This Advice Will Save Your (Creative) Life

For my first contribution to the site, I thought I’d start with the single best piece of advice I could ever give a creator.

You’re never as good as you think you are. And you’re never as bad as you think you are.

When you’re really impressing yourself with your work and starting to get a little big-headed, like you’re something special, here’s a reality check. You’re not.


You’ve done a great piece of work and you’re really happy with it. You SHOULD feel good. You SHOULD feel proud of it. Savor that feeling. Enjoy it. Because, honestly, that feeling doesn’t come along very often.

But don’t let it go to your head — and at first, you probably won’t even notice when it does. You’re not one of the top ten artists on deviantart, or one of the five best pencillers not working for Marvel Comics, or whatever other delusional title you bestow on yourself when you’re really happy with your work.


On the same note though, when you’re beating yourself up and second-guessing the piece you’re working on — which invariably leads to: Am I good enough to draw comics? Should I be drawing period? Am I even cut out to do anything creative at all? Do I deserve to even be breathing oxygen? — You’re never even CLOSE to that bad.

Whether you think you’ve got it all figured out, or you’re thinking of throwing in the towel, all you really need is a little perspective.

Best of luck!


You can see more of Gabe Bridwell’s work at www.gabebridwell.com.



8 Responses to “This Advice Will Save Your (Creative) Life”

  1. Cory Kerr

    I love this. I can’t remember when I heard it first, but it is truly solid advice. I feel like it applies to the best and the worst pages I draw.

  2. Clifford VanMeter

    The best advice I could ever give an aspiring comics artist is, “marry for money.” Virtually every artist I worked with at Valiant in the ’90s no longer works in comics. They’ve moved to animation, story boarding, advertising, and other far more lucrative illustration careers.

  3. Keith

    You are your best when you are staying productive, whether its new work or practice. If you find your self stoping long enough to start judging yourself you aren’t being productive any more. Assess your work without attachment to it and keep producing (practice or otherwise). Art is a verb. It’s an act not a thing. The goal should always be how can you learn more improve your skill to better express yourself, and communicate what you see.

  4. GemGfx

    A very sound piece of advice Indeed. It is a good idea, but difficult practice, to be your own worst critic and to constantly make sure that you always see room for improvement in your work.


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