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

Valeria Leczycki Goncharova Barrett | Visual Artist & Book Author

One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Twain: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Numerous brilliant individuals in the history of the humanity were misunderstood and rejected by masses and were only recognized after their deaths. Among the hundreds and thousands of people, you will find only a couple of the extraordinary minds. They are just like diamonds in the ground; you can find only a few little pieces of diamonds in thousands or million grains of sand and rocks. Do not be discouraged that you are not recognized in the masses or understood by majority, maybe it is not the right time for you or the audience. But when the right time comes, your work will resurface if it was authentic and valuable for the evolution of humanity. Read more>>

Sonia Rao | Musician

That to be an artist, you need to be confident and you should enjoy expressing yourself in public. This advice drives me crazy because I think it makes a lot of people stop themselves from pursuing work they love because they “don’t have the personality for it” or “don’t love the spotlight”. My closest friends know that I am extremely nervous every time I go to speak or express, whether it is on stage or on social media or honestly even in a group conversation. At the same time though, I love writing songs and I love writing about what I see and feel, and feeling connected to people when they listen to my songs or resonate with what I write. This conflict within me is exhausting, and until this past year, I used to look at this constant fear I felt as a reason why I’m not really meant to be a musician or artist, and that if I’m so nervous all the time about it, then I should just leave and go do something where I’m more comfortable, something where I’m not so exposed. These past few months, I have started to open up to these same friends about the parts of my upbringing that have led to this fear I have. I read something recently which really captured it for me. Read more>>

Josie Brown | Fiber Artist & Weaver

“be happy, and content with what you have”. Read more>>