Creative Courage

henri matisse art quote

I was reminded of this quote by Henri Matisse yesterday afternoon as I was speaking with several of my senior illustration students. There are only 5 more weeks until graduation and the uncertainty of their future is weighing heavy on them.

It’s not an easy transition to go from student to professional artist. It takes courage and belief in yourself and in your creative abilities. There will always be doubt—about whether this solution is the right one or whether a career as a freelance illustrator is the right choice. This is where courage is valuable. Courage pushes you to try. How do you know unless you give it a shot? The first step is to connect with people in the creative industries: Call art directors. Mail promo cards. Submit work to competitions. Do it all to begin to build a name for yourself and your artwork. Don’t be shy. Be brave! At the start it will be a bumpy road, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth all the effort. With determination, hard work, and some courage, the life of the illustrator can be greatly rewarding.