The Key To This Joint

Last year Andreas Markdalen wrote a post on frog design’s blog on what visual designers can learn from Biggie Smalls. It’s well worth a real.
Andreas breaks down the key take-aways from Biggie:

  • A Central Theme
  • A World of Context
  • Rehearsal and Repetition
  • The Non-linear and Organic Process
  • The House of Cards

Process is one of the most important things you can learn from any artist, although my favorite bit of advice from Biggie is in the opening of Jay-Z’s track, My First Song (I wrote about this back in 2009):

Well, I’m just trying to stay above water, you know? Stay busy, stay working. I was telling you like, the key to this joint, the key to staying on top of things is to treat everything like it’s your first project. Know what I’m saying? Like it’s your first day, like I wasn’t even an intern or nothing. That’s how you try to treat things, like just stay humble.

Treat everything like it’s your first project.
Have you been staffed on a little dinky internal project? Or maybe a one for a really boring, life-sucking corporate client. It might be hard, but rock the shit out of it. Find something about the project you can latch onto to keep your motivation up.
I can’t say I’m always successful at treating every project like my first, but I try to.
When I fail, I at least make sure I have a side project to keep me energized (What do you think this site is?).