In this session of the Make Creativity Pay Podcast, I talk to cartoonist and author Hugh MacLeod of GapingVoid Art about seeking industry approval, balancing creativity while keeping a business focus, and the importance of having a mission.
Besides being an extremely successful artist, Hugh is also the author of three fantastic bestselling books for creatives, “Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity”, “Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination”, and “Freedom Is Blogging In Your Underwear”.
He’s got a lot of great, humorous insights into making a living for artists, writers, musicians, and crafters of all kinds.
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In this episode you’ll learn:
- What are artists’ biggest fears around calling themselves entrepreneurs?
- Why the romantic view of being an artist is dangerous – and tiresome.
- Why Hugh says artists don’t realize how much the internet has changed their careers.
- Why “It’s much more fun to paddle your own canoe than to be invited onto somebody else’s yacht.”
- How Hugh’s parents inspired him and the “Ah-ha!” moment that guided how he built his entire career.
[2:10] Is every artist really an entrepreneur?
[2:27] Why artists aren’t subject to different rules than the rest of the world.
[4:14] Artists’ greatest fears about becoming true entrepreneurs.
[6:39] Why the romantic view of being an artist is dangerous – and tiresome.
[8:25] The birth of Hugh’s successful business model: finding 10,000 people to buy something from him every year.
[10:15] Why the best way to get industry approval is not to need it.
[12:17] How the internet allows you to take responsibility and why that’s important.
[14:17] Why “It’s much more fun to paddle your own canoe than to be invited onto somebody else’s yacht.”
[15:35] The advantages of having sovereignty over your work, and people valuing you for you.
[17:05] Life’s meaning when you no longer have sex, drugs, and rock & roll
[19:00] Why Hugh was terrified of working in a corporation for a living.
[20:42] Hugh talks about how and why he wants to make a contribution.
[21:18] Why galleries don’t bring out peoples’ best selves, and what does.
[22:45] When Hugh’s parents converted his bedroom to a daytime office and cashed in their savings to become entrepreneurs – and how that continues to inspire him today.
Links and Resources
Music featured on the podcast
“Dreaming of One Day” (c) 2011, written and performed by Leanne Regalla
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