From Fan to Artist

Your taste defines who you are. I admire people that have interesting tastes in art, fashion, books, and music.

But I really admire people that attempt to recreate their tastes.

For the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making is not that good. But your taste—the force that drives creative people to do what they do—“is still killer.”

Ira Glass

The fun only begins when you’re recreating the art you enjoy. Naturally you’re going to suck in the beginning. But all great artists struggle in the beginning.

All you’re trying to do is prove that you too can make cool stuff, not just collect and consume it.

Emulation may be the highest form of fattery, but you can’t just clone someone else’s work and call it your own. Once you master the fundamentals, you need to individualize your work. Otherwise, what’s going to make your work stand out from the ones that came before it?

Creativity is a process of copying and personal expression. Your output is ultimately an opinion of how you see the world.

You need to be able to express your ideas. So find a way to get your thoughts out there so you have experience articulating and defending a point of view, because that’s what design ultimately is; a point of view.

Jeffrey Zeldman

You already know what’s good. All artists were too once fans. Now you just need to stake your claim by doing the work yourself.

Art is not something you do at the end of your career.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.