Posts tagged how to
Dealing With Criticism as an Artist (While Keeping Your Sanity)

So you’ve created a thing and now some people know about it. Congratulations! Someone is about to be a total asshole to you.

What’s that? You thought you were just gonna make something cool, put it out into the world, get some people’s attention and then bask in the glory of your greatness? Good story, but have you been outdoors lately?  The world is literally teeming with pricks. Yes, there are many lovely people. You may know some. You may even be one. But that doesn't circumvent a simple truth:

The assholes are always louder.

As soon as you create something, as soon as you bare your heart and soul and make yourself as vulnerable as a human can be, that’s when the horrible folks flock to you like flies to a carcass, where they do everything they can to knock you down a peg and a half. If you pretend it will never happen to you, you’ll be particularly shocked when it inevitably does. Someone out there will always hate what you do, so let’s talk a little bit about dealing with artistic criticism in its many colorful forms.

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Creative Procrastination: How to Stop Putting It Off & Create Awesome Shit

I am a professional procrastinator. Well, I would be a professional procrastinator if I ever got around to turning it into an income source. I’ll do that tomorrow, but for now I’ll write about the pervasive problem of avoidance in our creative work.

You may be one of those gifted people with a preternatural ability to focus, never succumbing to distractions. Maybe you don’t have any sort of attention deficit and aren't prone to wasting large chunks of your day accomplishing jack shit because why not the Internet exists. Well congratu-friggin'-lations, you’re way better at adulting than I am. You can stop here and hang your valedictorian certificate on the wall after reading all of Infinite Jest in a single sitting. I’ll meet back up with you in my next post.

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How (and Why) to Establish Your Creative Philosophy

Creativity and philosophy go hand-in-hand in crucial ways. In fact, you will have trouble making any worthwhile art without first understanding the philosophy behind it. Luckily, it's easy to achieve in a few simple steps.

Anyone who talks to me for more than a few minutes learns that I enjoy getting philosophical. Sometimes I dive a little too deeply into a topic very quickly, but that's just the kind of guy I am; I like to skip past the superficial crap and get right to the interesting stuff.

I'm a firm believer in establishing a personal philosophy that provides a frame of reference for making important decisions. That's a much bigger topic for some future posts to cover, so for now I'm focusing on a smaller, but related, topic: the creative philosophy. 

In this post I'll tell you three important things:

  1. Why all creative endeavors need a philosophy

  2. Examples of creative philosophies in action

  3. How to find your very own personal creative philosophy

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How to Organize Your Entire Creative (And Personal) Life in Three Steps

Juggling work, personal and creative lives can get complicated. After years of trying to make it happen, I finally figured out a system that's both simple and effective.

Many people see me as an organized person, but I’m gonna let you in on a dirty little secret: I’m actually an incredibly unorganized person who constantly forgets things. I forget brilliant ideas I thought of five minutes ago and incredibly important tasks I need to do today. The only reason I seem organized is because my life would be a completely unredeemable mess if I weren't vigilant about having my shit together. I'm totally overcompensating.

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How to Calculate the Exact Worth of Your Time: A Handy Guide

There’s an old adage that time is money, but this is America in the 21st century, so vague-ass statements like that don’t fly anymore. Everything needs to be super-specific now. You can’t just find out how many people are visiting your website, you need to know how long they spent there, what pictures they looked at and what their dog’s name is. No longer can we settle for simply equating time with money, we need to figure out exactly how much money every second of our time is worth so we can bill accordingly. The fact that I’m adding a superfluous sentence to this paragraph has probably slightly enraged someone reading it right now because it just took up a few seconds of their billable time.

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You're Doing It Wrong: Manliness

I remember it like it was yesterday: The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” came on TV, I saw those ladies rocking out and said, matter-of-factly and with all the conviction a 7-year-old can have, “Girls can’t play guitar.” My mom and sister set me straight very quickly, but it’s indicative of something in men that starts in us extremely young and then gets so ingrained that it winds up feeling like an objective truth by the time we’re adults. There are many little slights we men make toward women without thinking twice during our lives, but that’s not what inspired me to write this post. It was actually as I was strolling through the campgrounds of the Coachella music festival, noticing the particularly high population of that certain type of alpha-fratboy that, while luckily posing no real problem in this instance, has an incredible ability to ruin a good thing.

You know what I’m talking about: when an event that's highlighted by camaraderie and celebration turns into an excuse to just party hard, then someone gets a little too drunk, throws a punch, and before you know it cops have flooded the premises and the reveling masses are brought down to an angry, drunken mob level. It’s not the people that ruin these things, mind you, it’s the mentality. The macho-frat-alpha-caveman-douchebag mentality that is far too pervasive amongst the male population (myself included sometimes). And while I recognize that people of all genders, races, shapes, sizes and aromas are perfectly capable of screwing things up for the rest of us, it’s this distinctly macho male tendency that rears its ugly head all-too-often when we use the phrase, “It was all going just fine until…”

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