Last Updated: 18th September 2018

I decided to put this post together for anyone wanting to know what I believe in in general, and so that I can direct them to this URL if they ever ask. The advice below is what I sincerely believe to be helpful even though I am still learning to follow the same advice for myself, but most importantly, it should only be taken with a grain of salt. Not everything I have written here can be applied to every single person, and I wouldn’t expect you to take it that way. That said, I hope you find this post to be informative and valuable in some way.

  1. 1. Get your own website – In most circumstances, a solid social media presence is most likely more than enough for your fans, clients and potential employer, but like with anything else digital, it is inevitable that something totally out of your control could go wrong. Features are released that you disagree with, customization is too strict, your photos and videos get compressed and you are exposed to many variations of content and people that you don’t want to keep seeing. With a website, you have total control. Domains and web space is very much affordable and there are thousands of professionally made website themes for you to purchase and customize, so you don’t even need to know a lot of code. Personally, I use Eco Hosting for my domain and webspace and purchased a theme from Theme Forest/Evanto Market, but there are many other great places you can get these things from. Getting a website is cheap, easy to setup, professionally made and you get your own email addresses. Don’t be like this guy:
  2. 2. Define your own meaning of success – The mass media has us believe that natural talent is the only thing worthy of praise, anyone who is rich is clearly someone of excellence, being on TV is an honor, winning awards is something special and going on holiday several times a year and not needing to work as much are the lives we should be looking up to. Nobody has defined for us what success actually is and it is the fault of social media for leading us to believe otherwise. There was a video I saw not too long ago about a homeless man and his dog. During the video, he explains that because of his dog Bailey, he was able to come away from class A drugs that he had been addicted to for about 15 years because he was determined to not go to prison again or else he would lose his dog. Here is a man with nothing major going on for him, no home, no family, yet despite all of his hardships, he has been able to do something successful for both himself and for Bailey. Success is relative – find your own definition of it.
  3. 3. Only take the advice from those you respect and want to learn from – Or to put another way, if you could trade places with the person giving you the advice, would you? This is a bit of a tricky one. All feedback should be valued in order to gain a wider perspective of the thing you are asking advice for, but you should only ever take action on the advice
  4. 4. Don’t bother getting an art degree – Just don’t. It’s an utter waste of your time and money and is no longer important to getting a job. You are much better off just using YouTube, Skillshare, Udemy and Lynda for learning the technical skills and being active on social media and forums for when it comes to critiques and feedback. I may do a separate post on this in the future which I will link here if I do.
  5. 5. Learn to say no – Your time is valuable and can never be gained back. Learn to say no to anything that you feel does not bring you value and then move on. No “yes.” Either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.”
  6. 6. Learn to say yes – Alternatively, you should also be knowing when to say yes to things. Sometimes certain opportunities will arise, and in those times, you should consider accepting them. You never know how big an impact if could make on your life.
  7. 7. Work to impress yourself, not others – The work you do for yourself will more likely bring you greater pleasure and excitement than the work you do for strangers online in exchange for their likes/hearts and generic, and also probably automated, fake comments.
  8. 8. Social media is a double-edged sword. Use it carefully – Ah, social media. Perhaps the greatest and worst thing we have in the 21st century. Anything you say online, no matter when or where, can be used against you. Remember the whole thing with James Gunn regarding his tweets from over 10 years ago? Right, anything can happen. As a rule, just don’t be an ass, treat people with respect and be very careful of what you say online.
  9. 9. Consider minimalism – This won’t be for everyone, but I recommend you at least explore it a little. Minimalism allows you to re-evaluate what you consider to be important to you in life while also removing anything else that is not. There are plenty of great YouTube videos, blog posts, Ted talks and interviews to check out, but I also recommend the book Goodbye, Things: On Minimalist Living by Fumio Sasaki. It was the book that convinced me to become more minimal in life.
  10. 10. Prioritize play time – Unless you are a major workaholic like Gary Vaynerchuck, doing too much work will cause you to burnout so hard that it may take you a very long time for you to recover. Take time off every now and then and enjoy doing something else. I’ve felt the sense of burnout twice now during my time at college and university and both times have been due to lack off doing something else fun.
  11. 11. There is absolutely nothing that can replace old-fashioned hard work – Self-explanatory, but reading books, watching tutorials, listening to podcasts and talking about a subject does not make you better at it. It can make you much more knowledgeable, yes, but it can only get you so far. The only way you will ever improve is to actually sit down and do the work.
  12. 12. Understand that failure is not permanent unless you make it be – The only way we can start making the good stuff is by first making the bad stuff. How else can you improve? Personally I love looking at the ‘before and after’ posts artists sometimes share where they redo an old piece of work they done several years before and compare to where they are now. It’s very inspiring.
  13. 13. Broaden your skills, even if by a little – I’ve always believed that people who can do multiple things are more valuable and impressive than those who can just do one or two things exceptionally well. Industries and interests change, so it’s always good to be able to do other things. It also helps knowing a wider range of things when working in a team as you become more understanding of the overall workflow and how things should be done to help others working in different areas.
  14. 14. Use RSS – RSS is one of those things that I knew about for so long yet never really bothered to find out exactly what it is or does. An RSS, short for Rich Site Summary, is something that checks websites every once and a while and updates you to let you know something new has happened. Using RSS can help you notify you of any YouTube videos that a channel releases, new blog posts, Instagram and Tumblr updates and so much more. I use the RSS Feed Reader plugin which has been amazing so far.