Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Illustration Asset: Enthusiasm!

Wake up, drink coffee and make stuff! by Holly DeWolf
© Holly DeWolf- Make More Stuff! 

Enthusiasm is an interesting thing and a great career dynamic! It's both attractive and contagious. When you are enthusiastic about working with clients on new projects or promotion, your audience does notice. It may not happen right way but with consistency, they will see it.

On the days when you feel tired, worn out and frustrated by the 24/7 freelance life, it's not always easy to portray the happy side of you. It's there but you may need to shake it out sometimes. 

Tips to create enthusiasm:
• Create something to look forward to. Start a project, start a promotion series, or take on a new client project. The idea is to create momentum. Like enthusiasm, momentum is contagious. 
• Make something, post it, and talk about it. Social networking is right there at your disposal. Use it, use it wisely and use it daily to network and promote. Be real, be positive and showcase your professional self. 
• Connect and contact with the right buyers, audience and clients. 
• Do something that your future freelance self will be happy about come the future. If you start now you will be that farther ahead a year from now. As Woody Allen says, "80% of success is just showing up." 
• Work on your promotions daily. Think simple, a defined schedule and something that is easy to mail. Your website, postcards and emails queries are still the best method. 

In my book, I mention that to be interesting you have to be interested. This applies to your buying market, your projects that you are being paid for and most importantly, yourself! Best advice, start being really interested in you. You are the one that makes all the creative magic happen so pay some attention to that big creative brain you have! 

Some enthusiasm sparks to help your day:

1. Your Energy
Your physical self and creative self need to play well with each other. Eat healthy, sleep more, rest your eyes, exercise and escape the office often. All this creates a balance. I was told in art school that when you are okay, your creativity will be okay. I believe this to be true! 

2. Do What You Love
As Anna Goodson says, "Do what you love and you will love what you do. If you believe in yourself others will too." Couldn't have said any better myself! 

3. Positively Positive
Negativity has no place in your freelance career. It's a burdon on your momentum. It's heavy and can be a real career killer. Distraction can be a wonderful thing on the bad days, Facebook noise or bad television. Look for another thing to focus on and you will thank yourself for putting your energies in the right place. 

4. Humour
It's simple but really effective. Just like negativity, humour can be found everywhere. To me, humour is useful and serves a bigger purpose than making us laugh. We're designd for it. Don't believe me? Poke online and look up the human brain on humour and you might be surprised all the things that equips us to be happy!

5. Curiosity
Your interests play a part in your career. Push it further with books, podcasts, conferences, book stores, galleries and webinars. If you are like many illustrators that work where you live, make your studio a place of inspiration. The idea is to make curiosity a type of habit. Seek out what rocks your creative world and use it to your advantage.  

6. Create With Purpose
That purpose is of course defined by you. Is your purpose to entertain children with your illustrations, to provoke thought, decorate fabric, go on a wall, adorn a greeting card with well wishes? Think of it simply as your theme, your mode, your style or creative drive. I believe once you've defined this, it makes it easier to know what career direction you are heading in.  

7. Focus On The Good Stuff
If you only like one thing you did today that is a good start! Take it farther by loving your ideas, concepts, doodles, thumbnails and cryptic notes. The good stuff is not always the finished stuff-sometimes it's all in the process. Your ideas are golden. These ideas are the starting point to everything you do. 

Have a great day. Now go and make something! 

~Holly