I was at a party over the holidays and one of my neighbors asked me what I was doing these days. And since I have my elevator speech down, I said, “Besides my illustration work, I also coach artists to help them make more money with their art.”
“How do you coach artists? Isn’t that kind of hard?” he asked as he took a big scoop of my super fabulous Pimento Cheese.
I knew what he was thinking. You know, “all artists are crazy, how can you possibly work with them and anyway, aren’t artists supposed to starve?” Or maybe he was just thinking how awesome that pimento cheese is. I know I was.
I explained that artists aren’t any different than the rest of the population (I left out that I find us far more interesting, but whatever…), but I told him that although what may look like crazy or off-beat to “the civilians” around us is what we are blessed/cursed with. Or what I would call “hyper curiosity”.
I know you know what I’m talking about.
Hey…what if I…?
But if I do that, will I be able to do that?
Hmmm. That’s interesting. I should research that.
But what about this other thing?
Is that right for me?
Ooh…did you see this thing? That looks so cool!
Wait, what was I working on?
One idea leads to the next, and the next and the next and pretty soon you’ve headed down another rabbit hole, changed your mind and you can’t even remember where all this started.
Not that it’s ever happened to me…
But here’s the thing—that’s how we figure out the good stuff. That’s how we’re built; to see the possibilities, to try new things, to make the old ideas new.
But we’re also built to feed our bodies and have shelter from the weather and the nastier creatures we share with this earth. We must figure out when to stop asking all the questions and start crafting our ideas to reflect what’s happening culturally, helping people express their emotions and figuring out what the heck the market wants—while staying true to our purpose and values.
Now, that’s the hard part.