Like to treat yourself and your artistic endeavors like an asshole? I made a list with 7 assholey things you can do to make yourself miserable, success guaranteed!

1.Compare your work and process to other people

Comparing yourself to other artists is the guaranteed way to be miserable. First of all there is nothing wrong with admiring people for their work, but to use somebody’s work as an excuse to bitch about yourself, your failures or to stir up feelings of “lesser then the other” is not fair towards the artist in question and it’s a sign of deep disrespect towards your own artistic process and the gifts the universe granted you.

It doesn’t matter how “successful” the other is, what we don’t see from each other is the heartbreak, tears, the many steps we take in order to achieve something in the creative industry and the time/ resources/ money we’re investing. You don’t know the others path take nor do you know what somebody had to sacrifice to get there.

2. Remind yourself, you’re not real and you are just pretending

The good ol’ imposter syndrome. Unfortunatelly common in every profession. It’s the concept of the inability to internalize accomplishments and the fear of being exposed (“wow, YOU are just a faker, fake news, fake bitch…blaaah”). If you are struggling with this, you could suppress feelings of fakery, but you could also do a deep dive into your fake feelings, meaning owning it. Own your fakeïsm and fake it till you make it.

3. Be a perfectionist

You can’t finish projects if you are an perfectionist. Perfectionism is not sexy, it’s not cool and saying you’re perfectionist during a job interview when being ask of negative personality traits is fucking stupid.

Perfectionism can paralyze you, prohibiting you from starting in the first place. If you are a perfectionist, probably you are a procrastinator too, because of your high demands you can’t even get yourself to start.

Things don’t have to be perfect, everything is in a constant state of change, the universe is in constant becoming/ unbecoming. Trying to make something perfect is trying to kill it…because perfectionism is death, you can’t grow or evolve if you are already perfect.

4. Force yourself to be original

“good artist copy, great artist steal” – Pablo Picasso

Don’t beat yourself up to be original. Nothing is this world is original, according to Kirby Ferguson everything is a remix. To copy, transform and combine is the root of all creativity and is a more healthy way to look at it. Ferguson states that our creativity comes from without, not from within. We are not self-made but dependent on another and admitting this to ourselves isn’t an embrace of mediocrity and derivativeness. It’s a liberation from our misconceptions, and it’s and incentive to not expect so much from ourselves.

Creation can only take root and grow once the ground is prepared. Get your ground ready and fertilize it with ideas, colors and research on the people who you admire!

5. Over identify with your work

You are NOT your work. Your work is NOT special, you are not special. Over-identifying your work with yourself will make you take everything concerning your artwork personal. It’s distracting and puts too much pressure on the ones who are expected to do creative work.

The creative genius you think YOU are or aren’t is nothing more than a concept which got misunderstood during the Renaissance. More on this in a future post.

6. Place all your bets on your artistic career

Burn your assets, quit your day job and pursue an artistic career where you force others to take care of you while you’re living the dream. There was a time when I thought this was necessary to reach those levels of heights, but that’s utter bullshit.

Today I would say, yes, making art and doing design is nice, but it’s much more nicer if you can pay for everything yourself, all the materials & supplies you need, your food, rent and all other things we need in order to survive. It’s hard to do art if you have financial worries or if your stomach is empty.

7. Finally, if you can’t make a living from your art, then you’re a failure

Keep telling yourself if you can’t eat from your art, then you have failed and if you believe this hard enough, you will give up on your art and take on a stupid fulltime job in order to forget the career path you desire and be extremely bitter about everything.

Or, just another perspective, keep in mind you can’t eat from your art YET and if you believe this hard enough and work hard enough, you could do a stupid fulltime job and remember why you are doing this and feel happy because you are working on something for yourself.

Sources:
Larry Robertson – The Language of Man: Learning to Speak Creativity
Kirby Ferguson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd-dqUuvLk4