Sometimes we as creators can be our worst enemy. We obsess over the perfection of our art, can be hesitant to change or alter our way of thinking, and just overall self-sabotage ourselves. I am a prime example of this. Fortunately I am also a fan of growth.

There are hundreds of thousands of practical articles and blog posts floating around the Internet on how to jump-start/advance your creative career. These resources are valid and should regularly be utilized. Then there are those that can help the person behind the art. These are just as necessary.

Here are some practical reminders to keep you on the right track.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

It’s perfectly fine to admire the work of others. It is not okay to measure the effectiveness or validity of your art based on theirs.

There is a creative perspective that only you can bring forth, and it’s up to you to discover what it is and make it happen.

Never Stop Learning

I have a bachelor’s degree in Music Business with a concentration in Recording Arts, yet I am a regular reader of Music Think Tank and Recording Revolution. I literally taught myself WordPress based on tutorials I found on the Internet, and Adobe InDesign based on YouTube videos.

There’s always something new to discover in every craft. There are workshops, seminars, YouTube videos and many other free or inexpensive resources out there that will help push you forward. All you have to do is look for them.

Always Back Up Your Work

There’s no sight like a 17-year-old black kid crying like an infant in the middle of a Best Buy parking lot in Merrillville, Indiana. Why, you ask? Because I took my computer in to fix the headphone jack and they wiped my hard drive in the process.

If that didn’t teach me, losing another year’s worth of work when my computer crashed did. The next purchase I made was an external hard drive.

If your art is computer-based, regularly back up your files onto an external hard drive. If it isn’t computer-based, at least take photos and back those up. Always err on the side of safety, because anything could happen.

Never Assume You Know Everything

I let my lifeguard certification lapse about 8 years ago. While looking into renewing it, I discovered that the CPR methods I was taught have been replaced and are no longer valid.

Rules and laws are always changing, especially in the entertainment industry. Regardless of how much we’ve achieved or how well we’ve perfected something, there’s always room for growth and none for arrogance.

Pride comes before the fall, and ignorance will keep you broke.

Never Fear Asking For Help

Coming from someone who tends to self-isolate and teach myself things to avoid depending on others, this is something I still struggle with, but I’m getting better at it. Sometimes it’s best to work alone, but no one can do everything on their own.

Reinventing the wheel is a waste of time, especially if that isn’t what your passion is. If you need help with something, ask for it. Closed mouths don’t get fed.



Orondé Jenkins is a multidisciplinary artist and media consultant based in Nashville. No Average Journey was born out of his desire to help artists grow in their lives and careers.