So, as an Artist there may be certain words that may send your Creative Free Spirit running for the door. I find that 3 of the words that seem to do this, when I first mention them to my Creative and Artist clients, are: Commitment, Drive, and Discipline.
After working with tons of Artists over the years I have become pretty clear that how successful an Artist becomes will be based, to some degree, on how much they have these qualities. This is not to say that these are the only qualities. Other qualities, such as passion, resilience, courage, etc. are found in most successful artists also … but these three are critical in my opinion.
I think it all starts with COMMITMENT. A commitment to what you ask? There are perhaps many points of commitment and commitments to many different things along the way, but it starts usually when we make THE BIG commitment to our self be an Artist. Notice I said to our self. Make no mistake about it: this commitment is between you and you. This commitment is also the foundation behind a whole series of other commitments that can come after it such as the commitment to: develop our skills and talents, produce x amount of pieces a year, become successful, etc.
DRIVE, for me, is the determination and desire that is takes to achieve what we want. It is the push, from inside of us, to make things happen. Fueled by our commitment, our drive gets created and that is the thing that becomes the force behind the ‘no-matter-what’ that has us keep at it. It is the foundation of ‘no-tolerance’ for anything less than what we want.
Finally there is DISCIPLINE … a word that occurs sooooooo distasteful to so many of us who are creative because we think that when discipline shows up that creativity has to exit the stage. Not true! Discipline is what it takes to: practice our skills day after day, stay consistent with the time we put into your art, learn new things constantly, market and sell our self and our work, take critiques and feedback and apply it, etc. Discipline does not negate creativity … it enhances it. Discipline has us handle things that need to get handled so we can be freed up to focus on our creativity.
If we mix all of these qualities together then we have a super spicy sauce that, when mixed with other ingredients, like resilience, courage, passion and talent, will allow us to excel more quickly and increases our chances of not only obtaining but also maintaining the success we want.
Speaking of talent … did I just say that talent is just another ingredient? Yes! I know that so often we act like talent is king but anyone can increase their talent. And what does that take? Try on Commitment, Drive and Discipline. I think with those 3 qualities in place you will do whatever it takes to increase your talent. However, show me someone with talent and not the other 3 and I make no bets on their success.
Take a look at your development as an Artist. Look at the different arenas such as: your skills, your talent, the business of your Art, etc. Is it where you want it to be? Which areas aren’t? Rate you on your commitment, drive and discipline on a scale of 1 -1o (1 being NONE of the characteristic & 10 being the most you can imagine possible) for each area and/or your overall career as an Artist. Allow yourself to be straight with you and get clean about which of these qualities are missing.
Do you find room for improvement in any of all of these qualities? Any of them less than a 10? Great … then it is time to work on it and take it up a notch (or 2 or 3). Once we can see something missing, and we are no longer blind to it, then we can go about finding ways to build it in. Study how to improve it, study others who have it, find someone to guide you, etc. The funny thing about these qualities is that you probably will need to apply them even to the game of improving them. The challenge is on!
I find nothing juicier in the game of being an Artist than creating ourselves to become whatever we want! We are one of our most important works of Art, I think. Creating ourselves is like the ultimate creation that impacts all of our other creations. I invite you to add Commitment, Drive and Discipline to your personal creation of you today!
I also invite you to share with me/us about your thoughts or feedback on this and any insights or experiences you may have or have had with these qualities and how it has impacted your Art. It is always great and inspiring to engage with you …