Start With a Commitment to Consistency
This week I have one of my good friends and role models on the show, Bob Ewing. Bob and I go back a couple years and he’s been someone in the creative community that really shines as an example of one who shows consistency, craftsmanship and is all about building relationships.
Currently, he is an Art Director for Element Three, Co-Founder of Inch x Inch, a talented letterer and illustrator, kick-ass dad and husband and you can catch him speaking at Creative South here in a few weeks.
Bob is the man and I think you’re going to soak up a lot of gold that he has to offer in pushing your creativity to that next level.
Learning to Draw Again
He committed himself to letter something every day whether it was 5 minutes or 5 hours—it didn’t matter except that he was drawing and lettering again.
Instagram became his tool of choice to hold himself accountable and to build an archive. His account started off private but eventually, he shared his work every day with the #hashtaglettering tag.
I first discovered Bob as he kept popping up in my feed and the consistency is what I noticed. When I talk consistent, I mean he extended this lettering daily commitment to a whopping 534 days in a row! Incredible right?
fell in love became obsessed with the process and now everything he does starts with pencil / pen and paper.
Simple, Attainable Goal
Bob’s goal was simple and attainable, draw and post to Instagram—that’s it. He made it winnable and not complex which so many of us seem to do the opposite when starting off. The continuation of the goal clearly made him better, but there were challenges along the way.
Mainly these issues revolved around:
- lack of motivation
- lack of inspiration
Many times he reluctantly posted because he wasn’t happy with the piece, but the goal was simple: get it posted. This wasn’t about perfection.
Finding time was a factor as Bob is a family man with 2 kids and a wife while still trying to squeeze in freelance in there too. However, Bob is a great example of scratching that creative itch while still having a family and day job.
Sometimes he would be searching for words and inspiration which would waste time he could be working. He solved that problem by building an ongoing word list he could pull from each day without thinking. Similar to the Collecting Your Ideas & Building a Gold Reserve Episode 29.
No matter the challenge, Bob stuck with his commitment and it paid off in his craftsmanship and career.
His consistency I feel has skyrocketed him into a household name in the creative community. He now speaks and teaches workshops at conferences and events. He collaborates with some of the biggest names in the industries through Inch x Inch as mentioned in Episode 27.
It all stemmed from a consistent commitment to drawing again.
Quantity Leads to Quality
A theory from the book Art & Fear exclaims that your best work is found by doing your work and doing a lot of it.
This was the case for Bob.
He states, “Whatever you’re starting isn’t going to be great, it’s rare you’re going to be great from the start.” You can see this in his day 1 #hashtaglettering to day 534.
It takes a lot of bad work to get to your best work and by making an effort to improve ever day, you’ll get to your best work much quicker.
It seems like Bob is chopping it up with pretty much every I idolize in the creative industry. He’s an extrovert and a people person and it shows in his commitment to building relationships with people in the creative community.
He’s in this for the people as he states, “It’s amazing the relationships you make in the design world. We are lucky to do this for a living. A lot of good comes from feedback and connecting on a deeper level and building relationships.”
However, building relationships outside of the design community are just as important as well. You need those escapes and outlets from the creating world so he puts a lot of time building relationships locally too.
Comparison & Answers
I asked Bob to leave you with a parting word of advice to a fellow creative who get’s wrapped up in comparison.
He states, “You can’t compare yourself to otter’s as no one will create or look at work the way you look at it. You have your own experiences that no one else has.”
Instead of dealing with jealousy and the envy of comparison, he flips it on its head by celebrating others and their work. He does this by sharing people’s work through Dribbble which counterattacks the comparison trap.
A concept he pulled from Chase Jarvis talks about so many of us looking for outside answers to create our best work. When in reality, the answers to our questions are inside of us.
At the end of the day, it all begins and end with you.
- Make your goal simple and attainable when starting off.
- Ditch the complexity and make your goal simple. Perfection isn’t the purpose.
- It takes a lot of bad work to get to your best work.
- Battle jealousy and comparison by celebrating others and sharing their work.
- The answers you are looking for are inside you.