I've had this list half written on my desktop for ages, and thought now would be a good time to post it! Especially given how slack I've been in terms of giving back to the blog community of late. Enjoy!
1) Start somewhere, anywhere. Create and output as much as possible. Creativity is a skill that requires practice and more practice. That guy you know who's a fantastic drawer - he's been drawing and doodling since the age of three. Same with that girl who's a fantastic pianist. Practice.
2) Start a blog. This is fantastic for feedback and support, and also helps to motivate you to make/draw/design stuff to appear on it.
3) Do a short course to build up basic technical skills. Eg for my medium: Illustrator is always handy, or Photoshop. So long as you have the basics you can build your skills on the go. And/or google something if you don't know how to do it :)
4) Do lots of research. Keep a folder of inspiring things. Try imitating the things you like - it's not copying because you'll change it with your own unique style (however if it does end up too similar make sure you credit the original and don't try to make money off it!)
5) Talk to other creative folk. Don't interpret 'thinky' or shy as standoffish. Some creative folk can seem hard to approach because they seem all 'too cool for school'. More likely they're just off wandering in their minds somewhere and are actually really nice people. Although there are some
6) Drink lots of water! (well, not too much). It's good for the brain. I freak out if I leave the house without my water bottle as much as when I forget my lip balm ;)
7) Don't eat crap. Eat a balanced diet that includes protein and good fats - these are just as important as eating your veggies! There's nothing worse than sugar highs and lows to ruin your productivity and put you in a grumpy mood.
8) Take small, measured risks to get where you want to go. If you can find a way to make small batch units of something, that's always good. Then you can build up from there.
9) Surround yourself with supportive people. Don't go showing your early artwork to that person you're desperate to impress but you know doesn't appreciate creative things. It'll only discourage you and grow those seeds of doubt like "oh but I'm just NOT a creative person!". You are!
10) Don't undersell yourself (or your peers!) when it comes to pricing! A good rule is to always make sure your product is wholesaleable. You must be able to divide your retail price in half and still make a profit! Here's a good simple formula:
(Labour + Materials) + 100% markup = Wholesale Price*
Wholesale Price + 100% markup = Retail Price.**
* - because you still need to make some profit even if you outsource your 'making'.
** - because retailers almost always want to mark things up by 100%
It's therefore good to retail for a similar price to your (potential) wholesale customers, so you're not undercutting them.
The end! Would love to hear thoughts, feedback and additions to the list :)