Monday, February 25, 2013

manic mon #1: complex's how to make it, 15 rules for success from creative industry insiders

swim to the sky, variation 4 ( blue )
And so the weekly segments begin! Yes?!

Man, I really hope it lasts beyond this first week.

Anyway, first thing I'm sharing for Manic Monday #1 is some inspirational collections by life/style mag, Complex. They have a wonderful little series entitled "How to Make It." I know, the title is a very tagliney and a little dubious, but the snippets are worth flipping through.

Each post is a short list of tips/advice garnered from people established in a certain creative area. I first stumbled on the one for freelance photographers clicking through "Portfolio Review: Photographer Steven Taylor's Shares His Favorite Music Portraits."

They're all great and contain words of wisdom that could easily pertain to other fields. The one I found really helpful and want to share today is "How to Make It: 15 Rules for Success from Creative Industry Insiders."

Some things for me to remember were:

  1. Maxime Buchi's, "Know yourself. The most successful are never the most gifted, but those who know best how to exploit their gifts."
  2. Frank Chimero's, "Explore other fields, and import their insights into your practice. Read a book on astronomy, look at conceptual art, appreciate the vernacular. Insight comes from the outside,"which relates to Kathy Grayson's, "Art that is charged with lived experience is the kind of art that changes lives."
  3. Colleen Nika's, "You need to think long-term — how can you create opportunities now that will evolve with you, and serve you well 10 years from now? This isn't a privileged viewpoint, it's survivalism for grownups."
  4. Bobby Solomon's, "I've done this nearly every day for five years, and it's allowed me to meet so many interesting people along the way. It even helped me get me my last two jobs. Put yourself, and your work, out there every day, and you'll start meeting some amazing people."
Out of all of them, I think I like Kathy Grayson's rule the best.

Rule: Make art about life, not art about art.

It's more on the guiding light side than the business sav, but it's something I've pondered and want to remember. Finding creative community is vital, but also dangerously insular, like all specialized fields and much of grown-up living.

More How to Make It's from Complex:
10 Rules for Success from Freelance Photographers
10 Rules for Success from Freelance Writers
10 Rules for Success from Street Artists
10 Rules for Success from Freelance Illustrators


  1. What an informative series! I look forward to your posts in the coming weeks.

    Myself, I loved Solomon's advice in putting yourself and your art out there daily. When you start aligning your life in the place you want instead of hoping it will fall into your lap, you'll be surprised by who you meet and how you grow.

    Though I did not know any artists (visual) nor interpreters, within this year I've met a few of them, and from institutions I've revered since discovering them.

    "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls."
    - Joseph Campbell

    1. aw you comment so properly!!! XD hehehe

      yeah, that's a big one too. being out there, being proactive about putting your work out there, that's a whole feat (both psychological and practical) in and of intself.

      would love to hear more of your journey, the people you've met and the institutions you're talking about! is joseph campbell someone you rever too?