In his 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Harari states that in the near future one of the most valuable skills a person can possess is the ability to constantly adapt to new disruptive changes. Biotech and infotech ages are to disrupt almost every single aspect of our lives. Many jobs will become obsolete and we’ll have to learn new skills fast, to stay competitive in the job market. Assuming it still exists by that time.
Art has always been considered purely a human domain and no amount of new technology or AI can beat natural human creativity. This is not true anymore. AI has already written pop ballads, mimicked styles of great painters, or informed creative decisions in filmmaking. How far AI can and should go is still to be determined, but one thing’s for sure — it will disrupt the art world as we know it, and we’ll have to adapt.
Adapting is something we all have experienced very recently. Fighting the Covid-19 pandemic situation in our countries, we’ve experienced our lives being turned upside down. In such a situation, the ability to adapt, to re-invent oneself, can prove to be a crucial skill to possess. I’d even go as far as saying it will be deterministic of our survival as artists. So what can you do to start the reinvention process?
Being honest with yourself
The first step in reinventing yourself is establishing with absolute honesty if you need the change and if so, accept the reality. Moreover, the most successful people are the ones who accept the fact, that only constant is the change itself. Also, if you don’t want to change, you never will. It’s important to establish the key elements of what needs to change and what needs to stay the same. Work from there.
Never stop learning
As soon as there are things to change and things to keep on your list, you’ll need to identify how to change what you set out to do in a way it does not affect the things you set out to keep.
Always be learning, regardless of how much of a Master you consider yourself to be. A true Master is in fact, a Student. Make sure you’re always, at least a little bit, outside your comfort zone. Nothing ever happens in a comfort zone.
Whenever I feel like a change is needed, this is where I start first. Open up your portfolio and make a self-critique. What do you like and what not? What are you to keep in the future and what is to be changed? This way, one can become more aware of the elements missing in their art and therefore, plan for including them.
Once you’ve identified what you want to change, it is time to get “dirty”. True change does not happen instantly. The same goes for success. Reinventing, improving, moving forward, learning, and advancing as a person/artist, only happens when one gets focused on what they’re doing and keep at it.
The skill of being focused might be as important in the future as the skill of adapting. Adaptation is changing yourself. Changing yourself means learning new things. Learning new things requires staying focused. Talent will only get you so far. All the rest is hard work, hustle, sweat, and tears.
Being able to stay focused for longer periods will help you achieve the results faster. Putting away the modern-day distractions, learning to appreciate deep, focused work will propel you to your goals. Just keep true.
How often should you do it?
Well, that depends completely on you. However, do it immediately when you start feeling comfortable with whatever it is you’re doing. Comfort zone’s called comfort for a reason. Acknowledge it, but don’t spend too much time. As you know, nothing really interesting happens there.