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10 Differences Between an Amateur Artist and a Professional Artist

10 Differences Between an Amateur Artist and a Professional Artist

As artists, we shouldn’t be careless with our works. Somehow we dedicate ourselves and want to show the world we are something. At the end our work is our legacy. Here are things that differentiate us from the amateurs.

1. An amateur never sticks to schedule; a professional is always on time.

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.”

—Pablo Picasso

An amateur artist only shows up when he feels like it. He doesn’t maintain a regular work ethic and is never consistent. But professionals put themselves to work on days they don’t feel like it. Whether they feel like it or not, they show up to work.

2. An amateur feels he is good enough; a professional knows he is never good enough.

“The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.”

—Ezra Pound

While an amateur stagnates and becomes overconfident of his ability, a professional knows there is still a lot to learn and improve upon. Professionals empty themselves and want to get better at their craft and are never too proficient to accept corrections.

3. An amateur is in a hurry; a professional is always patient.

“Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful.”

—Duane Hanson

An amateur wants to get the job done as quickly as possible. Sometimes this may mean they access seemingly shorter and unlawful routes to get them to their destination. But the professional knows that brilliance and excellence requires patience.

4. An amateur is easily distracted; a professional is focused on the goal.

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”

—Junot Diaz

The professional wants to finish something and he will commit himself to completing a task before moving on to the next one. They are not distracted by doubters, negative talk or other exciting offers. They focus. But the amateur cannot finish one assignment before jumping to another one.

5. An amateur doesn’t connect; a professional connects.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

—Thomas Merton

An amateur isolates himself from every other person within his network. He is arrogant and presumptuous and feels networking is not important. But the professional sees the need to network and connect with his peers to improve the quality of his art.

6. An amateur doesn’t take himself seriously; a professional sees his art as his reason for existence.

”When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.”

—Keith Haring

His art may be a hobby or simply a side thing. He doesn’t see it as a way to contribute to humanity and to existence. He is simply content with being known as a part-time artist. A professional breathes and lives his works. He cannot imagine doing any other thing or having another career.

7. An amateur believes in big outcomes; a professional doesn’t mind starting small.

“I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.”

—Robert Henri

An amateur wants quick gains and always believes he deserves more than he is getting. But a professional keeps on going regarding the outlook or prospects of his present commitment. He wants to get better and wants to offer the world something and it really is not about what the world has to offer him/her.

8. An amateur doesn’t pay attention to the detail; a professional is concerned about every detail.

”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

—Steven Pressfield

An amateur wants to get the job done and doesn’t see how one piece of the artwork could make a difference. But the professional gives everything to a particular task and keeps on going to make sure the work shows his brilliance and class.

9. An amateur is concerned about what other people think; a professional is self aware.

“Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.”

—Jean-Luc Godard

An amateur can’t really quantify his product. Rather the product quantifies him. He listens to critics and could be confused or dampened by their comments. The professional looks for self accomplishment first. He/she wants to feel validated from within rather than from the outer world.

10. An amateur waits for inspiration; a professional hunts for it.

“To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.”

—Pablo Picasso

An amateur is always waiting for everything to be perfect before he gets going. He complains that his “wow” moment is simply not coming often. The professional knows that inspiration exists everywhere. Because he is self aware, he knows how to tap into it.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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