ Hugh MacLeod, from https://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/2011/08/21/im-sick-to-death-of-hearing-the-phrase-driving-traffic-to-your-site/

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B-e-a-utiful

Stone isn’t naturally malleable, and yet, Japanese artist Hirotoshi Ito (previously) carves his sculptures to make the material appear as if it can be unzipped or sliced with a butter knife.

~ Grace Ebert from, https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2022/06/hirotoshi-ito-stone-sculpture/

I’ve only just recently learned of This is Colossal. Only a few weeks into following them—RSS for the win!—and they are definitely living up to their self-assessment.

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Otherwise life feels empty

So I make it really simple. I’d say art is: “That which you have no choice but to do, because your soul demands it”.

Yes, it’s a fairly flawed definition. But it illustrates something that most people don’t get about artists or entrepreneurs. We do it, because if we don’t, life feels empty. The downside being, it doesn’t exactly come with an easy life.

~ Hugh MacLeod from, https://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/2018/05/10/do-it-because-your-soul-demands-it/

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Skill

Skill is earned. It’s learned and practiced and hard-won. It’s insulting to call a professional talented. She’s skilled, first and foremost. Many people have talent, but only a few care enough to show up fully, to earn their skill. Skill is rarer than talent. Skill is earned. Skill is available to anyone who cares enough.

~ Seth Godin

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