Borrowed from the late Zig Ziglar, the title may ring true to anyone, not only artists and creators. But unlike accountants, bricklayers or welders, the scope of what our craft can be is immense and it’s much easier for us to get carried away into the unknown.
While an accountant would need a strong initiative of some sort to reposition themselves from personal accounting to working with businesses, a creator starting to use acrylics instead of making their usual digital drawing only really needs one thing — curiosity. And we all have a lot of it to spare.
While a bit oversimplified, my point is that creation itself is a time of play (and hard work of course), where going from one medium or motif to another usually isn’t primarily motivated by us being able to make more money or get more followers, but because we are exploring new and better ways of expressing ourselves.
And this is where it can become tricky; many of us tend to jump from one medium to another, constantly changing and learning new skills and evolving our craft. This can absolutely benefit our art — the fact is, by becoming a better sculptor one also becomes a better painter, because of the added understanding of volumes and shapes.
But it can also make our body of work look like an all-you-can-eat salad bar with no head or tail.
Learning new skills is imperative, but we should do so with an end goal in mind. Each of us needs a main story that we wish to propagate; be it in the form of a personal brand (hard to do, but incredibly valuable to have), where the materials of the works matter less than our mission, or by having one main medium we excel at and working on our experimental projects on the side.
Regardless of what tactic we employ, the goal ultimately is to have one. We can always change our perspectives along the way, but if we have no real idea where we’re going and all we’re doing is mindlessly creating in random mediums and putting all our work hours into such projects, we may just find ourselves overwhelmed, dissatisfied and generalised to the point of a Nifty video — fun but instantly forgettable.