Snippets of creative wisdom to start the year off right

With 2023 approaching, we take a look at the best advice given to us by creative entrepreneurs.

Open and closed notebooks on top of a desk with colorful pens.

We’re nearing the end of 2022 and what better time to start looking ahead? You may have promised yourself you’ll work on your business, set new goals or advance your career. Perhaps you’ve even jotted down a few resolutions

But it’s harder said than done to keep up with them – and before you know it, you’re back to where you started. So with that in mind, we took a look back at some of our favorite success stories with creative entrepreneurs for advice on how to achieve their goals and stay on track. Learn from some of the best in the business and ensure 2023 is your best year yet.

“Find balance and have a schedule”

Christen Danielle Robinson is a multifaceted artist, who trained as a graphic designer and painter at the University of South Alabama. We talked to Robinson about choosing mediums, goal-setting and knowing her value as an artist. 

When asked about creating a powerful body of work as a young creative, she advises: “find balance and have a schedule. I think what helps me stay on track and allows me to work in multiple areas of art is having a plan. You can spend five hours stressing about all of the things you have to do in a day or you can plan the day before by writing out your tasks and allowing yourself a certain amount of time to work on each task.

Abstract colorful painting by Christen Robinson

“By doing this, you won’t get overloaded, but instead, you feel a sense of accomplishment from sticking to your plan and seeing results. You can be talented in numerous things, but if you are not organized and on top of things it’s easy to get lost. Also, stay connected with people who like to do what you do.”

“Keep making art”

Ashley Minner, a Baltimore-based community artist, spoke to us about fostering connections through storytelling and the benefits of branding yourself. She kept her advice nice, simple and to the point: “Keep making art!” And we couldn’t agree more.

We also spoke with The Lead’s CEO Noah Gellman about the future of retail and the value of authenticity. The Lead started in 2018 with a small gathering of about sixty fashion and tech industry insiders over breakfast. Now, the business event brings together more than 1,700 people from the fashion and retail community and a hundred stand-out speakers from the largest and most influential companies.

Speakers on stage at The Lead Innovation Summit
Credit: Sara Kerens

“Everything in life is about authenticity”

On standing out as a business, he told us, “I believe that everything in life is about authenticity. Know your Northstar, your values, and your mission and live by it daily. The universe will open the doors for you and that’s how you will stand out – at a conference and beyond.” 

“Push through and keep going”

We also spoke with Alexis Sanders earlier this year about her online bakery, D’Luxe Sweets, and giving back as a business. But her advice for aspiring business owners really focused on never giving up. “Having a business can be very rewarding, though at times running or starting a business can be very disheartening and downright frustrating. Those are the times when it’s imperative to push through and keep going.”

You Are Not Alone is a community-based art project, which launched in New York City back in 2019. We spoke to the founders, long-time friends Annica Lydenberg and Samantha Schutz, about their project, creativity and how art can help our mental health. 

You Are Not Alone postcards with various designs

“Creativity is like opening a release valve”

They shared, “One way or another, our emotions are going to find a way to come out. In the short term, it might seem like bottling them up is a way to dodge painful feelings, but that builds pressure – and eventually, there’s going to be an explosion. For me, creativity is like opening a release valve just a little bit at a time.”

“Maintain a strong presence”

Some other words of creative wisdom came from William Reed, a teacher, writer, public speaker and Japanophile. Committed to sharing his knowledge of Japan and the arts, he advises aspiring authors to “maintain a strong presence in both digital and print media. […] Digital access and distribution are highly efficient and visible, but you need to connect with readers to create longevity for your book and your personal brand.”

SistersInc host Alisa Gumbs with her guest Charis Jones

“It’s ok to care”

And finally, Alisa Gumbs of SistersInc talked to us about building your business as a black woman and the importance of community. When discussing business through a feminine lens, she says, “It’s ok to care. Talk about things, ask how people are doing, and try to find solutions. Don’t just say ‘that’s their personal problem.’ In terms of women’s leadership, I think that empathy is something that hopefully will transform and become part of overall work culture.”

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