Establishing Yourself as an Artist: Develop a Point of View

by New Contributor Rhianna Weilert (graphic design ’08)

Do you know those kinds of people who racked up so many accomplishments they appear to be unstoppable? How do they do it? They probably work hard, but that’s no secret. They love what they do—that’s a given. But what drives them?

I believe the mysterious force that pushes those über-successful types above the rest is their strong point of view.


Developing a point of view is a method used in multiple applications like writing and especially drafting. Think back to your lessons in perspective drawing. The first thing your did was crop the scene with a frame and establish a vanishing point. Then all the rest of your lines were based on this perspective. Ok, you may be wondering what this has to do with establishing your career. Well, the same steps can be used to give yourself and your work direction. “To have a point of view is to know why you’re there,” says LinkedIn writer Nilofer Merchant. Crop in on what is important to you and develop a point of view to guide your decisions and direct you in one specific direction.

A great place to start is to learn what someone else’s point of view is, particularly if you admire their work. For example, Merchant writes that “Caterina Fake (of Etsy, Flickr, Findery) believes that technology can connect humans to be more social with one another.” Steve Jobs’ famous point of view was to keep everything in its simplest form. The point of view can, and in fact, should be pretty basic because must be able to cross platforms. For example, it should have the flexibility to be applied to art, business, writing, teaching, personal life, etc.

Think honestly about what you care about most. I’ve come to find that careers and success are not a one-size-fits-all type of situation. Developing a point of view might just be the key to finding your own unique path to prosperity. Have you found yours yet? You may already have one, you just don’t know it yet. Is it congruent with work you’ve done in the past? It should be, or it wouldn’t be true to your philosophy. Boil down your ideas to their most basic form and write words or phrases that are associated with those ideas. It’s a process that should take real time and effort but your discovery will be infinitely valuable in the end.

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