This was my speech before doing an open Q&A with the students...
The art of success and survival:
1. Do not stress. It does nothing good for your body or mind.
2. Never take more than you can handle. Understand your limitations.
Overloading yourself will do nothing good for your career.
3. Manage your time efficiently, because no one will tell you how to do it. You will only lose clients and jobs if you don't take it seriously or you wait till the last minute.
4. Understand that you can only rely on yourself to get the job done. Not that you won't have friends and family to help along the way. Self-reliance is the best.
5. You never know when your next gig will be, but you best be ready when it comes knocking at the door.
6. Opportunity can come at a moment's notice and you can not hesitate or else it may just pass you by.
7. Many people want to say it is luck, sometimes it is just right time, right place. Make that happen by being anywhere and everywhere so people take notice of you. This means traveling, going to events, and talking to lots of people.
8. It will never come easy even if you get lucky; it takes hard work and determination. And it is a path less traveled with lots of bumps and detours.
9. When jobs don't come knocking, that's when you gotta bust down doors and make your own opportunities. Make people take notice of you.
10. You will find people that always will have doubts and try to tear you down: you drew this? You should get a real job.... You make a living this way?
The thing to remember is that if you have done all these things to find you are talented, successful, determined... You cannot stop or be stopped. You have to be a force of nature and confident in what you do and make people take notice. That is something they will never forget. You must be fearless.
It is hard work, and it is a choice for the long hall if you make a choice in art. You shouldn't sacrifice for success but sometimes we must compromise to find your way. Always know where you stand with what you do/what you want to do. Have Integrity for yourself and what you produce.
Some say I am a hustler, some say I am rockstar, some say I am true talent.... With a great personality to boot! Something that all these things have in common... Is that I made an impression... I grabbed their attention with my art, I make them linger with my words and a kind smile, and they relate me as I relate to them because I love what I do.
Happiness in art isn't always flush with money but when you love what you do... Even though it is Hardwork, and long hours. It seems like nothing at all because you belong. It is a part of you. And the money will follow.
Art is my soul. It shows in the art I create and is what people identify with.
It is easy to relate when you're in the field of pop culture. It surrounds us every day, on the TV, in the magazines, in the movies, in toys..etc.
There easily have been days where I have drawn themes of beaches, environments, and animals... Those are not my favorite. But they pay. And that gives me the opportunity to do some of the things I love..supernatural and action heroes.
You don't have to get a degree to create art, but you best be the best you can be if your serious about an art career. Because they will not accept less then extraordinary!
You should all flee now if you want to be rich and famous. Because art doesn't work that way. People will want FREE, people will want something for nothing, promises of future bounties.... You have to gain the respect for people to want to spend their hard earned money... At their real job on you.
You have to build friendships, clients, and business relationships that give you a name. Then you have to stay ahead of that name.... It can happen in a instant. One day you drew doodles and the next your with a big company and expected to perform in high demand.
But with the ever changing popularity of images, creatures, robots..etc., and with a new found name for yourself.... You can propel a career in art. There are many different ways to success I can only tell you my story. And it is ever changing and growing, just like the industry. You gotta keep up or you will be left behind.
Success in art is not for the faint of heart, but it can be very rewarding for the soul if you find a place where you belong. Nothing is better then the feeling of acceptance and appreciation. Well money is also really great.. Because being an artist.. You don't get any special treatment such as being with big corporate companies. No insurance benefits, discounts, help etc.
Though there are glamorous parts of a job such as mine, where I travel and meet interesting people. There are always very real things to consider on how you are going to take care of yourself, bills and what life throws at you. A life in art does not unfold like a fairy tale, and there maybe tears, tribulations, and disappointments.
If you can listen to all these things and in your heart you bleed for art. Then this might be something you want to do. Because it is like an instinct, living In your gut. And sometimes you have to just follow your gut. Wherever that may take you and it might just lead you to a whole world of possibilities.
I knew I was different, and something else was waiting for me then another normal desk job. I found it when I went to art school and then again when I went to my first comic convention. No one can be certain of where their life will be or end up.... Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut. You might surprise yourself with what happens or where you go.
This job is for the brave and daring. The determined and patient. Hardworking and free spirited. Know when to take your moments and when to push forward. You can become an inspiration and a world traveler. In all respects a storyteller... this is a life in art.
You can make people believe the unbelievable, have faith in the unexpected. Surprise and mystify all with a brush stroke, a sculpture, a drawing and a mood. You must live and breathe art and you can become it.