10 Ways You Can Transform Drawbacks Into Creative Assets

Everyone has Drawbacks or disadvantages due to different circumstances in our lives, but it´s on us to change our view about them, or better said: turning them into assets.

The image shows an explanatory example of this topic, it is told that Lady Gaga was a roadie for Iron Maiden, once upon a time. Things that would make everyone else look like a complete dork somehow complimenting her appearance.

This post should be a motivator to carry on with whatever you do. If you have two healthy hands, a rough vision, some kind of talent, this post should help you push the envelope by unleashing potential that might hold you back now.

Bullet post alert:
  1. Attitude and perception: Be remarkable when it is least expected!
    There are many times in our lives when we meet others and very often transactions go smooth, we know how people behave when everything is well, but this is not how people remember you. People, especially clients remember you when in a situation of stress or helplessness, you were the one that put a mood of calmness and outcome-orientation in a project where others would have given up.
    This counts for business relationships as also friendship. Like in a friendship, no one can give a guarantee that you stay friends forever, but in business this attitude can come back to you in a positive way. For me it did, several times now.
  2. Boundaries of a home-office freelancer
    Regardless if you have a flat, a house or just a cellar to work, there is still household to do, even more if you have kids. People think it is great to be able working from home but it requires a lot of discipline to dress for work and use social-media to show up, especially when no one else is around. I changed all my communication to email and social media (not chat). If you think freelancing, working from home as parent is difficult, AS a parent, I can say it all depends on organisation and communication, I reduced phone calls to a minimum, which means twice a week for important calls. Everything else goes through email.
  3. Make yourself interesting
    The most challenging thing is to find something people might find interesting about you, in fact so interesting that they keep telling others about it - but it havn´t has to be something obvious. If you apply for a job position (and I talk about a job you really, really want) it will not going to help you to show up in that expensive dress, give the job interviewer something he really wants. If you are starting out as artist and want to apply for an internship by a reknown arist of your genre give him something, an opportunity that he can´t pass up, like managing all phone calls for learning something in return. There is a wide variety of things that are interesting about us, it is vital to find these and turn them out so others can see their benefits when dealing with you.
  4. Different styles are good for you
    You think you have a burden, because you work in different styles and hence look like a generalist to others? Think twice: It might take you longer to hone your different skills, but opposed to someone who does paint all the same things their entire live for a living, you have the benefit of a variety of work. Concentrate on two or three strong styles at a time and keep up portfolios of them. When the demand for one style grows you can keep producing more of this or to relax you can do something totally different and add it to your other portfolio. If you start out this way, people will not be surprised to see something fresh from you, they expect it. If you start out just with an ink-comic style and after years of just posting that, people might wonder when you start showing watercolor paintings.
  5. Get rid of passive mode, turn active mode on
    If your drawback is an addiction to video-games or television, I really can´t help you but to say that you have to make a decision. Anything that makes you passive can get into your way of creating things, creative things, or things people talk about. Get rid of the passive mode and turn your active mode on, it isn´t necessary to make sports or exercises for this, but make it a habit to find out which artists are responsible for the concept-art of this game, that movie, and so on... this can be a start. Watch making off´s instead of just the movies, try to visit museums instead of the football game, do more of things that make you feel good. And don´t try to tell me that watching T.V. makes you feel good.
  6. Persistence is more powerful than talent (to some extent)
    Don´t misunderstand this sentence, talent is important, it separates you from the crowd, but not being able to market and communicate your skills will make you a paperboy or assembly worker. Persistence in communication, marketing and learning are necessary to survive in the long run. There are a lot artists out there who do mediocre stuff but make a good living from just doing so, I dare to say that they are strong in the communication and marketing aspect and show a necessary persistence.
  7. The burden of part-time freelancing
    Do you think you have a hard time because you have a day-job to pay the bills and do freelance work in your spare time? I know you, but what seems as double life is maybe a preparation for the real case. I worked a day job, studied part time and did freelance work besides, so I know what I´m speaking of, this experience helped me to make the right decisions when I stepped into the full-time freelancing business, because I knew what I wanted and what not.I learned what methods work and which had to be replaced by better techniques.
  8. You are not good enough
    This is the most overrated thought, and worse; self-affirmation ever. To be not good enough can be changed, but it takes dedication, time and passion, if these three components are inherent you have good chances to GET BETTER! If you are not good enough, but have to make a living as artist somehow, connect with artists that are better than you, learn from them, work FOR them, get to know their methods, help them improve their business. You might have a good idea how to market something, have made experience with a medium, that can SAVE THEM TIME, and so on. you see, being not good enough is an excuse and a bad one.
  9. Lack of self-awareness 
    Be it due to education or your nature, a lack of self-awareness is equally bad for your health and relationships, than an exaggerated self-assurance. If you´re suffering from the former, there is a help, not an easy, but there is help: surround yourself with people who are naturally strong in self-awareness. Be it friends, mates, in a relationship or friendship doesn´t matter, it will take time, if they care for you, you´ll learn to take more responsibility over time, try out new things you´ve never done before, doing this with self-aware friends is a great way to get better at this, plus you have great things to share and eventually a story to tell. Relationships are vital, a good friendship is a benchmark where you can often get feedback from peers, accept hard but constructive critique and seek people who are willing to push you, if no one cares what you do, that is a very bad place to be. But also it helps to be no Sissy when it comes to receive critique.
  10. The money issue
    Freelancing as also doing art for a living is not necessarily a story about starving artists. The typical thing the public assumes is that the art is a luxury good and either you make it, or die trying. Fact is that art is more present than ever; from video games, movies, label designs to clothes, cars, and as therapy, etc. Art is more used in our society than ever before to communicate and to transport messages and feelings. With the internet there are more chances than ever for artist to succeed. The only thing is to know what you want. You can´t believe that just making your art will make you rich, you have to create a following first, however you make this, it is your choice, offering solutions as illustrator is a great option, from there it is possible to generate great contacts to publishers and authors. If you are in the situation of plunging into the freelance business, it might be a good advice to have some savings to cover at least a year without income or better have a spouse with a fixed income. The money you will make with your art is depending on how much you do, how good you market yourself and how you are perceived by others. If you are authentic, creative and original ,chances are good that after 3 years you can make a good living from the arts as it was in my case.
I hope these ways and tips are encouraging and helpful. IF there are any additional drawbacks that I have forgotten, let me know them in a comment and I´d like to provide a helpful answer.
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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


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