The transcript of this is video is already going viral, but I thought I'd include it here as well, since the first two minutes hold some of the best advice to beginning artists and designers. I have to admit that before I watched this video I had no idea who Ira Glass is. He is the producer of the National Public Radio show This American Life and a bit of a celebrity in the U.S.
"What nobody tells people who are beginners and I really wish someone had told this to me (..) is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. (..) But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through."
Ira Glass is talking about his own work as a producer, but his advice applies to any creative endeavour. And yes, I wish I'd seen or read this earlier...
Update: A kinetic typography video of an edit of just the first two minutes of the original video.