ANNA PENG

Self Defence for Creatives

What does it mean when someone expresses says something they don’t like about your work?

How do you wholeheartedly feel off the bat?

It could be hurt, confusion, anger, frustration, disdain for yourself or for the criticizer.

Sometimes we see a knee-jerk reaction of self-defence, where the artist tries to hold strong and justify their position to what’s being said. Other times, we see the artist welcome and accept all feedback, knowing that she’s in control of the final outcome anyways.

Being a designer or artist isn’t about being right. If it was, we’d be better off in the mathematics department. 

Instead, it’s about challenge and seeking possibility in a world where change needs to be made on a daily basis.

So rather than making the criticism all about you, keep focused on the bigger picture of what’s being challenged because that’s much more important than what one person (without skin in your game) believes.


Habits

We talk about better habits like exercising more, drawing everyday, waking up earlier, eating cleaner foods, reading more, or spending less time with technology, but oftentimes making these lifestyle changes are hard and short-lived.

How to get something to stick?

The reality is that there’s no real and instant reward for changing your habits, and the commitment you’re thinking of making might not be as fun as you’re imagining.

Like all habits, good and bad, they start somewhere and have to be visited regularly in order to be called a habit.

So instead of picturing an ideal scenario with your imaginary life of good habits, start where you already are.

Visits to new habits don’t have to be perfect, just as long as they’re visited.


Will You?

Time is precious, we all know that. What we do with it and how we spend it is everything.

We can wait for another more better time to work on our portfolios, or to start that artist collective with our friends we’ve been talking about. There would probably be a more convenient time down the line in our lives to start a business, or a blog, or a podcast, or what have you. The question is, will you?

As grand and patient as time is, it’s also unforgiving and unstoppable. There are no exchanges or refunds when it comes to spending time. 

Of course, context matters a great deal, but if the only thing standing in the way is yourself then the answer to will you? is that you won’t. Not unless you take the leap to trust in yourself that you can.


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