So, you’re young & creative, you have finished studying, you’re in the real world, now what..?
We have all been there – we were there just last year! We have some friends who have questioned how we have the energy and motivation to do what we do, so we thought we would write a little bit about what motivates us the most…
We are 22 & 26 years old, we started Deck Studios so we could work together on projects, make a bit of extra money and give ourselves a creative identity. What started as a very basic portfolio website has turned into so much more. We have created a space for creatives to come together, discover new crafts and share ideas with each other. We absolutely love meeting all these creative people, learning about what, why and how they make artwork and then we get to share it with all of you! We are living the dream, but it took a lot of soul-searching to find out what we could do that would truly make us happy, we have worked many jobs and made better money, but being able to work together and know we bring knowledge and inspiration to other creative people… well, nothing beats that…
“Don’t Trust Future You.”
The best advice we have ever been given is, ‘don’t trust future you’. You cannot rely on your future self to figure it all out for you – you will still be you in 5, 10, 20 years time. Allow yourself to remember and contemplate this statement every time you have an idea, a concept or simply need to tidy up! Time doesn’t wait for you so the best time to go out and accomplish your goals is now because in a years time, you’ll wish you had started today.
In the words of Robert Downey Jr, “listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.” Now, don’t get us wrong, we aren’t suggesting you should disregard everything you have ever been told; if you want to study your favourite craft or intern for an inspirational designer or artist, then do it, because it’s what you want to do! Learn from others and pass on what you know, but don’t feel like you need to follow a step-by-step rule book for how to ‘be good at life’.
Here’s a brief example of how this has helped us…
We both studied Illustration and Graphic Design in London until we realised that it wasn’t what we wanted to do, it wasn’t helping us and we weren’t enjoying it. We had gone to uni because it’s what you do here – you work hard to do well in High School so you can get into College and then you spend 2 years working hard at College so you can get into your favourite University and then you spend 3 years working hard at University so you can get into the top internships and then… well then what? You’re in your mid-20s ready to start life? It’s just not something we could wrap our heads around. Many of our friends who studied creative subjects ended up drawing the same conclusion and also left uni before receiving their degree. Friends, family and tutors might make you feel like you are making a bad decision, but taking the road less-travelled doesn’t mean it’s the wrong path to take. Remember everybody is different, nobody has a formula for success and if you’re happy and you’re making others happy then who cares, do whatever the fuck you want!
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
Milton Berle was spot on when he said this – it’s easy to sit around and feel sorry for yourself, especially if you are surrounded by people who have amazing connections ‘in the industry’, or vast amounts of money to help them get a head-start in life. This time spent comparing yourself to others could be waaayyy better spent, don’t you think?
Yeah, it’s difficult to not compare yourself to others and sometimes a bit of healthy competition is just what you need to motivate you, but if this is something that’s holding you back, then try to work on it. For example, say your friend has just bought their very own shop or gallery, don’t be that guy that can’t be happy for their good fortune, celebrate with them, go to their opening or private view, bask in their happiness and utilise the situation to network your ass off!
Seriously though, it is very important to be pro-active. Initially this is something that feels impossible, much like joining the gym. “I’m just not the sort of person that has that level of motivation in me.” You wish you were that sort of person, you look at that sort of person online all the time, but you just aren’t that sort of person. Let us tell you a little secret… yes, you are. Everybody has to start somewhere and the people you admire for their passion were probably once like you too. Nobody ever achieved their goals by laying in bed and watching Netflix; simply thinking about your dreams won’t make them come true.
Here’s something we like to do if we feel unmotivated… grab your camera (or phone), head outside and take 20 photos of things you like, you don’t need to go far, just focus on your surroundings and be selective with your photography. This seems simple, but we challenge you take the time to relax your mind and body. You will surprise yourself by what you want to photograph – this is a great exercise for understanding your own personal taste and attractions. When you get home, (if you haven’t already been inspired by something), look at your collection of photos, ask yourself why you chose to photograph these subjects, what do they have in common, do you like the colours, the textures? Go from there…
“Be curious, not judgmental.”
Don’t get side-tracked by the fact it was Walt Whitman who said this, you can have a discussion about Breaking Bad another time, but for now, “be curious, not judgmental”. Ignorance is one of the worst traits a creative (or any person) can have, whereas curiosity is up there amongst the best. If you want to make powerful artwork, or just generally want to be a nice human being, leave the judgment behind and embrace every opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. Make new friends, travel to new places, you could even go online and find a local organisation you can join – London is full of creative individuals that meet up to discuss ideas with each other, we’re sure most other cities and suburbs are too.
If you are surrounding yourself solely with people from your neighbourhood, you are missing out on so many amazing stories, people, crafts, materials… the list goes on… We have many friends from all over the world and every single one of them has opened our eyes to new cultures; verbal and physical languages, traditions, colours, textures and different ways of thinking.
Big up our Italian, French, Australian, Chinese, Romanian, Spanish, Greek, Swedish, Jamaican, Canadian, American and South African friends! If we have left anyone out we’re sorry, there are simply too many great people in our lives!
Hopefully we have inspired you, feel free to get in contact with us if you want any advice or if you want to be featured on our blog! Most importantly, believe in yourself!
Also, hit up Unsplash if you ever need some super-pro pics for absolutely free!