noun: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to persevere in the face of many rejections, failures and signs that might make me think that maybe I don’t have what it takes. If you are trying to make something work and it’s taking a lot longer than you hoped for, how do you keep the faith in the meantime, before you hit the big time?
These are the things that worked for me and I’m just sharing them here in case you happen to be going through the same thing.

1. Meet your friends

When you are hit with despair it’s tempting to isolate yourself and wait until you are back to happy, or until you have some good news before talking with them. That could take forever and your friends are really nice and funny so if you go meet them you will remember what it’s like to have fun…they value you for who you are, not for what you do for a living.

2. Research successful people

It might surprise you to hear stories of your heroes and how it took 7 years before they were able to sustain a living from their art, or how everyone told them they should give up. When you look at their website and see all the beautiful work you may never know what it took to get there, and how many so called “failures” they met with along the way and picked themselves up again.
I’m in the middle of reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill from the 1920’s where he interviews 100 of the richest men in America (they are all men, and all self made millionaires) after the great depression. The main thread is that they didn’t recognise failure and were completely determined to succeed no matter how long it took. Every set back they came across was just another thing to overcome before reaching their goal.

Great interview with Lisa Congdon, author of Art Inc, about being a thriving artist as opposed to just surviving…http://www.accidentalcreative.com/podcasts/ac/ac-podcast-lisa-congdon-on-making-a-living-with-your-art/

3.Worrying makes more worry and fun makes things funnier

Get a little dafter every day until you are quite bonkers by the end of the week. The thing about worry is that it makes you really serious and you start deciding that things won’t work out before you even try to make it happen. Then you stop trying. When you are having fun it doesn’t matter so much if things work out perfectly or not, one thing will lead you to the next and you will be in the creative flow. If you just do one thing, lighten up – it’s an essential ingredient to success.

4. Help someone

You logically know that you have talents but sometimes it can be hard to feel like you have anything to offer. When you help someone, they will be delighted, and you will realise how far you’ve come and how much knowledge you picked up along the way. I am so lucky to be able to teach and help people as part of my job. The people I meet in my workshops have always been so kind and enthusiastic and they’re a huge inspiration and motivation to me.

5. Remember why you want this

Keep in mind how you want your day to day to be when you are living your dream and see how much of your time today, right now, can be spent acting out your dream life. So for me, it’s drawing, so if I draw everyday I’m essentially living the dream…I’ll let you know when it all works out!

Here is a beaut from Ella Luna to enjoy….Good Luck everyone :)

Ella Luna


Related Reading:

What to do when you’re feeling stuck

My Favourite online learning resources

How to Learn Stuff

Letterpress course NCAD (Weeks 1-5)

Make Art That Sells Week 1