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    • Hmm, how to not be generic here. There's the easy stuff like "keep your chin up!", "stay true to yourself", "try lots of things", and "don't compare yourself to others!" but usually those answers kinda raise a little bile in my throat. They're not wrong, but I see them on almost every interview from anyone ever, and it's very easy exit on advice.

      I think dissolving the illusion that doing it for a living means you're running through the daisies every day, loving every second of your career making only what you really like to. That's the unicorn we all chase, but very few actually get it. It's not impossible! But, like everything, you're going to learn compromise. Being a professional doesn't solve your life problems, it means you're an entrepreneur if you're freelance, so becoming a great business person is hand in hand with being a functional, useful artist with a product that has a use to others.

      Being creative, as I stated above, is a pretty selfish experience, and it's awesome for that. But choosing to make it a profession, means you have to get out of the way and you become a water or waitress of pixels. You have a product that you want others to pay for.

      I've had a lot of people in my workshops that are amaaaaazing artists. They're phenomenal, far better than I am, but they can't make it work professionally because they lack the skills to run a business. If you're in that camp, then get your butt into some courses that will teach you book keeping, how to make a rate that feels fair to you and your clients, how to streamline your systems because time = money.

      If your goals are to create for yourself because you absolutely love it and nothing else, I think that's the best, and most honest way to be a creative. Chase that unicorn, some of us get it, most of us don't. That's ok :) But if you know early on that you want to learn to do this for a living, then while you're taking classes on retouching, composition, or posing, you should also be educating your business brain. They're hand in hand in this world, one is not better than the other.

      Get your ego out of the way. We make pixels. We aren't evolving science to save the lives of newborn babies, or finding life on other planets. The most successful people I've met on the planet (and there have been a lot) are more often than not extremely humble and very, very hard working.

      Remember: The more you know, the more you understand how little you actually know. It's a good thing.