What does the motor industrialist with bitesize, tweetable quotes about leadership and customer experience have to do with our creative liefstyles? Here are a few words from the man himself and then some words from myself on how Henry Ford's life lessons can help us to think about our own work ethic and lifestyle as artists.
Let me know if you find any of them helpful.
‘Quality means doing it right when no one is looking’.
Being an artist with integrity means calling yourself an artist and then creating work which reflects who you are and what you are about. It can be so hard not to compare ourselves, then letting that lead to creating work because we know 'This' is more likely to be shared online or even, to create work that you know is not your best, because you feel pressured to get new content out there (and we all feel that pressure occasionally).
However, are you so dedicated to doing what you do and doing it well that it doesn’t matter if anyone sees it or not?
If you’re not going to at least make it good, then why are you doing it? This isn't about perfection, but making sure that it is your best work. We all have down days creatively, but check back over your recent project(s) occasionally, asking yourself 'Was this a true reflection of my vision as an artist?'. Don't worry yourself too much if it isn't. One of the beauties of creativity is that it is a constant flow and you have future opportunities to make more work, that reflects your artistic vision, again and again.
‘Vision without execution is just hallucination’.
It is so brilliant to dream. An artist should be a visionary. But visions are only wisps in the air until they become attached to real work. Anyone can dream of an idea. But you have the ability and the power to put it into action. And that is one of the things which separates a Painter with a capital P from a person who likes paintings and like to occasionally paint. You have have an influence. Own it.
‘Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently’.
You heard the man. No bad piece of work is ever a waste of your time or your energy if you learn from it. (Read a previous article about not feeling pressure to use every piece of work and the freedom of putting some of it in the recycling bin).
Try making a list of things you did well and congratulate yourself on them and then make another list on what you would do differently next time. You'll be able to see where you were on the right track and where things started to speed off a little bit so you are more equipped for the next time round.
‘Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it’.
An artist notices things and examines them. Good artwork asks questions, challenges the custom and refocuses our ideas among many other things which art can do. And that is hard work to do, especially to do well. That is what makes it so sweet when we accomplish it. This can be translated into your art by thinking about your work's outlines and planning beforehand, which we all know has so many benefits and even, can be vital.
A jewellery designer said to me that when she draws her designs out first it helps her creativity and she always comes up with more ideas. Many of us prefer to go straight into the making - the 'fun' part.
I try to rehearse and write everyday. Sometimes I have to be really, really disciplined with myself to do this. My goal may be everyday, yet I am not strict on time - if all I can manage today is 20 minutes, that is ok. No one is clocking me in and out. Except for me but I try not to be too hard on myself!
And finally, one to leave you on;
‘You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do’.
Yes make plans. But don't forget to just go and do it.
If you have anymore quotes for me, or words of wisdom that impact your work ethic, creativity or tips, I'd love to hear them! Just send them my way in an email :)
“Those who are lost in their passion are less lost than those who have lost their passion.”
“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Clare Louise Roberts
Singer Songwriter, Actress, Poet and all round Creative, passionate about sharing, ideas, collaboration and seeing other people develop their skills and passions.
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