Top Ten Ingredients for Creative Success

What do you need to produce extraordinary images and succeed in your professional creative pursuits?

1: Talent

This is the foundation. If you are serious about a creative career, you have to start with talent. You can develop it and complement it with great tools, but you have to start with the real goods or you will not succeed.

2: Budget

Get somebody to pay you for your work. It may be large or small, but if you’re not getting paid, it’s just a hobby.

3: Inspiration

Inspiration is the fuel of the creative person. Seek it everywhere. Use your camera. Go for a walk. Listen to music. Brainstorm. Drink good coffee. Try to be influenced by everything.

4: Originality

Bring something unique to every project. Be afraid to imitate others, and unafraid to be yourself.

5: Understanding

Get to know your audience, your product, and your specific goals clearly. Research and make notes. Then refer to your notes so you don’t lose sight of the big picture. Once you are focused, you can relax and trust your instincts.

6: Enthusiasm

Have fun and pour yourself into your work. Keep yourself interested. Pursue the kind of work you enjoy, and then don’t forget to enjoy it. Look for variety. Don’t become more specialized than you want to be.

7: Perspective

Stay cool, trust yourself and don’t take it too seriously.  Ignore the panic around you. People will seek the one who hasn’t lost his mind. Do an ego check. Make your current project- the bird in the hand- your first priority.

8: Flexibility

Be open to new ideas, and don’t be limited by specific instructions. Explore the limits of each project. Go too far (you can always come back). Adapt. Expand. Contract. Resist pressure to conform. Bring your clients gently along as you make their project as good as it can be.

9: Experience

There are no shortcuts here. Pay attention. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. Make every experience an asset for the future. Never stop learning.

10: Relationships

You need the commitment and support of other people. You can only go so far as a solo act. Build solid enjoyable relationships with clients, collaborators, and employees that you respect.