How to Be An Artist

This article was originally published on riskology.co

Image by: ~Oryctes~

“Art” is quite a buzzword these days. Everyone wants to be an artist. That’s great because, contrary to popular belief, the only way to make a living anymore is by creating art.

The days of the industrial revolution where anyone could support themselves and their families from a factory floor are over.

White collar life in the middle management of faceless corporations is on its way out, too.

Yes, if you want to succeed in the society that we’re becoming, the only way to do it will be by becoming an artist.

That said, there seem to be quite a lot of preconceived notions about what art is and who’s allowed to make it.

These are old ideas that have been carried forward from previous generations, and they must be forgotten in order to succeed in what’s to become our new reality.

People are confused.

We’re in a new, turbulent time where it feels like anything could happen and good people with great ideas are keeping them to themselves because they’re not sure how to express them. We must unleash these ideas, and I want to help.

If becoming an artist of the new generation sounds appealing to you, great! The world really needs what you have to offer.

Let’s go over a few things that make a true artist, so that you can be as successful as possible.

1. Artists create more than they consume.

This is pretty straightforward. Artists spend more time creating their culture than they do consuming it. The focus of an artist is always creation first and foremost.

The good news about this is that you can create your masterpieces without worrying what the flavor of the day is.

In fact, the less you pay attention to each passing fad, the more timeless your art becomes. This also means that you don’t need to worry about the latest and greatest tools constantly arriving on the scene to make you a better artist.

The value of your art does not depend on what you created it with. It depends on how it moves people.

The bad news is that it’s hard. Buying new toys and keeping up with the latest fad is a lot easier than creating things that change people.

2. There are no rules about what art can or can’t be.

Thousands of years of religion, higher education, and politics have tried to monopolize art by confining it to their own definition of what it can and can’t be.

Thanks to the amazing power of the internet and its ability to facilitate free and open communication, the churches, schools, and governments are no longer in control of the message. They’ve been eliminated as gatekeepers.

The only rule left for artists is that their art must be created as a gift from their abilities and it must change people.

The good news about this is that the slate has been wiped clean. The rules for how your work should look, sound, feel, or taste are gone. You’re free to create however you see fit and deliver it to people who care.

The bad news? It’s tougher to come up with something from thin air.

The old rules gave a frame of reference that made it easy to create and categorize. Now, it’s up to you to create your own frame of reference. It’s harder, sure, but the opportunity is immense for those that take it on.

3. You don’t have to be a painter, sculptor, writer, or musician, to be an artist.

Remember, the only rule left to creating art is that it must be a gift from your abilities and it must change people.

That could be the dog trainer that teaches owners to communicate with their pet in just a week. That could be the barista that makes you feel like his favorite customer every time you buy a coffee.

It could be an accountant that teaches you how to do your own taxes without getting overwhelmed. It could be the engineer that finds a cheaper way to dig wells in impoverished communities.

It could be literally anything. Can you see the possibilities?

What’s more, an artist doesn’t choose her medium. She doesn’t decide one day to become an illustrator or a mandolin player or a manager.

An artist experiments, just like a scientist, to find the medium that best allows him to communicate his gift to the world.

An artist isn’t concerned if dog walking isn’t as popular as cartooning if that allows him to best communicate his unique message. He knows that the way he affects people is far more important than how many he affects.

If he remains true to his form, dog walking will become popular through his efforts.

The new economy belongs to the artist.

Even with all the new freedoms afforded to artists now, some still see pursuing their art as a risky venture. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, silencing and censoring your art is far more dangerous.

The days of the prosperous factory job are gone. Robots can do any of those tasks better and faster.

The days of the cushy middle management job are coming to an end. Businesses are realizing how much all the bureaucracy is costing them in terms of innovation and profit.

All that’s left is your art. It can’t be duplicated by a machine and business can’t survive without creativity.

In many ways, it’s easier to be an artist now than ever before. But all the opportunity can actually make it seem more difficult.

One thing is certain, though. The world is begging for your gift. It’s demanding that you make your art.

Will you step up and deliver it?

Tyler Tervooren founded Riskology.co, where he shares research and insights about mastering your psychology by taking smarter risks. For more, join his Smart Riskologist Newsletter.

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