(1 min story #38)

Our portfolio should only present the works that we like to repeat. Especially as beginners, we tend to show everything we have created. We should definitely resist this. Especially if the response to one of our works was strikingly positive, but we felt little ambition and passion about the work itself. Being good at something does not obligate us to do it for life.

Goethe says, “I can’t get rid of the spirits I called.” If we are not careful, we find ourselves doing years of work that do not fulfill us. Our hands may do it well, but our heart longs for something else. This will not make us happy. Aim for the heart.

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(1 min story #36)

Waiting for inspiration is not enough. We have to get it, work for it. From my experience, it only comes in the making and playing. Not necessarily at that exact moment, but when we switch our minds into discovery mode.

This happens as soon as we try to physically capture our idea. For example, when an advertiser scribbles his first ideas for a campaign on a napkin, a screenwriter writes down the plot for the first time, or a children’s book illustrator draws his first sketch of the character in his sketchbook.

Once we break through that initial barrier, we start to see things that we can relate to our project or story anytime, anywhere. We put out our feelers, and we pick only the best from what the world has to offer us.

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(1 min story #33)

Creative meetings, where participants brainstorm or play ping-pong with their thoughts, are an effective way to come up with original ideas.

I believe that creative thinking in a group is ideal for starting and finishing a new project. However, in my experience, the real magic happens in silence when there are no external stimuli like voices, music, time pressure, Instagram, emails, or phone calls. When we have the opportunity to listen to what we have to say to ourselves. Whether we call it inspiration, gut feeling, or the inner voice. In solitude and silence, all the big fish of ideas swim. Steven Spielberg puts it this way:

“Your instinct, your human personal intuition always whispers. It never shouts.” — Steven Spielberg

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(1 min story #31)

As a creative freelancer, it’s almost impossible to win back clients’ trust once it’s been broken. “This campaign will go through the roof” or “this will be the best illustration you’ve ever seen” is like saying, “I’m the kindest and most generous person.” It’s not up to us to judge…

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Sergio Ingravalle

Sergio Ingravalle

Hi, I am Sergio Ingravalle, a Germany-based illustrator. I share my thoughts on creativity, freelancing, and illustration after 20 years of experience.