I recently read a book by cartoonist Hugh Macleod titled “Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity.” The book was a brief, comical, and incredibly worthwhile read highlighting 40 lessons Macleod has learned over the years working in creative industries. After reading the book, I found some of my favorites and thought I’d share my insights.
1) Ignore Everybody
In a field where feedback is key, this can seem like an odd idea. Paying attention to constructive critiques and taking inspiration from other design is part of the process. Macleod means that when you have a great idea, it can often change the balance between you and your peers. As a result sometimes your favorite ideas will get a lot of early questioning. Macleod stresses the importance of an artist having a well formed idea, and keeping the goal of the design in mind throughout the work.
2) Keep Your Day Job
I’m planning on working more than one job at a time in the coming years. Some people see this as a bad thing, for a while the idea of having to work a job and freelance on the side was intimidating to me as well. But Macleod’s perspective is that keeping a more steady (even if slightly boring) job is more than worth it.
First of all keeping a steady job means steady income, never a bad thing. But also it means that all of the jobs you take on the side can be the most most fun jobs, where you can keep your original ideas your own. By having both as a source of income, both become relatively low pressure because you aren’t entirely dependent on either.
3) Honesty Works
This one is simple. He is saying that people know when they’re being sold to, and tend to really hate it. When someone is speaking to a crowd, it’s different than having a personal conversation with them. This is true for your ideas too. The strongest ideas speak for themselves. When an idea is great the truth is most convincing, and it doesn’t need selling.