I'm all about collaboration, it is necessary for a healthy life (artistic or not), however I have seen collaboration go wrong in which a groupthink ridden, hive mind is created. That's gross.
5. If you hang out with "artistic" people too much your thinking is warped. In college, I mostly hung out with business students or the engineering students. I like making stuff, but I don't want to be labeled an "artist". The second you begin to all consider your group "artists" is when you all begin to make the same stuff together and think of yourselves above others. "Artist" reality replaces human reality. Thus, the Chemex-based coffee shops of the world are born. You'll get stuck in a cycle of trying to create something independently, but it will be very similar to the work created by others in your group. It becomes cultish and clique-like. Just like the popular kids in high school probably didn't go anywhere, the "creative cult" probably won't get too far either.
4. White walls and coffee= creativity. We often think that just because we create something it is art or is a creative work. I make something new every day, and while time consuming, the majority of it is not "creative" or "art". If your Instagram account looks exactly like every other Instagram account within your group, you're not "creative" or "artistic". You've created something sure, but you're really just trend following. There's an clean aesthetic that people desire today, and while it's attractive, its derivative and the fad right now. Like always, another look will take hold in the future.
3. Mavericks don't travel in herds. People who really do big things and change the world often worked alone. We forget that as we try to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, they eventually had a team helping them, and Jobs had Wozniak (for a time), but they often stayed in their corners doing what they do best. Know your strengths and stick to those, let your partner fill in the gaps with their strengths. Stay different. Go against the grain. If the much of the world is suddenly "creative", you should know something must be up.
2. Self-awareness is painful but necessary. Look at your work. Is it different? Is it you? Where did your inspiration come from? Who are you? Did you forget? All important questions that we should ask ourselves every day when we make something. Am I trying to be like someone else? Am I just following trends? It's really hard to be honest with yourself, and even when you ask those questions you still may avoid the truth. I've had some bad days recently when asking myself those questions because the truth sucked. That's how it's supposed to be. That's how we grow.
1. Stay yourself whatever you do. Listen to criticism. Adjust as needed. Change and evolve, but keep your message the same. Don't forget where you came from, and don't sell out what you believe in. We all have a particular story, and we don't have to try and change it to fit in a particular mold. We all just want to fit in, but often, fitting in doesn't really get you anywhere. I've never hit rock bottom, I've never run away from home, I didn't have a rough childhood, I never dropped out of school, but I'm still hungry and I want to be better. Just because my background is "normal" doesn't mean privilege is getting in my way. Take life a day at a time and keep moving.