You Haven’t Earned that Yet! by The Lord of WolfCore Steven Archer

Hey… You… Goin online and tellin your friends how inspired you are… Sit your ass down… You haven’t finished your last “project.” Don’t fuckin start the next one… You haven’t earned that yet. You don’t get to do that until your ratio of finished art is orders of magnitude higher then the potential pieces you want to start… Making good art isn’t about working when you feel “inspired.” (Side note, fuck your “inspiration” coming up with ideas is your job if you’re gonna do it, learn to come up with ideas… I’ll give you a simple trick after this rant.) Where was I? Right, stepping the fuck up… Here’s the thing, you’re not finishing that piece, song, story, whatever… because you’re fuckin scared. Full stop. You’re scared that it won’t be as good as what you’ve got, that you’re going to ruin it, that someone is going to come along and say “you don’t know what you’re doing,” or “you shouldn’t be doing this,” or any number of bullshit fears your psyche is conjuring up. Stop that shit. Being an artist is work. Being “inspired” is a skill, like any other, it’s really just another world for “feeling creative, motivated and horny for the potential that comes with a blank canvas,” you will find the more you work and exercise it the easier it is to find it when you are looking. Eventually you will get into a routine where it’s time to work, you sit down at your space and say “ok, go!” And the shit will just come when called. Need ideas? Take advantage of your wetware… Your brain is a connection machine. It’s evolved to connect A and C via B… Now, here’s a stupid simple trick. Pick up a book, any book, a dictionary is good, or a tarot deck, whatever… Open it up to a pair of random pages, pick two words, figure out how those words, cards, picture connect. Play “what if,” with the ideas. If it doesn’t work the first time, do it again. There’s literally no reason it won’t work eventually. Unless you are stupid or don’t want it to. If you’re stupid, I can’t help you, but I’m sure you can find something good on TV to watch. And if you don’t want to, why are you here reading this? Figure out what you want to do and stop asking me questions… Get off my back.. Oh, you wanna throw down?! I see how it is… SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOOOOOOT!!!’

Steven, tell them about the cookie

I knew a dude who lived on potential. He would do a piece of art up to maybe 75% and then show his work off to everyone. And everyone would say “that’s so good! I look forward to seeing it finished! You’re so talented!” And he would take that cookie and eat it, and move on to the next piece so he could get that cookie again. He wouldn’t bother finishing them because he had already eaten the cookie that he wanted. Because he didn’t want to make good art, he wanted attention for being an artist. And if he finished it, he might get judged or may not be as good as people thought he was. Don’t be that guy. Side note: we owned an art gallery at the time. In the hope of motivating him to finish a project, I said to him “ok, you are showing here in three months I want 10 5×5 inch pieces for it.” When the time came he gave me 10 pieces, all of which were half assed sketches he had cut out of his sketchbook. They were half assed garbage and frankly I didn’t want to show them because they were of such low quality. But we did, and they didn’t sell, and no one cared… Because he hadn’t focused on doing his best when a legit opportunity presented itself. He hadn’t learned how to finish his work. That shit matters. Assuming you are doing it because the art is more important than “being a talented artist.” As a side note, that dude went on to get a job teaching art to kids, and he’s very good at it. Sometimes the path you think is the path is not what you need to be doing.

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