Do one thing well.
“Be like a postage stamp – stick to one thing until you get there” – Josh Billings
It’s rather difficult to focus on just one thing. I think as a creative there’s so many things we want to pursue, and building a brand and business you can now do everything and not just your one thing. At the moment I’m not just an illustrator. I’m also an amateur photographer trying to take beautiful photographs for social media and my online shop. I’m an amateur writer trying to write my ideas down in a way that is both interesting and genuine (and grammatically correct). I’m also the marketing manager trying figure out my branding and how to build a website. Also how the bloody hell one does taxes when self employed.
There’s also so much to grab our attention outside of creating. We have to do lists the length of our arms, we have Pinterest boards inspiring us to make our homes as beautiful as our dream ones, and we have too many TV shows we “absolutely must watch” Don’t even get me started on all the books with pages left unturned.
Even just illustrating itself is not the simplicity of focusing on one thing. I can not simply just sit and draw to my hearts content if I want to be successful. There’s so much to learn from photoshop and what dpi means to the rule of thirds and how to create compelling images. There’s focusing on creating new work, keeping an (imperfect) sketchbook, learning typography, and then the constant inspiration that is to be found and filled up with but just not finding enough time to express.
So I’m left feeling like I’m just doing everything badly. Or at least a bit haphazardly.
Today I was inspired by a post I stumbled upon by Huit Denim Co. who are based in Wales and make jeans, and just jeans. I’m liking their ethos of do one thing and do it well. Nothing to distract, just pure patient focused energy on making one thing of superior quality. No more jack of all trades yet master of none.
So I’ve decided I really want try to master something. To do my one thing really well. Realistically all the other stuff has to be thrown in too because that’s life. But where possible the rest is just drawing. And learning to do it well.