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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

You might think you’re a special little snowflake living a completely original life, but you’re not. Your whole existence is boring and predictable and that won’t change even if you manage to wield the magical skills of an artist.

“The problems of today’s artist are the problems of yesterday’s artist — and I suspect, of tomorrow’s also. As the French say, ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.’ (The more things change, the more they remain the same.)”

A lot of the struggles you face in life are timeless. You could choose to see that as a bad thing, but there’s also a flip side to it: knowing what to expect allows you to be prepared. …

Rise and shine Gudetama

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“Gudetama Mini and friends” by Kristin ‘Shoe’ Shoemaker is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

I. Wouldn’t you like to be more productive?

There are many people who would rather stay nice and cozy in their cartoon-themed blankets than get up and get to work. They share memes that celebrate giving in to the deadly sin of sloth. They squeeze their plushies tightly and lose the war against resistance before the day has even begun.

But you don’t have to be a silly Gudetama like them. You can rise to the call of productivity and get to work!

II. Wait, what’s a Gudetama?

Oh, right! Let me explain. Gudetama is a popular cartoon character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio.¹ It can basically be translated to English as “lazy egg.” …

There are only 2 steps.

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Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash

Epictetus was a famous stoic philosopher, and I’m a mediocre artist. In this story, our powers combine to bring you artistic enlightenment. What follows is an examination of how a famous Epictetus quote can show us the way to become an artist. It’s pretty epic (if you hold the tetus).

I. Attain Knowledge of Self

Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Well, after spending a few hours examining life and what it means to know yourself…I’m not sure I even exist at this point.

And I’m not the only one who’s confused. There are blog posts all over the web painting muddy pictures of what was meant by the phrase “know thyself” when it was inscribed in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi back in lord-knows-when BC. There’s even some Big Brain™ dude on Psychology Today arguing that “know thyself” is dangerous advice. …

Nobody else has either

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Photo by Sinitta Leunen on Unsplash

The other night I was laying in our filthy bathtub which I barely fit in since it’s a standard size tub (are these made for children?). As I stared past the plunger at a mass of cobwebs behind the toilet I found myself thinking “when is it time to start cleaning the bathroom again?”

A few years ago I saw a video by Gary Vaynerchuk where he was talking to a fan who didn’t seem to have the time to work on his passion project. Gary questioned him to find out exactly what he was spending his time doing instead of working towards his goal. The man brought up cleaning the bathroom. Nobody in his house would help clean the bathroom, so if he didn’t do it the bathroom would never get clean. …

Open your mind to a world of possibility

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Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash

Everybody can learn something new

I started out blogging by chance.

When you get fired and end up on unemployment you really start to think about things, like your resume, your life, and how alarmingly inconsequential you are in the grand scheme of things. Anyway, I got fired, and while I was contemplating the vast expanses of space and time, I saw a course on blogging by some chad named Tom Kuegler — so I took it on a whim. Why not? This young son of a bitch promised I could make money online and here I was in dire need of making some cashola.

Plus, I was primed for this type of gamble by the entrepreneurship workshop I’d recently taken. Who knew workshops were a condition of receiving unemployment benefits? …

You can prevent sadness from consuming you with radical honesty

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Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash

Yes, this story is about how to use the advice from the world-famous song My Favorite Things by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers as a lifehack to save yourself from spiraling into despair. But I’m gonna teach you the right way to use it, and it’s not by thinking about stupid fucking tinsel.

When you should use this lifehack

There are times when you need to embrace your sadness with a bear hug, fall to the floor, and let your tears fly like the human sprinkler you are. …

When life gives you lemons make a holiday card

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

The best holiday card I’ve ever received was my best friend Zach’s 2016 Christmas card. He gave me his permission to write about it as long as I promised he doesn’t have to do anything. Also, he wants a cut of whatever I get if I win a prize. Typical Zach.

The other thing you need to know about Zach is that he’s not the biggest social butterfly. He prefers lowkey events and one on one action. In fact, when we worked together years ago he became so known for secretly rolling out of events early that his coworkers named the move after him, dubbing it the “Zach roll.” After that, anyone who left anything early was said to have “Zach rolled.” …

Embrace the enormity of the moment

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Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

When you get “the call” you feel like you’ve been ripped from reality and thrown into an alternate universe. This can’t be happening, your father can’t be dying, not yet. You aren’t ready.

But there’s no time left. The clock has run out and no matter how fast you move you won’t get there soon enough to steal one last moment together. Your father is already gone.

Nine years ago I found myself in this exact position. I was plucked from my day job, saw my father’s lifeless body, and learned “the hospital will send you a condolence ham,” all in the span of one hour. …

All you need to press play on a happy holiday

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Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

It’s no secret: gamers like holiday gatherings as much as cats like baths. They’re never really thrilled to be there even if some take it better than others. So what ultimately makes them go? The promise of gaming-related gifts; the best way to fill them full of cheer.

Of course, buying gifts for gamers can be problematic. First, they’re incredibly expensive. $500 for a PS5? They might as well ask for a Lamborghini. There are also limited gift options, so there’s a high chance somebody else will give them the same thing you do. What are they gonna do with a second copy of Cyberpunk 2077? …

And how to wrap them without killing the planet

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Photo by Mert Guller on Unsplash

Whether it’s a holiday, birthday, or any other day, it’s not easy to shop for the artist in your life, especially if they care about the environment. With so many different art products on the market, some toxic and some not, it's hard to make the right choice, even as an expert. Lucky for you, I’ve got it all sorted out.

To keep you sane, I’ve made a list of the best sustainable gifts for artists that are guaranteed to give them peace of mind and maximize their creativity.

1. Green Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious Artist


Nate Miller

Artist. Blogger. Family man. I help people bring more art into the world:

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