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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.