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This article reprinted from John T. Unger's Art Heroes. The original article can be found online:
© 2010, John T Unger
Art Heroes Review
Every artist knows the feeling of looking at a blank page and freezing like a deer in the headlights. When you can do whatever you want, sometimes it's damn hard to choose what to do. Starting a new work of art is always exciting, but sometimes constraints are your best friend when comes to moving forward with assurance. Focus not only makes it easier to move forward, it often allows you to do so more quickly, with greater poise and balance.
Opportunities have a lot in common with the blank page. When choosing between options— whether career direction, personal development, or wild things that come out of the blue— it's easy to cease forward motion altogether. A great opportunity can be a trap if it causes you to lose focus on the work you're invested in, the direction you've chosen. Especially when the opportunity sounds like it may support your goals if only you divide your time. Freelancing, commissions, starting a side business and similar opportunities can tempt you into believing that with some additional income, you'll have more time to work on your art. More often they just add reasons not to get out in the studio.
More than anything else, doing what you want to do comes from not quitting until it takes off. Success only looks instant later. As an artist, you always need the creative challenge of doing new things, but don't allow yourself to be distracted from your art by the temptations of opportunities that don't match your long term goals.
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