Is there something shameful about achieving a goal through effort, especially when that effort involves self-promotion?
That’s the impression I have when I hear from people who have “made it.” Last week an illustrator was sharing with a group of students how he got his work featured in coveted publications like The New York Times and The New Yorker. He presented it as if, “I was doing the work I love and then it was featured in these publications.”
What about all those steps in between, I wondered? Or was it as magical as it sounded?
So I raised my hand and asked, kind of provocatively, “And you didn’t have to do anything to get it into those publications?”
That’s when he told the rest of the story, about how he practically stalked the editor and how assertively he followed up and pitched his work until he got what he was after.
A-ha! I knew it!
I don’t think this illustrator was deliberately or maliciously hiding the effort. I suspect it’s less conscious than that, as if there’s something shameful if we actually have to work at what we achieve.
We seem to want to believe there’s magic involved. Why? (If you know, tell me.)
And watch the latest video interview with someone who knows how much effort is involved, Jason Fried of Basecamp. It’s part of an innovative new partnership, HOW Design Live@SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design). Watch that video here.
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