What do you wish you knew when you were starting to do art more as a business?
That it is way easier to start earlier than later, when you have kids and stuff. Seriously, I wish I had the guts to do it earlier on.
I think a big thing for me would have been to cut out peripheral distractions. Like, have a moment where I sit down and go camping by myself or something. And just really ask myself the important questions. What do I want to do and what does that mean on a day-to-day basis?
Maybe I shouldn’t play basketball every single night for two hours with my friends. Maybe I should go into art. Maybe I should apply at different universities. Maybe I should start hanging out with this group of friends who have aligned interests more than these other people. Just asking more important, artistically existential questions early on.
I wish people talked to me earlier on about the concept of not undervaluing your own work.
There’s a lot of projects that I’ve worked on over the years that I felt like I wanted to charge X but I charged 50% of X for no reason other than a lack of confidence. I think having a better understanding of what the rest of the industry was charging would have prevented that a little bit.
A lot of times I looked at it with a scarcity mindset of, If I charge too much I’m not going to get the project. Which, in reality, is not always the case. So I charged less with the hopes of them saying, Oh, this is manageable.
I wish I just had a better understanding of that and I wish somebody would’ve put the idea into my head sooner that if your business is going well, reaching out for help from other people — contractors or assistants, whatever that may be — is not a bad thing. It’s not compromising your work if you do it correctly. More than anything, it’s a sign of success and growth and it should be looked at as this achievement that you’ve reached.
I don’t know why I was so reluctant to do so. I think it was this ego thing. I know that so many people are so much better at what I do than I am, you can just go on Instagram and see that very easily, but I bring more to the table than just the work itself.
I think understanding that it is a good thing to have people helping you and accepting and doing that earlier on would have helped me get a little bit further down the road than I am currently.
If I could go back 10 years, I wish that I could have approached building a professional skiing career in a more traditional and responsible sense. I wish that I ate better when I was younger, when I was like 15 to 19. And I wish that I spent more time in the gym working out a lot more. So that’s what I do now. But lesson learned.