Three and a Half Lessons I’m Learning

I’ve learned a lot in the past eleven years of working as a designer and photographer. But just when you think you know it all you’re faced with a new challenge and realize you really don’t know as much as you thought. Here are three and a half things that I’ve noted for myself which I hope you find useful as well.
1. Treat yourself how you’d like to be treated.
Being an artist or creative doesn’t exempt you from making smart business decisions. Educate yourself, use a good contract or agreement, set clear parameters and expectations for each project, copyright your work, find help when you need it, and don’t justify making bad decisions because you’re an artist.

2. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have if you don’t use it wisely.
Don’t make assumptions that could end up costing you. Protect yourself and use your best judgment because you may end up saving yourself a lot of stress and hardship in the long run.

3. Trust your instincts and those around you who have your best interest in mind.
Look to those around you when you doubt yourself. Encouraging support from family, friends, and your colleagues can make all the difference.

3.5. Movie quotes can be very helpful, like this one in particular…
“Sometimes you’re flush and sometimes you’re bust, and when you’re up, it’s never as good as it seems, and when you’re down, you never think you’ll be up again, but life goes on.” – Blow (Ted Demme, 2001)

In no way are these ideas new and I certainly haven’t mastered them. Sometimes it just helps to be reminded because it’s usually easy to think in hindsight of how we could have handled a situation better but it is rarely easy when you’re in the thick of it. Good luck out there and feel free to comment below.
Thanks for reading,
Juan Luis

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