Thoughts on Linchpin Creating Your Art
Seth Godin’s Linchpin is a MUST read for any artists trying to make a living as a creative. If you want to know how to truly become indepsensible, get the best jobs, work on projects you care about, and accomplish great things, then pick up this book and more importantly, implement it.
Godin argues that artists use bravery, insight, and creativity to challenge the status quo by giving their knowledge and art as FREE gifts. Wait, free? Really? Yup.
True artists give away their knowledge for FREE, in exchange for relationships and connections that lead to more job opportinuties. The guys over at VideoCopilot.net know this better than anyone else. Andrew Cramer does video blogs, giving away his knowledge of Adobe After Effects and animation for free to the masses. The result? He gets millions of views on his website, which get him noticed and respected in the special effects industry, and lands him tons of jobs. All cool ones, that he wants to work on. In todays time, the only way to be successful as an artist is to give FREE gifts that change the recipient. Keeping some secret knowledge that you use to generate some income to yourself will fail very quickly thanks to the internets, which spreads everything in seconds. Chase Jarvis pioneered this idea back when there was no video on the internet. He created behinds the scenes videos that showed average people how to shoot the professional pictures that he would take for clients. The result? He is now a world renowned photographer and an author of many books about photography, with a booming blog and a phone that never stops ringing with work opportunities.
Photographers ought to be at the heart of trying to change people through free gifts because through the power of images and video, they can transport people to new worlds and into interesting stories. A good example of this is Chase Jarvis’s “Seattle 100” project. Chase profiled 100 of Seattle’s finest and told their stories through one picture and a few words. Those strangers that I had never met before suddenly became real people, with names and faces, that I could relate to.
Godin also says that there is a resistance in your head, trying to stop you from doing anything creative, and trying to get you to take the safest route in life. The resistance is that voice in your head that comes up with hundreds of excuses when you think of a great project or an interesting idea. As we all know though, being a creative means trusting your inner insticts, relying on yourself, taking huge risks, and pushing projects you thing might have an impact. The key to defeating the resistance is to write a deadline for a potential project on a wall, and shipping it on that date. No compromises. As Steve Jobs said “Real Artists Ship.” They ship, on time, every time, regardless of how much better it could have been if they had worked on it for a little longer. The first iPhone came out without cut and paste, a 2 megapixel camera, and no 3G internet speed, but Apple shipped it anyway. And next year, on the same date, they shipped again. Shipping MUST become an integral part of your art if you are to succeed. Set deadlines, work your butt off, and ship, ready or not.