"Know or listen to those who know."
This quote is so important that we forget about the meaning from time to time, I´m glad someone mentioned on twitter the link to a Milton Glaser speech about the fear of failure.
In this Video below he describes the process of failure which seems to be contradictory to professionalism as an important asset for creative people.
He encourages to embrace failure and that by transgression an artist can develop a unique style that leads to a unique selling proposition.
In a world where everyone guesses that everything is already invented, the only way to find a niche is to allow, even embrace - failure.
In my opinion its important to be careful with the experimentation and failure part and its something that needs to be kept like a secret behind a curtain sometimes. The reason is simply that the public or target audience want to see results and repeated success stories. And its important striving to see how other artists have become a success through failure to find inspiration, but if it comes to the unique selling proposition - this should never be the main topic of any conversation.
I have written about the many disciplines an artist has to master and like a big company like Coca Cola or Sony or Google have laboratories and special departments to find new ways of making things, any artist should spend some time in the lab.
I highly recommend to read "Ten things I learned" from Milton Glaser´s page as part of AIGA talk from November 2001, very good insights about the industry and creative professionalism.