Stupid advice has brought down more artists than you can imagine. It can hinder you from achieving your goals.
Some “well meaning” people will give advice, not knowing how bad it is.
And others, well, they are bitter and their advice comes from a place of anger.
If you are going to take advice from someone, take it from a person who has already achieved what you are striving for.
Don’t take advice from someone who has failed, because their advice may just get you to where they are: failure.
Here’s a short list of some of the worst advice we’ve received over the years:
- You can’t just surf and paint the rest of your life (Drew’s high school guidance counselor)
- DON’T EVER WORK WITH YOUR WIFE! (From the founder of one of the most prominent sandal companies in surf)
- Don’t stop working for …Lost – you’ll never get work anywhere else (same guy, above, in 2001 when Drew decided to sever ties with …Lost, a company he no longer shared the same values with)
- GIVE UP THIS ART BUSINESS AND GO GET YOURSELF A JOB! (a former accountant)
- You can’t make a living as an artist. BE A TEACHER INSTEAD. (A teacher in High School)
- GREEN PAINTINGS DON’T SELL. Paint blue. (From a gallery owner who told us that he couldn’t sell Drew’s “green” paintings. He had them stored in his back room for months. We took them back to our studio and within one week sold 3 out of 4 of them.)
I asked some of the successful artists out there to share the worst advice they’ve ever gotten:
- “Paint what is mainstream, paint what everyone else is painting.” (A member of a Santa Barbara artists’ association, when denying membership to artist David Loueau.)
- “Nothing in life or making art, that’s worthwhile, is fun.” (Mr. Faust, an art instructor at Pratt Institute to then student Phil Roberts – who has fun everyday with his art.)
- “You need to progress from painting in Acrylics to working in Oils, a more ‘mature’ media.”
(Laguna Beach gallery owner to Tom Laura, aka BIG TOE )
- “ART IS A BIG WASTE OF TIME.” (Professional artist Al McWhite’s father, to Al as a kid.)
As a general rule, Drew and I don’t listen to negative advice. I guess that’s what’s gotten us this far.
Never listen to stupid advice from smart people.
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WHAT’S THE STUPID ADVICE YOU’VE GOTTEN? Tell us in the comments below.
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