There are so many articles and stories out there about successful artists. Such an enigmatic thing, ‘creative success.’ Success, of course, should be qualified not in how many paintings you sell or who is collecting your photography, but in how fulfilled your work is making you. There is one major theme, though, that seems to unite all ‘successful artist’ stories. And that is: hard work and constant production. Even if you are having a slow week at the studio, or you’re waiting for a client to send you a payment, or you feel overwhelmed by the amount of new inquiries you’ve just received- always make time for side projects. Side projects allow you to think outside the box, to stretch your creativity in new ways, and to make sure your work is always fresh and informed by a healthy curiosity and drive.
Whenever you get an idea for a side project, just write it down. Keep a list, and then map out when in your calendar you want to execute them, where you want them to happen, with what tools and which people, etc. You probably won’t keep to this schedule, because sometimes the urge to experiment hits when you’re least expecting it. But if you get into the habit of planning at least two creative side projects a year, you’ll see that your work will get infused with new ideas, more experience, and a desire to grow.
You know what was a side project? Doggie Gaga. Have trust in your creativity and unique style, and always push yourself. You never know- a simple idea could just catch someone's eye.
(photo credit: Zona Foto)