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Old January 7th, 2015, 10:49 AM   #176
Unkl Ian
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In the name of love.

by Miya Tokumitsu   “Do what you love” is the mantra for today’s worker. Why should we assert our class interests if, according to DWYL elites like Steve Jobs, there’s no such thing as work?


“Do what you love. Love what you do.”


The commands are framed and perched in a living room that can only be described as “well-curated.” A picture of this room appeared first on a popular design blog, but has been pinned, tumbl’d, and liked thousands of times by now.
Lovingly lit and photographed, this room is styled to inspire Sehnsucht, roughly translatable from German as a pleasurable yearning for some utopian thing or place. Despite the fact that it introduces exhortations to labor into a space of leisure, the “do what you love” living room — where artful tchotchkes abound and work is not drudgery but love — is precisely the place all those pinners and likers long to be. The diptych arrangement suggests a secular version of a medieval house altar.
There’s little doubt that “do what you love” (DWYL) is now the unofficial work mantra for our time. The problem is that it leads not to salvation, but to the devaluation of actual work, including the very work it pretends to elevate — and more importantly, the dehumanization of the vast majority of laborers.
Superficially, DWYL is an uplifting piece of advice, urging us to ponder what it is we most enjoy doing and then turn that activity into a wage-generating enterprise. But why should our pleasure be for profit? Who is the audience for this dictum? Who is not?
By keeping us focused on ourselves and our individual happiness, DWYL distracts us from the working conditions of others while validating our own choices and relieving us from obligations to all who labor, whether or not they love it. It is the secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment. According to this way of thinking, labor is not something one does for compensation, but an act of self-love. If profit doesn’t happen to follow, it is because the worker’s passion and determination were insufficient. Its real achievement is making workers believe their labor serves the self and not the marketplace.
Aphorisms have numerous origins and reincarnations, but the generic and hackneyed nature of DWYL confounds precise attribution. Oxford Reference links the phrase and variants of it to Martina Navratilova and François Rabelais, among others. The internet frequently attributes it to Confucius, locating it in a misty, Orientalized past. Oprah Winfrey and other peddlers of positivity have included it in their repertoires for decades, but the most important recent evangelist of the DWYL creed is deceased Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
His graduation speech to the Stanford University class of 2005 provides as good an origin myth as any, especially since Jobs had already been beatified as the patron saint of aestheticized work well before his early death. In the speech, Jobs recounts the creation of Apple, and inserts this reflection:
You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
In these four sentences, the words “you” and “your” appear eight times. This focus on the individual is hardly surprising coming from Jobs, who cultivated a very specific image of himself as a worker: inspired, casual, passionate — all states agreeable with ideal romantic love. Jobs telegraphed the conflation of his besotted worker-self with his company so effectively that his black turtleneck and blue jeans became metonyms for all of Apple and the labor that maintains it.
But by portraying Apple as a labor of his individual love, Jobs elided the labor of untold thousands in Apple’s factories, conveniently hidden from sight on the other side of the planet — the very labor that allowed Jobs to actualize his love.
The violence of this erasure needs to be exposed. While “do what you love” sounds harmless and precious, it is ultimately self-focused to the point of narcissism. Jobs’ formulation of “do what you love” is the depressing antithesis to Henry David Thoreau’s utopian vision of labor for all. In “Life Without Principle,” Thoreau wrote,
… it would be good economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.
Admittedly, Thoreau had little feel for the proletariat (it’s hard to imagine someone washing diapers for “scientific, even moral ends,” no matter how well-paid). But he nonetheless maintains that society has a stake in making work well-compensated and meaningful. By contrast, the twenty-first-century Jobsian view demands that we all turn inward. It absolves us of any obligation to or acknowledgment of the wider world, underscoring its fundamental betrayal of all workers, whether they consciously embrace it or not.
One consequence of this isolation is the division that DWYL creates among workers, largely along class lines. Work becomes divided into two opposing classes: that which is lovable (creative, intellectual, socially prestigious) and that which is not (repetitive, unintellectual, undistinguished). Those in the lovable work camp are vastly more privileged in terms of wealth, social status, education, society’s racial biases, and political clout, while comprising a small minority of the workforce.
For those forced into unlovable work, it’s a different story. Under the DWYL credo, labor that is done out of motives or needs other than love (which is, in fact, most labor) is not only demeaned but erased. As in Jobs’ Stanford speech, unlovable but socially necessary work is banished from the spectrum of consciousness altogether.
Think of the great variety of work that allowed Jobs to spend even one day as CEO: his food harvested from fields, then transported across great distances. His company’s goods assembled, packaged, shipped. Apple advertisements scripted, cast, filmed. Lawsuits processed. Office wastebaskets emptied and ink cartridges filled. Job creation goes both ways. Yet with the vast majority of workers effectively invisible to elites busy in their lovable occupations, how can it be surprising that the heavy strains faced by today’s workers (abysmal wages, massive child care costs, et cetera) barely register as political issues even among the liberal faction of the ruling class?
In ignoring most work and reclassifying the rest as love, DWYL may be the most elegant anti-worker ideology around. Why should workers assemble and assert their class interests if there’s no such thing as work?
“Do what you love” disguises the fact that being able to choose a career primarily for personal reward is an unmerited privilege, a sign of that person’s socioeconomic class. Even if a self-employed graphic designer had parents who could pay for art school and cosign a lease for a slick Brooklyn apartment, she can self-righteously bestow DWYL as career advice to those covetous of her success.
If we believe that working as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or a museum publicist or a think-tank acolyte is essential to being true to ourselves — in fact, to loving ourselves — what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.
Yet arduous, low-wage work is what ever more Americans do and will be doing. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the two fastest-growing occupations projected until 2020 are “Personal Care Aide” and “Home Care Aide,” with average salaries of $19,640 per year and $20,560 per year in 2010, respectively. Elevating certain types of professions to something worthy of love necessarily denigrates the labor of those who do unglamorous work that keeps society functioning, especially the crucial work of caregivers.
If DWYL denigrates or makes dangerously invisible vast swaths of labor that allow many of us to live in comfort and to do what we love, it has also caused great damage to the professions it portends to celebrate, especially those jobs existing within institutional structures. Nowhere has the DWYL mantra been more devastating to its adherents than in academia. The average PhD student of the mid 2000s forwent the easy money of finance and law (now slightly less easy) to live on a meager stipend in order to pursue their passion for Norse mythology or the history of Afro-Cuban music.
The reward for answering this higher calling is an academic employment marketplace in which around 41 percent of American faculty are adjunct professors — contract instructors who usually receive low pay, no benefits, no office, no job security, and no long-term stake in the schools where they work.
There are many factors that keep PhDs providing such high-skilled labor for such extremely low wages, including path dependency and the sunk costs of earning a PhD, but one of the strongest is how pervasively the DWYL doctrine is embedded in academia. Few other professions fuse the personal identity of their workers so intimately with the work output. This intense identification partly explains why so many proudly left-leaning faculty remain oddly silent about the working conditions of their peers. Because academic research should be done out of pure love, the actual conditions of and compensation for this labor become afterthoughts, if they are considered at all.
In “Academic Labor, the Aesthetics of Management, and the Promise of Autonomous Work,” Sarah Brouillette writes of academic faculty,
… our faith that our work offers non-material rewards, and is more integral to our identity than a “regular” job would be, makes us ideal employees when the goal of management is to extract our labor’s maximum value at minimum cost.
Many academics like to think they have avoided a corporate work environment and its attendant values, but Marc Bousquet notes in his essay “We Work” that academia may actually provide a model for corporate management:
How to emulate the academic workplace and get people to work at a high level of intellectual and emotional intensity for fifty or sixty hours a week for bartenders’ wages or less? Is there any way we can get our employees to swoon over their desks, murmuring “I love what I do” in response to greater workloads and smaller paychecks? How can we get our workers to be like faculty and deny that they work at all? How can we adjust our corporate culture to resemble campus culture, so that our workforce will fall in love with their work too?
No one is arguing that enjoyable work should be less so. But emotionally satisfying work is still work, and acknowledging it as such doesn’t undermine it in any way. Refusing to acknowledge it, on the other hand, opens the door to the most vicious exploitation and harms all workers.
Ironically, DWYL reinforces exploitation even within the so-called lovable professions where off-the-clock, underpaid, or unpaid labor is the new norm: reporters required to do the work of their laid-off photographers, publicists expected to Pin and Tweet on weekends, the 46 percent of the workforce expected to check their work email on sick days. Nothing makes exploitation go down easier than convincing workers that they are doing what they love.
Instead of crafting a nation of self-fulfilled, happy workers, our DWYL era has seen the rise of the adjunct professor and the unpaid intern — people persuaded to work for cheap or free, or even for a net loss of wealth. This has certainly been the case for all those interns working for college credit or those who actually purchase ultra-desirable fashion-house internships at auction. (Valentino and Balenciaga are among a handful of houses that auctioned off month-long internships. For charity, of course.) The latter is worker exploitation taken to its most extreme, and as an ongoing Pro Publica investigation reveals, the unpaid intern is an ever larger presence in the American workforce.
It should be no surprise that unpaid interns abound in fields that are highly socially desirable, including fashion, media, and the arts. These industries have long been accustomed to masses of employees willing to work for social currency instead of actual wages, all in the name of love. Excluded from these opportunities, of course, is the overwhelming majority of the population: those who need to work for wages. This exclusion not only calcifies economic and professional immobility, but insulates these industries from the full diversity of voices society has to offer.
And it’s no coincidence that the industries that rely heavily on interns — fashion, media, and the arts — just happen to be the feminized ones, as Madeleine Schwartz wrote in Dissent. Yet another damaging consequence of DWYL is how ruthlessly it works to extract female labor for little or no compensation. Women comprise the majority of the low-wage or unpaid workforce; as care workers, adjunct faculty, and unpaid interns, they outnumber men. What unites all of this work, whether performed by GEDs or PhDs, is the belief that wages shouldn’t be the primary motivation for doing it. Women are supposed to do work because they are natural nurturers and are eager to please; after all they’ve been doing uncompensated childcare, elder care, and housework since time immemorial. And talking money is unladylike anyway.
The DWYL dream is, true to its American mythology, superficially democratic. PhDs can do what they love, making careers that indulge their love of the Victorian novel and writing thoughtful essays in the New York Review of Books. High school grads can also do it, building prepared food empires out of their Aunt Pearl’s jam recipe. The hallowed path of the entrepreneur always offers this way out of disadvantaged beginnings, excusing the rest of us for allowing those beginnings to be as miserable as they are. In America, everyone has the opportunity to do what he or she loves and get rich.
Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life! Before succumbing to the intoxicating warmth of that promise, it’s critical to ask, “Who, exactly, benefits from making work feel like non-work?” “Why should workers feel as if they aren’t working when they are?” Historian Mario Liverani reminds us that “ideology has the function of presenting exploitation in a favorable light to the exploited, as advantageous to the disadvantaged.”
In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. It shunts aside the labor of others and disguises our own labor to ourselves. It hides the fact that if we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time.
And if we did that, more of us could get around to doing what it is we really love.
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Last edited by Unkl Ian; January 7th, 2015 at 10:52 AM.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 05:01 PM   #177
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There is a new book, available in Australia, I'm not sure if it is available elsewhere. I'm half way through it at this time. It asks us to return to what is our natural behaviour and make it work. (No spell checker, behaviour has a "u"!) It is called "Selfish, Scared & Stupid." The subtitle "Stop fighting human nature and increase you performance. engagement and influence." and is about how to "Get real" about life. It is for the 99% of us who actually fail occasionally and don't have rainbows that end in clouds of butterflys. Lots of stuff on (http://theimpossibleinstitute.com/se...ed-and-stupid/ )
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Old January 7th, 2015, 07:25 PM   #178
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http://whatsgoingon-dawoudbeysblog.blogspot.ca/2008/12/advice-to-young-or-emerging-artists.html


Advice to A Young Artist
Dawoud Bey


I particpated in an Artists at Work panel discussion at the Chicago Cultural Center three nights ago. The hall was packed with people (presumably artists) who had come to hear me, Joyce Owens, Tony Fitzpatrick, Juan Angel Chavez, and moderator Paul Klein hold forth on "Turning Your Art Into A Career." I am always a little hesitant about participating in these kinds of events, not being sure what will ensue, and if one and a half hours is indeed enough time to say everything that needs to be said to an audience that presumably has a a wide range of experiences, but perhaps still feels lacking in that one or two crucial pieces of information that will perhaps move them forward in their careers. I honestly wasn't looking forward to trying to explain my thirty year career as a series of "how tos" which are, at best, unique to my own set of experiences and circumstances, even as I realize that I have learned a thing or two along the way to the career I have had. At any rate it did turn out to be a variably interesting evening, with a wide range of viewpoints and experiences being presented. I am posting here the comments I read for readers of my blog. They will also, at some point, be posted on the Chicago Artists Resources Website, an invaluable source of professional information.

(http://www.chicago artistsresource.org)

• Make good work! Be self-critical and informed enough to know if the work you are doing stacks up to the work you would like to be hanging next to. Through constant engagement with work that is being shown, know where and if your work fits into a particular area of current discourse. Nothing else matters more than this, and nothing else will make up for this if you are not doing it.

Put in 10,000 hours (see Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. Gladwell posits that successful people—across a wide range of fields--have put in 10,000 hours of practice to reach their level of success.) Like any other profession, being an artist requires physically getting up and “going to work.” The sooner you begin your professional journey the more time you will have to put in the requisite number of hours.

Hang around people who are better than you think you currently are. The longer you hang around them and have conversations with them, the better you are likely to become. Be sure to actually listen to their feedback and figure out how you can use it.

• Assuming you are doing the above, show your work to as many people as possible. If you show the work to friends and associates, show it to those you think are doing work that is at least as interesting or more interesting than your own, who have even more experience than you do, so you can establish an ongoing critical dialogue with them. It is impossible to do good work, show it to a lot ofpeople, and nothing happens. You have to believe this. If you are showing your work to informed viewers and no on is responding or talking your work up to other people, you need to take a long, hard look at your work. Do not be foolish enough to think that everyone else is wrong and that you are right! People that I know who look at work—even with very different interests and tastes—tend to agree when something interesting comes along. And if any one of them sees something interesting, they will usually tell someone else. I always talk to curators I know about interesting new work that I have seen, encouraging them to take a look at it as well. Usually we agree, and even if they are not able to do anything right away, they keep the work and the artist on their radar.

• Be informed. Know what part of the marketplace your work fits; both the marketplace of ideas and the marketplace of certain kinds of objects. Making art is not only about being creative, but understanding the broader context in which you are making your work.

Cultivate a community of support,and keep in touch with people, even when it doesn’t look like they are going to do anything for you right away.Form a community, don’t just “network.” I have had numerous exhibitions that were the result of keeping in touch with people for up to ten years. People can often be interested in your work, but it takes time for the right situation to develop for them to be able to do something with it. They also want to know that you, too, are in it for the long haul. The last thing they want to do is make an early commitment to someone’s work who then decides to give it up and go work for Verizon!

• Join those professional organizations that can provide a community, network, and professional information, such as College Art Association, Society for Photographic Education, and others. Attend their events and conferences and expand your knowledge and community.

Become an information junkie. Know about everything and everybody who might be interested in what you are doing. All information is useful at some point.

• Be prepared to make work for the long haul. Be a long distance runner. The great novelist John Oliver Killens gave me this advise thirty years ago, and it's true. Your work should be something that you would be doing regardless of whether the larger market ever responds or not. Making art has to be your own particular obsession.

• Develop good communication skills. The ability to speak and write articulately and concisely about your work is absolutely essential, unless you have someone who will constantly transcribe and edit your thoughts for you, and also act as your press secretary so you never have to actually confront anyone or talk or write about your work yourself. The ability to write and think well is directly related to how much you read and absorb information. I would suggest that you read a lot in order to understand what a well crafted statement (about anything) looks like. Good writing tends to follow entirely conventional patterns and forms.

• Get a good education, whether from a good art or photography program or from your own obsessive seeking out of knowledge. They weren’t joking (whoever they were) when they said that “Knowledge is Power.” You need to know how to DO something; how to skillfully and consistently make something. This requires a respect for craft, knowledge and the necessary training to execute. If you choose to do it through an art school or program, it DOES matter where you go. Some places are better at this than others. Others are good at teaching a narrow range of conceptual theory and jargon, but may leave you unsure about how to give coherent and interesting form to those ideas. Art is a serious endeavor, and much like any other field requires training. You wouldn’t let a doctor with no training operate on youjust because she was feeling ”inspired,” or because he or she had good intentions and some interesting theories about medical science. Unless you think art is a less serious pursuit, it should also require some serious skills and measurable competencies.

• Don’t be afraid to create new paradigms for how you can exist and function as an artist. A lot of the old paradigms were never meant to serve artists well in the first place. I don’t know any other field in which you can bear the full expense of production, then give someone 50% to sell the object or product, then pay the IRS the requisite 33% tax rate, and say you are doing "good business." This is the “normal” paradigm of the commercial art world, and at a certain level it does work, particularly at the mid to upper levels. It doesn't mean its the only way, and in the early stages your work will not be priced high enough to cover your costs of production, let alone pay your rent every month, under this structure at any rate. Other paradigms and strategies are possible. Much the way that musicians are finding ways to profitably get their work into the hands of their audiences without label support, so should other artists be devising ways of getting their work out there and truly supporting themselves. There are artists doing this with real success. Find out what they are doing and how they are doing it.


What do you think? What advice would you give? Or is advice something that "the wise don't need and fools won't heed?"


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Old January 7th, 2015, 07:38 PM   #179
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http://www.chicagoartistsresource.org/marketing-pr
http://www.chicagoartistsresource.org/business-finance
http://www.chicagoartistsresource.or...al-development
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Old January 8th, 2015, 08:14 AM   #180
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Professional Artist Client Toolkit.
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Old January 11th, 2015, 07:43 PM   #181
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13 ways designers screw up presentations.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 10:48 AM   #182
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"Educate yourself."
http://hedonistica.com/art-and-desig...iconic-styles/
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Old January 12th, 2015, 12:07 PM   #183
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http://society6.com/product/have-ski...eas_print#1=45
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Old January 12th, 2015, 09:12 PM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unkl Ian View Post
Words of wisdom from Johnny Cupcakes: http://www.johnnycupcakes.com/blog/2...le-and-bustle/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNb2zRZ5i_I
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Old January 16th, 2015, 08:59 PM   #185
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Charge what you are worth.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 07:19 PM   #186
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Consignment, Wholesale, and Keystone.
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Old January 24th, 2015, 09:01 PM   #187
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Old January 27th, 2015, 05:33 PM   #188
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Pencils, Paper, and Other Supplies.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 09:06 AM   #189
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"No matter what you paint, somebody's
going to love it and somebody's going to hate it."


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Old February 1st, 2015, 10:29 AM   #190
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"Never give a price to a prospect
during the creative conversation phase.
You'll shortchange yourself every time!"

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Old February 1st, 2015, 02:18 PM   #191
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All the above fits with the BS I sometimes encountered as a graphic artist /sign painter / etc. back in the seventies. A couple of "customers" would argue about my price, saying, "But you have a natural talent and it isn't really 'work' for you." Sigh. I passed on those jobs.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 08:05 PM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Transporter View Post
All the above fits with the BS I sometimes encountered as a graphic artist /sign painter / etc. back in the seventies. A couple of "customers" would argue about my price, saying, "But you have a natural talent and it isn't really 'work' for you." Sigh. I passed on those jobs.
Good move.


The price isn't based on
how hard it for YOU to do the job.

The price is based on how hard
it would be for THEM to do the job themselves.

This is why Dentists and Brain Surgeons,
make good money. People can't do
this work themselves, so they have to pay.

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Old February 2nd, 2015, 04:20 AM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unkl Ian View Post
This is why Dentists and Brain Surgeons,
make good money. People can't do
this work themselves, so they have to pay.

A Specialist is a Specialist... no matter the field.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 06:22 PM   #194
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Default Re: Tools for Creativity

Regarding the above. One afternoon a woman came into the print shop where I rented space, and wanted a logo designed for her soon-to-be-opened "Tack Shop." This was in a fairly affluent area so money wasn't scarce. I made a couple of quick sketches and quoted her a price for the 'photo ready art work.' I should mention that she planned to open in two weeks. She told me that I was too expensive and she'd pay her nephew, in the 8th grade as it turned out, to design her logo. I've seen some pretty good stuff from kids and figured that her nephew maybe had some talent.
A couple days passed and I was eating lunch at the local Mexican restaurant whose logo and signs I'd done. The woman came in, saw me and asked if she could join me for lunch. After we'd exchanged pleasantries and she'd ordered, she took out a sheet of college ruled binder paper from her purse. "This is really embarrassing, " she began, "but could you do anything with this?" At one corner of the sheet was a ball point pen 'drawing' about and inch by an inch of what looked like a badly draw aardvark possibly wearing a saddle.
I honestly didn't know what to say.
She ended up apologizing, bought me lunch, and I made sure her logo, business cards and her sign was ready for her shop's grand opening.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 06:36 PM   #195
Unkl Ian
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Default Re: Tools for Creativity

You got lucky on that one.
;)
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 06:57 PM   #196
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“If you do it for the sake of loving it, and you don't care
whether you're seen or not, or paid or not, all that stuff
will come. But enjoy the process! If you start doing things
for the sake of selling up front, for rewards, then it's going
to catch up to you. The other guys not chasing money are
going to outdo you in the end, because real innovation
and grit come from loving the process.”
Rodney Mullen
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 07:05 PM   #197
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Default Re: Tools for Creativity

"The time is always right,to do what is right"

Martin Luther King
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 11:46 AM   #198
Unkl Ian
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Default Re: Tools for Creativity

Getting over yourself:
Seven tips to get through a job gone wrong
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 11:20 PM   #199
Unkl Ian
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Default Re: Tools for Creativity

"Nothing is really work,
unless you would rather
be doing something else."

J.M. Barrie
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Old February 4th, 2015, 08:17 PM   #200
Unkl Ian
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Default Re: Tools for Creativity

James Victore:

Your Work Is A Gift

The First Rule of Business

Personal Projects


You gotta do the work





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Last edited by Unkl Ian; February 5th, 2015 at 07:52 PM.
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