To say, “Become an artist and take control of your life!” may appear to be frivolous. I mean, how can being an artist allow you to take control of anything. Don’t worry, we’re not looking for you to change career or go to art school. It’s not about fine art, or even being involved in the arts. Simply put this is about you becoming an artist in whatever you do. Each of us could be an artist in the particular field we work in, but often we are held back by conforming to rules and regulations we have been taught all the way through our academic years. Start at 9, 1 hour for lunch, finish at 5.30, do what I am asked to do and repeat. To release the inner artist within, you must start breaking some rules and put yourself forward.
Nobody is asking you to become unlawful, but the way we are conditioned to conform, play by the rules, and do what we are asked to do makes it quite difficult to stand out and shine in your area of expertise. As we go through our careers, we look for recognition of the job we are doing, and yes you might be doing a great job. But being an artist means doing so much more. Being part of a brand design agency, you see so many people over the years holding back ideas. Brainstorming sessions are so high pressure that only the experienced, strong and foolhardy chip in, often waiting for someone to laugh or the ridicule to start. So, what an artist needs to be able to do is problem solve and exceed the minimum requirements. A very basic example would be, if you have a visitor arriving at the office, an artist will find out exactly who they are and be ready to greet them. Teacups would have a saucer or glasses would have a serviette in the glass. Water would be chilled ready, fizzy and still, and the artist would open the bottle, place the glass on the serviette, part pour the water in the glass for them. Doing the job at the base level would be giving them a cup of tea or handing them a bottle of water, but the artist does so much more. You could argue this should be part of what the role is when someone visits and it could, but an artist would go further still.
I often wondered while queuing for a Pizza in ASDA why the person making the pizza did not do this like an artist. Swirling the pizza dough around, making it an entertainment event, rather than simply picking and sprinkling. The reason is simple. There is something in all of us that says, “What if I mess up and lose my job? I don’t want to draw attention to myself in case of ridicule.” All this external peer pressure stops using doing those remarkable things that other people do.
The artist (some would call them a show-off) would stand out, entertain and always draw attention to themselves. This would most definitely draw attention from the customers, the managers and the owners of ASDA, and think of all the press coverage it could gain. There are still many factors that hold us back but one question you should be asking yourself is this. ‘When do I decide to become an artist?’. Now don’t get me wrong. It is so much easier when we follow the rules. Becoming an artist takes a huge amount of effort and momentum.
“When do I decide to become an artist?” is the biggest question anyone can ask themselves and is something that you should ask yourself right now. Often people put barriers up or put this off “until I get a better job” or “when I get paid more money” or “when I get that promotion.” They make excuses like “I don’t like my boss”, “Why should I line someone else’s pockets?” and so on. Being an artist is not about who your work for, it is about you, and you making a difference to your own life and achieving your goals. Every day that goes by it easy to say, “I was busy today, I will start tomorrow.” Start today, tomorrow will be come around anyway.
Do not be an artist for the money, do it because you love what you do, by being an artist, the rewards will come. Being an artist is you doing more than your job description, going the extra mile, but you are doing it for you and the by-product of that is everyone benefits. Doing this puts you on the path that makes you indispensable as artists are sought after. Being an artist is you doing your thing to the very best of your ability for yourself. Ask yourself who do you know someone who is an artist, what do they do that makes them one and if you aren’t already do you want to be an artist?