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3 Steps to Start Something New - Shifting Carrier ② Issue #3

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In the previous issue, I wrote about my experience of starting to shift my carrier to the fine art fi
 
November 3 · Issue #3 · View online
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In the previous issue, I wrote about my experience of starting to shift my carrier to the fine art field. I learned the fact that you can’t carry everything you made in the past to your next carrier. It was emotionally difficult when I got through as my thing.
In this issue, I broke down what I did to get ready to shift my carrier in 3 steps.

1. Research
Your research starts from setting yourself up in a new environment that relates to your next direction. And then find what to research further.
When I lived in Brussels 6 years ago, I had no idea how to get into the fine art industry. I asked my fine artist friend what I should do to get out from the clueless state. Here’s what he told me.
Put yourself in an art-related environment. Work in a shared studio, go to art events and make artist friends. 
I wasn’t 100% convinced by the idea back then. I was like, “But I just need to get to know with potential business partners”. So instead of following his advice, I had been trying to figure out by myself; searching the Internet.
But I was wrong.
I stuck up in a loop of uncertainty, and I ended up running in the circuit for years and years. So I finally lift my ass to follow his advice — I flew to Berlin, signed up for my place in an artists’ studio. But a part of me was still sceptical about it - like, “Only changing environment won’t change anything about me.”
However, after a few weeks, I noticed that I was getting out from the circuit. It’s because I got clarity of what I wanted to do and what I should do. I learnt it though being with other artists, seeing what they do and discussing many things with them.
2. Do & Make
Probably that’s the toughest part for a perfectionist like me. I got a creative block for a few years (and still am, but I see the light of the exit.)
Being a perfectionist way too much, I didn’t allow myself to make something “shitty”. It’s OK to be poor at something at first, but I couldn’t think in that way for myself. My kind studio mate saw me stuck in a frustration and silently sent me these links.
Do: Sol LeWitt’s Electrifying Letter of Advice on Self-Doubt, Overcoming Creative Block, and Being an Artist – Brain Pickings Do: Sol LeWitt’s Electrifying Letter of Advice on Self-Doubt, Overcoming Creative Block, and Being an Artist – Brain Pickings
Benedict Cumberbatch reads one of those letters.
It was totally mind blowing. What I do since then is to follow LeWitt’s advice, keep on making bad, terrible experimental artworks. But which truly means not to judge your stuff while you’re making it.
Judging and doing must be done separately. If you mixed up both of them wrong, it could be very toxic for your creativity.
Just find yourself enjoy doing and making. No worries, you must face harsh reality on the next step anyway! 😂
3. Get feedback From Right People
When you get your networks, peers and friends to help you out with your carrier shifting, next step is to create your stuff and get feedback.
This is the benefit of being in the right surroundings. People around you will give you the right feedback when you humbly ask them the right questions.
How to ask the right question to get the right feedback
It’s simple. Never use the word “feedback”. I saw quite a few people made this common mistake; they brought their ‘finished work’ and then asked me “Can you give me feedback?” or “what do you think?”. I was like, “OK, but about which part you want to improve, or you justwant a compliment or approval?”
It’s difficult to give feedback especially to creative pieces. Since what person A consider bad might look good on person B’s eye. So It’s essential to find a question before you ask. 
When you ask for feedback, use phrases such as —
“I’m thinking about doing in this way, but how do you usually deal with ___? “
“This is what I did so far. But I feel stuck. How would you move it forward?”
Afterword & Take Away
In the previous email, “Do” was the last item and “feedback” was the second one. At the end, it’s hard to tell which is first. The point is, iteration is key. It’s a very time consuming process to change carrier or direction.
What do you want to read next?
How was Shifting Carrier series? I hope you enjoy reading this issue as I enjoyed writing it.
Please hit a reply to this email to let me know what you want to read or see next. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
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Talk to you soon,
Yuko
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