Today I invite you into the conversations within my head between the Creative and the Pragmatic; the Optimist and the Pessimist. Questions that to some extent are important to ask but can ultimately do more damage than good when we tirelessly ruminate and let them dictate our creative work. In effort to reduce these inner quarrels in the upcoming year, I've got the list printed and posted near my computer.
FIVE QUESTIONS TO STOP ASKING MYSELF IN 2016
What is everyone else doing? Sure, if someone else is having success take notes on their strategy or presentation, but fight the urge to fully take on their aesthetic just because it's working for them.
Couldn't someone else could do it better? I'm sure they could. But if they're not doing it, go for it. And even if they are, make it your own and customize it to fit your audience.
What will _____ think? I want everyone to be happy. This comes in handy during a family photo shoot every now and then if little Timmy is acting up and you can see it on mom's face -- I work hard to redirect the energy. It's typically a hindrance for every other aspect of my life, though. Let go of not posting, sharing, creating because so and so might not like it or some anonymous follower may (gasp) unfollow you. Your work isn't for everyone (and this is actually a good thing), so don't make it for everyone.
Hasn't this been done before? It's true that's there's nothing new under the sun. Things are copied, influenced, revitalized, rejuvenated, reinterpreted. Take what you love and make it your own. (*note : this is not a green light to straight up copy work that you admire in the name of nothing new.)
Will it be good exposure? When faced with the decision to take on 'free' or discounted work, be certain to weigh your current workload, the true cost of the proposed project and if you're excited to do it. Since we've both been hustling in 2015 to establish our creative work on the West Coast, we spent a lot of pursuing said exposure. But this year, we're focusing more on the work that we truly love. Don't take on more work that you might later regret simply on the promise of "exposure."
Now, let's get to work.