Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What Do You Really Want?

Tangential World Cup reference: Keisuke Honda wanted a goal against Camaroon. Read the post and the link between the World Cup and art will be made more clear (hopefully).

What do you really want?

This seems like a bit of a silly question, but how often do you sit down and ask yourself "what do I really want?" As seemingly simple as this question is, it is completely vital to you and following your dream.

Knowing exactly what you want is vital in getting it. If you don't have a concrete goal, how are you ever going to reach it? If you're not sure on the metrics of achieving something, how are you going to know if you achieved it?

Having a concrete goal is super important as it a) allows you to focus on what you want and b) gives you a measuring stick to figure out what you want. If your abstract goal is something like "I want to be a famous illustrator," you're not being specific enough. What happens if you're an illustrator who is famous for being Time magazine's "Worst Illustrator of the Century"? Would that make you happy? Chances are, the answer is no. We're sure what you were thinking of is that you want to be an illustrator that is widely respected and can choose what clients to work for and is in high demand and are making a ton of money. But even then, you're being too abstract.

What do you really want?

What does it mean to be "widely respected?" Respected by a large group of cod fisherpeople from around the world? Or do you mean to be asked by Ringling, Art Center, and the School of Visual Arts to come teach seminars on illustration? If you mean the latter, then that's a concrete goal.

"What Do You Really Want?" is a question that we all have to keep asking ourselves, as your goals can change. Whether they change because you find that you don't want it anymore, of that it was a goal that you think you've missed (more on these later), it's okay. The most important thing is to have a concrete goal that you're prioritizing and making progress towards on a daily basis.

What do you really want?

Once you figure this out, you'll put your brain in the right place to start to figure out ways of making your dream a reality. If you really want to be hired as an illustrator for Magic:the Gathering cards, what do you need to do? Well, you'll need to get a portfolio together, and maybe some research as to the art director is for M:tG at Wizards of the Coast would be a good idea. Are there other artists who you know that might be able to recommend you, or give you info as to the best way to submit your art? Maybe checking out the Wizards website on submission info? Hiring practices? Lots of smaller, simpler steps can be quickly figured out once you answer the question and get a concrete goal in mind.

Do you want to take the Blue Samurais to the World Cup finals? If you do and your name is Keisuke Honda, you bust your ass and train hard and you score a goal against the favored Camaroon team in your opening Group match. Hopefully you will also score a goal against the Denmark team to make your way into the next round, but if you don't, you'll do your best to make sure someone else scores (or at the very least you'll put enough pressure on Denmark to make sure that they don't score and you tie and end up moving on due to goal differentials).

Whether it's World Cup soccer or illustration, whether it's quitting your day job or cooking, you can't realize a dream until you figure out what exactly that dream is. Really, figuring out what you really want is half of the battle. Granted, the other half of the battle is following through, but you can't follow through with a plan that you don't know.

What do you really want? Figure that out, and you'll be one step closer to realizing whatever it is that you want. If you'd like to have our support and make a declaration of your intent, tell us what you want in the comments. Seriously, what do you really want?

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