Today, I want to present to you Lisa Congden’s book called ‘Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic.’ Heard about this book on Debbie Millman’s podcast, Design Matters. Go listen to that podcast after watching this video because it is insane. Bought this book as a result and I can tell you now, no ragrets. Great book.
The book features 10 interviews with other creative human beings so it is almost like 10 wise heads explaining how they got to where they are. Muy bien.
You’re probably like ‘Jack – graphic design is not art. Why are you reading this book if this channel is meant to be all about graphic design?! Although this book is aimed at artists, I think the concept of finding your artistic voice is relevant to anyone in any creative industry.
Ultimately, your artistic voice is ‘your own point of view,’ and your particular ‘style,’ which includes your medium, subject matter, colours and consistency which you use all these things. You attract the work that you put out. This means that if you have a clear artistic voice, you know what you like making and how to make it, you can focus on this to attract those customers.
The market place is crowded so if you hone in on something you are incredibly passionate about and make consistent content about it, you will attract that type of work. This is something I have been focussing on as a graphic designer but I think this is highly relevant to anyone that makes stuff for money – artist, ux/ui, Motion designers. You name it, this book has something for you.
I know what you’re thinking though – What are my 3 biggest take aways? I thought so, let’s get in to it!
1) Numero uno. Professional Sustainability
Your voice is an essential element to ensure your professional sustainability.
Put in page 44’s picture
- A strong voice is essential to have a healthy creative career.
- Your voice sets you apart (colours, themes, textures, medium until it becomes characteristically you)
- People connect with you because of your authentic voice – value
- This means people are willing to pay you for it
- Time and resources to make more art. Continue to make work. Further develop the voice.
- Keeps going.
- Conversely, if you simply follow fads and trends without considering your artistic voice, what is authentically you, what is fun for you to make, you won’t enjoy making stuff and so your work won’t be any good.
My favourite quote ‘Pleasing everyone is the short cut to beige.’ Carolyn Sewell. LOVE THIS.
2) Numero dos. Experiment and fail.
‘Experimenting is when creativity comes to life.’
When you’re experimenting, you aren’t just thinking or talking about your ideas – you’re actually trying them out.
Everyone is creative but everyone has the courage to create. Why? Because it feels uncomfortable starting something. Because it feels risky. What if we fail?
To create anything good, you must be willing to fail. If you’re not willing to fail, you won’t ever make anything truly great!
Make a giant volume of work. You will fail a lot. You will improve. You will be good. You will clearly identify what you care passionately about. You will attract the work you want. You will feel fulfilled and happy.
How should you experiment. Let yourself be influenced by others. Try out different mediums. Try out different softwares from what you’re used to. You will never know where it takes you.
Recently, I’ve started animation. Love it. It took me hours to simply animate a logo but I know it’s worth pursuing because I know it’s meant to be uncomfortable now and I will get there.
Experiment and fail, young ones.
‘Setting a daily routine is important because it is the most direct route to cementing your technical skill and developing your voice.’ Lisa Congdon.
Apart from the obvious points of making a large task less daunting by chopping it in to regular chunks, it also helps your creativity because you are concentrating on developing a large project over time. It keeps the fire lit as it were.
Even 15 minutes every day can be highly productive. So find that 15 mins.
Lisa says making a weekly plan and sticking to it is highly useful. If you’re struggling to find time, cut out the stuff that adds nothing to your life that could be avoided like mindlessly scrolling on social media.
So, to summarise:
1) Develop a strong artistic voice.
2) Experiment and Fail
3) Set a routine
I hope this video helps. Wishing you all the best on finding your voice.
Want to buy this book? Link below.
Want to know more about Lisa Congdon, Design Matters or anything else I talked about here? Spicy links below.
1) Lisa’s website https://lisacongdon.com/
2) More motivation! Ira Glass video https://vimeo.com/24715531
3) Debbie Millman’s incredible podcast interview with Lisa
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Hope this article helped someone out there!
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