Here a You, There a You …
Thank goodness you are less unique than they told you.
*This is part 3 of a series. Read parts 1 and 2 here.
You’re special. You’re unique. You’re one of a kind.
Yes, all true, but then again not really. If we were all completely different from one another, how would any business succeed? Every individual would need every experience and every product tailored to meet their very specific tastes. Fortunately, this is not the case— we like a lot of the same stuff: movies, food, games, products of all shapes and sizes. We form clubs, we collect, and we seek out fellow fans.
Even if you think your interests are incredibly narrow— unusually particular — I guarantee there are others out there who share them, and now, thanks to the internet, you can all find each other fairly easily.
I believe this: if there is a product, service, or concept you want to introduce to the world, no matter how specifically tailored to your own interests or desires, there will be an audience for it (and it’s probably larger than you think). I would say this goes double for a product, service, or concept you can introduce to the world that solves a problem for which you have found no solution.
That is why my brushes business worked. I was frustrated with the default brushes in Photoshop and did not care for the brush sets floating around on the net. By designing brushes I loved for my own work, and solving my own problem, I was unknowingly solving a problem for hundreds of thousands of other digital artists. Once I figured that out, I was off to the races.
People who draw and paint in Photoshop do not comprise a large percentage of the global population. And people who care about custom brushes make up a still smaller portion of that group. But remember, a subgroup of the total number of digital artists in the entire world is still many, many thousands of people. And new people take up digital art every single day. So while I might not have been making something as universally coveted as, say, shampoo, it did not matter. I had my audience, and that audience was basically me. I initially thought I was unique and that the brushes I created for my own needs would not interest others. Wrong!
And that brings me back to the main point: design and build for yourself. You are the customer. If you make something that solves a problem for you, makes your personal or professional life a bit easier, then you can be certain it will appeal to others in the world.
After all, you’re not that unique. And that’s a good thing.
Thanks for reading. Next time, I’ll talk about conquering my fear of not getting things perfect. Until then, take care of yourselves, take care of each other, remember to be kind, and Ciao for now.
Free art resources for the week
Adobe Fresco, a free (and incredibly powerful) app for iPad and Windows. Ignore the pricing info on the landing screen - there is a totally free version of the app and it’s great. And guess what? I made all the brushes!
My absolute favorite mini-booklet on the rules of composition, Where to Put the Cow.
Getting started in digital painting? Check out the amazing free tutorials from Matt Kohr at CtrlPaint.
Try this meditative drawing exercise for slowing down your breathing. Check out my app, Lines of Zen for more of these.
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