Change Your Mindset.
Lately people start to ask me how I got to do what I’m doing
When I got the first comment with this little word, I had to laugh. Me? Famous? I do not consider myself famous at all. So after I stopped laughing (okay. I didn’t laugh that much. I was quite surprised!) I started to think. Why do people consider me famous? Is it the way I run my blog? The fact that I sell my art? I guess it’s a combination of several elements and getting to where I am now has been a combination of determination, motivation and not paying attention to what others (read skeptics) said to me.
Where I am now…it really has been a change of mindset. Before this I just assumed that a career involved a desk, 9-5 job and well…a nice suit. Of course this is very black & white, but being the oldest one in the family, setting an example was hanging above my head all the time. So, a more ‘serious’ education was pursued and the fact that being a creative can be as much of a serious career took me some time to realize.
I went from ‘oh fun! I can use my blog to share my drawings!’ to ‘No way! People want to buy stuff from me?!’ to ‘I am an illustrator who designs for clients and visualizes on paper what others have in mind’…
A lot has happened in a short amount of time. I was lucky enough that people started to ask me if I sold my work or if they could hire me. As I was already pondering to make a drastic switch, hearing from others that they wanted to buy things from me was an extra motivation to walk a different path.
It does feel like I’m doing this for quite some time now, but it only has been a year. I mean, a year with real dedication for what I’m doing. Whenever people ask me how I got started, I always try to give them the advice to keep in mind that one needs to put a lot of time and work in it. Even though you’re good at something, you are not successful overnight. It all takes time, patience and A LOT of hard work! You don’t get projects falling in your lap nor clients ringing your doorbell saying they have a job for you. It’s constantly finding a balance in working on personal projects, researching the market, applying for jobs and so on. You really have to love what you’re doing as I’m working more hours than I would with a normal 9-5 job, without complaining. Of course as time passes, it will get easier, you will have a reputation and people will find you for projects and commissions.
In case you were wondering, no, I’m not trying to talk them down, I just hope that people will stay realistic when they pursue something else, because there will be times that things won’t go as easy. I guess the only thing that makes it difficult for most people, is to actually go through with it all. The trick is to not let this get you down. It’s all part of the game right?
I know it’s easier said than done though. You know what helped me is to have the mindset, ‘I am an illustrator’. To give it a name, instead of ‘Ah yes. I love being creative, to draw and paint!’, helps me to focus on what I want to do in the long run. And in short, to get there, I just have to keep on doodling! Improvement in skills hide in the tiniest of drawings, focus on moving forward and always believe in yourself and that one day…it will all pay off.
Skeptics will always be there, but in the end you are the one who’s responsible for your own decisions and who’s making a difference for yourself. That’s the base for most things in life. One can make a change once he truly believes in it.
Originally published on September 24th, 2011 on TJ on Illustrations.
Tags: a magical journey, adventure, change your mindset, famous, inspiration, motivation, TJ Lubrano