Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Tad Carpenter, talented illustrator, designer and educator from Kansas City, Missouri. His colorful, vibrant work has been featured in Chronicle Books, Target, Macy’s, MTV, and Adobe, just to name a select few and his enthusiasm for all things creative is certainly contagious. A lot of Tad’s story really resonated with my own. A Midwest only child, raised by two artists, now designing and illustrating throughout the day and teaching at his alma mater in the evenings. He even told childhood stories of running through the halls of Hallmark while his father worked. I can recall sitting in my father’s office as he sketched at American Greetings.
Needless to say, I left the speaking engagement feeling inspired and so incredibly thankful to be a part of this amazing artistic community and I want you to feel just the same! So in hopes of sparking this enthusiasm in you and your work, I thought I would share a few tips I took away from Tad (paraphrased my moi)…
1. Play is important. Roll up your sleeves and try new things.
2. Embrace all realms of creative expression–most go hand-in-hand.
3. Take risks. If you don’t create what crazy, wonderful ideas you have in your head, who will?
4. Don’t let the work get “un-fun.” Life is too short to do anything but your passion.
5. Read “Orbiting the Giant Hairball.”
6. Learn to let go. Projects won’t always go the way you dreamt but that’s the nature of the business. Don’t let those clients get in the way of future ground-breakers.
7. The harder you work, the “luckier” you’ll get.
8. Exercise…unrelated, but nonetheless, good advice.
9. Hold on tight to your Midwest values (or whatever values were instilled in you from wherever you’re from).
10. We get to do this for a living. Embrace it and love every moment of it.