Career advice for illustrators from retired footballers

And two ways I curb my own complacency.

I listen to retired professional footballers talk about football when I’m drawing.

There was a period in my life where I would spend 2-10 hours every weekend watching Premier League football. I’ve followed players and managers for their whole careers. Today some of them have their own podcasts or appear on the podcasts of others.

I listen to it as career advice.

One thing I noticed that the very top professionals take VERY seriously, is that they have an awareness of our human tendency to slowly drift to what is easy. And they take steps to remind themselves of the fact. And to avoid it at all costs.

One way they do that is to always set high goals, to always be reaching for the next thing.

They say; “It’s easier to recover from a loss than from a really big win”. Because complacency kicks in after a win.


2 ways I’m curbing complacency are:

  1. Going to bed early, so I can wake up early and take advantage of long uninterrupted hours coupled with the dreamlike state that is induced by early mornings.

  2. I’m working on a daily personal project. To do a food illustration for 26 different types of food, one for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a brilliant practice to develop and refine illustration style.


PS: I’m trying to grow my readership of this newsletter, if you have any ideas on how I might do that, I’d love to hear it.