We asked folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice that they disagree with.

Bill Hemstapat | Composer & Music Designer

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” This quote has never resonated with me in my adult life. I feel that there is a barrier that you have to cross in order to turn what you love from being a hobby into your job. In order to cross that barrier, you have to bring in elements of professionalism which could be simple mundane things like being on time, waking up early to reply to emails before you start writing a note of music, or even cleaning up your workspace before a client’s visit. It’s all these things that are, to me, still “work”. They are not fun by any means, but they are necessary when you’re trying to justify why people should pay for your service. Read more>>

Jay Riggio | Artist

To have a back up plan or a plan b. If your heart is in it, there’s no reason to settle for a less desirable life. Read more>>

Valentina Trentini Sign Painter, Gilder & Muralist | Sign Painter, Gilder and Muralist

“When you quit, you fail”. Everyone has to know when to stop, especially self-employed artists. Saying no if something feels too overwhelming or just does not feels right, it’s more liberating than you think. We need to trust our guts and our instinct. It’s very toxic to continue to push our bodies and health just because we need to prove we can do it and, maybe, that’s not the right time for that specific job, task or assignment. Artists especially needs inspiration, and forcing yourself into a situation does not do any good to your energy, mental health and productivity. Read more>>

Jewel Mensah | Author & Artist, Change Agent

A piece of conventional advice I disagree with is, “Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” While I agree with the sentiment, I believe the advice does a disservice to those who need it most. That is often those who are underserved, underrepresented, and often overlooked. In my experience, doing what I love has often been borne out of a lot of work. Sometimes, even meeting the challenge of beginning anew can be a lot of work. My advice instead is to work toward what you love, and with the right approach, you’ll love the work you put in. What does the right approach mean? That’s up to you to define. Read more>>

Celina Sasso | Singer/Musician

To have a plan B or something else to fall back on if the arts don’t cut it. Although it’s safe and smart to have one, I’ve always seen it as an excuse to fail your plan A. I always hated hearing I need a plan B so I never allowed myself to have one and I’m glad I don’t because I wouldn’t be where I am now. Read more>>