Morning with Farmer and Pitchfork; His Wife Riding a Donkey and Carrying a Basket. By: Vincent van Gogh

Morning with Farmer and Pitchfork; His Wife Riding a Donkey and Carrying a Basket. By: Vincent van Gogh

On Think Jar Collective, creativity author Michael Michalko examines the work ethic of artist Vincent van Gogh. He persistently labored on his craft every single day; creating over 2000 sketches and paintings within a decade. He understood that improving your skills through hard work furthered your ability more than having talent and not employing it. Here are the key lessons Michalko learned from van Gogh:

  1. Get started: Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. “Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile,” said van Gogh.
  2. Do the work: Commit to your goals and go through the motions to achieve it – whether the outcome is good or bad. Vincent van Gogh believed if you do nothing, you are nothing.
  3. Work for yourself: The longer you work and figure things out for yourself, the more active your brain becomes. An active brain is a more creative brain.  

Vincent van Gogh did not resolve to become an artist until his late twenties. His cousin, a successful artist, even suggested van Gogh choose a different profession because he possessed no natural talent. It was through sheer work and perseverance that he became the artist that we know him as today. 

  • PatsyCastillo

    Trying to get there.

  • BMJT

    Natural talent is a sure-fire myth, or at the very least its influence is wildly over-exaggerated. Really wish we would stop harking on about it, it can really kill people’s motivation and ambitions, when hard work will almost certainly be enough to get you there.

  • Madeliene Rose

    Van Gogh is the ultimate penniless artist…It was sheer passion and determination — not financial security — that drove him to paint. This is something very few people do because it is scary…

  • tomas__86

    if you save the image before clicking on it on allposters, you don’t get the watermark

  • Natella Mammadova

    Those are really great lessons! Van Gogh inspires me to work every single day now 🙂

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