How to see creative potential in what you do



Who said that starting out as an aspiring enthusiastic creative was going to be easy? If it was there’d be alot more of us doing it. Now I’m not saying its impossible because my belief is, if your determined and put in the work you’ll see the results from all your efforts.

Although whether your a photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, pattern designer and more, over time the enthusiasm you found in the beginning of your journey can sometimes begin to wither if you’re feeling you’re not achieving the results you’d hoped.

This can be anything from not receiving many commissions, few followers on your social media or blog. However,  there’s something you need to grasp and understand to avoid the negative taking over and embrace the postive.

The way to do that is by seeing the potential in what you do and here’s how you do just that :

Step one : Grab a piece of paper ( big or small depending how big your aspirations are and the projects your currently working on)

Step two : With a pen in hand write down all the things your currently doing on your journey for creative success . This can be anything from  running your own blog  to making a website, product and more.

Step three: Ask yourself ” Where could this lead” and what could your efforts doing that one thing achieve? So for example, you might realise that through starting a promotional illustration project could have the potential to  1. build your portfolio , 2. acquire you a commission, 3. create a series of mock products or 4. content for blog posts .

Step four : Visual the list of things you’ve written down.  You should by now have a list of bullet points under each heading for the projects you’ve started. If there’s fewer points as to where your efforts could lead with the project revaluate why your doing it. Is there something you aren’t doing that could be beneficial to your creative venture or is there something to change?

As long as you see the potential in yourself and all that you do I am sure you will achieve your creative aspirations and goals.  If  you give up now whose going to know you are and the talent you have to share?

Image by designer Emmanuelle Colin  you can find out more about their work here.

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Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at
Thomas James

Posted by Thomas James on 09/07/14 under artists
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