A Lesson From Walt Disney's Life

Recently, I went through a biography of Walt Disney.

He was eventually an epic success, but before that and for most of his life he was an epic failure.

At first no one wanted what he had to offer -innovation in cartoon animation.

Once people loved what he was doing, no one conceived what the cost would be for making what he made. They underpaid him. Most of his first team of animators did it for free.

At every new juncture Walt steered a new course. Unfortunately, but fortunately he moved out of the artist's seat into a manager's seat. This was one of the costs of pursuing his dream.

Walt's brother Roy was the primary reason for Walt Disney's success. He knew how to handle money and people. Walt wasn't really good at either one to begin with. Arguably he never really did become great at being with people.

From Walt Disney's life we can see that achieving a dream at any point in history will come with a cost. Many work for free for years. Others sell their possessions, lose their families, and even walk away from God.

I don't advocate walking away from God or losing your family. Realize that some prices for success are not worth paying. And in reality not worth it ultimately in the end at that price.

But there are some prices worth paying. There are definitely risks that are valuable at the expense of pride. Humility is a seed most of us need more of.

I know and know of many artists who crave to do their craft full-time, but it just doesn't pay that well. The opportunities are not all that available. The pay isn't worth the time and effort. You can build something, but expect there to be a price.

For myself and others there are a plethora of teaching opportunities. This is one way to stay afloat during the lean years or beginning years of your career. Other avenues are graphic design, illustration, related creative fields -art supply stores, galleries, frame shops, and print shops. Fields unrelated to art numerous. You can always learn something from other jobs.

The important thing to remember when pursuing art as a career is that humility will get you further than you think. Your art career will come, but the reward may well be long-coming. 

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