Depends on the situation. If your goal is something simple like having the comfort of a stable life, then yes, hard work and determination can give you just that, but in the sense of fame or even just artists being able to live off their own work instead of having it as a side thing also takes effort and hard work, but luck is also on their side, as there are some amazingly skilled people everywhere but only a handful are recognized for it and can literally just boil down to getting the attention from the right people
I think it's a mixture of both - working hard at something is not always a guarantee you will be successful. Sometimes it takes a lucky break to push things forward. On the other hand, even if you get lucky, the success that luck brings you won't last long unless you work hard to maintain it.
Luck can definitely be a factor in success, and I think it's fair to say "hey, the advice of people who are super successful might not be the thing to stake your future on" because a lot of those big Hollywood industry types did get lucky in some way or another - often because they had family in the industry or parents who were willing to push them into "career" roles like theater or athletic/musical training when they were very young.
However, to say that it ONLY boils down to luck is wrong, in my opinion. It's good to be skeptical sometimes, and it's good to be aware of the fact that luck/social connections/other factors besides hard work and talent can play a big part in whether or not you make it. Honestly, while some people do just "get lucky" there are factors that you can actually leverage in place of that luck factor. For example, say you're a musician - you might get lucky and have something of yours suddenly go viral from nothing. But if that doesn't happen, you can still leverage your social media presence, learn about how to use it to get more eyes on your work and more engagement from your followers, and gradually build yourself up.
Ultimately, while luck plays a big part in some people's success, I think saying to "give up" is just hyperbole for the sake of comedy, it's about realizing that there are other obstacles in the way of success besides just being good at what you do. The important thing is, you have to be good at what you do AND at getting people to actually see what you do.
"The important thing is, you have to be good at what you do AND at getting people to actually see what you do."
I agree wholeheartedly with this statement, as it's something I've had to learn for myself recently. Of course I will never stop trying to improve and strive to be the best I can be, but people are not just going to come flocking to you out of nowhere even if you're good at what you do - you have to SHARE it with people and get yourself noticed, and lucky breaks go a long way towards pushing you to fame. I've seen quite a few artists on DA for example whose art is really good, but with hardly any comments or faves, less even than mine, and I chalk it up to the artists being inactive and apathetic towards their viewers. Whether they want it that way or just don't care or already have enough fame on another website is another issue, but it still makes me stunned.
i don't know what to think honestly,i mean if your goal in life is getting a job you want,or just getting any job,then it's hard work,but to get one of those bigger paying jobs that boils down to luck,it all depends on what job you want.
I mean, they're not wrong. but at the same time if no one tries, then where would our entertainment industry go? down the drain. we need a good balance of trying to follow our dreams while maintaining a realistic mindset on that dream.
To make it short, I think it's both luck and hard work. You can work a lot and live a good life but if you happen to have a chance, a great opportunity, then maybe you'll live an incredible life. Here is my thought on this topic =3
I think you can achieve a lot with hard work but I think it only brings you to a certain point. If you really want to go to the top of your business you need luck. For personal achievement hard work is essential, for achievement in a bigger public (maybe even international) spectrum you need luck additionaly to your hard work (sometimes even luck only is enough).
This reminds me of some videos I watched yesterday. It was about a 9 years old and two 14 years old "art prodigies". While I have to admit that I did actually like the abstract work from the 9 year old it is very clear that this child is only celebrated as a prodigy because she had parents who promoted her art and had access to the world of fine art/expensive art ressources already. Hence she got lucky to be born in a family that can afford this kind of stuff. While her success doesn't come from nothing (she does have to work on those paintings after all) it mainly stems from her family's influence and wealth. Same with the 14 year olds. They could draw better than the average teenager at this age and I can also see how they're successful with their work. But you can see that their technical knowlegde isn't refined yet and tbh I could have probably done the same at this age. They just had the luck that they got "discovered". If they were older art students nobody would give a shit about their work.
To take it further some years ago I saw a video of a German fine arts artist called Leo Löwentraut. Here is a video in which you can see his art: Video It is German but I think art doesn't speak a language. In a talkshow, he appeared in, it was clear that he didn't even know the fundamentals (he got the complementary colors wrong). While he isn't a child art prodigy it is very clear that here again it's his parents who had the funds to promote him and turn him into a successful artist. You can even argue if what he does is hard work when he doesn't even show any technical knowledge.
Those videos really make me think about what it takes for something to become art and they made me realize once again that all you need is luck. Of course to get a job as an illustrator or concept artist you do need tons of hard work but you don't really get rich out of it (With a few exceptions maybe? But I don't know any tbh). If you want to become an artist whose work is celebrated (internationally) all you need is luck and possibly money (which is also tied to luck most of the time). Technical skill is needed in certain industries but it's not necessary to become successful. I mean look at Fifty Shades of Grey. I have never read the whole book but from what I saw it is written terribly. There are many better writers out there who do not get any recognition.
Anyways, to end this I conclude: Hard work is needed if you want to meet your own standards and achieve something in certain industries. If you want to become rich and popular all you need is to get discovered. And since we live in an age where so many things are thrown onto the market you need a ton of luck (and maybe some marketing strategies in addition to that) to make it up there. Sorry for the ramble. >u<
It depends on what you define as "success." If success is having enough to be comfortable (food, water, clothes, etc.) then I think that it can be dependent on hard work not just luck. But being wildly successful like celebrity status? Total luck. You have to be in the right place at the right time and also be lucky enough to be born with the talent (art, music, business sense, etc.). Viral Youtube videos are a good example. No matter how hard you work and carefully create your video on an unknown channel you have almost no control over whether or not it goes viral.
A quote I like from Bob Proctor's book "You're Already Rich" is "The harder you work, the luckier you get". That hard work and luck go hand in hand. And (even if it sounds lame) I like Tai Lopez's take on this too. For him, it's not about working harder, it's about working smarter. Surrounding yourself with people who are where you want to be, and taking their advice. "You don't have to reinvent the wheel" you can just ask other people who are doing what you want already, and figure out how you can apply it to your own life. Don't be afraid to experiment. I also agree that the internet changes things. Sure, there could be many "gatekeepers", when you try going down a more traditional (?) route, saying "Yeah, that's cute, but we still can't let you in". But with the internet, you can get around that by taking the time to learn how to effectively promote yourself, and build invaluable relationships with others. They might surprise you by getting you through that gate you worked hard to get up that time you spent before, maybe the gatekeepers will even come to you. Or maybe you start to feel that you're better off not getting caught up and continue doing your own thing. You don't have to chase people around anymore constantly asking "Aren't you impressed yet?" You can focus on working to impress yourself and opportunities arise to do more with that, be sure to take them.
For the most part, success does boil down to luck. It could be luck in being born with natural talent, luck in meeting the right connections, or luck in being noticed and shouted out by someone who is already successful. But hard work can help tip the scales a bit, and if you are willing to be a bit "creative" with how you market yourself, then you can "manufacture" your own luck. The best advice, I think, is to work hard until you get lucky. Sometimes success is achieved simply by throwing a bunch of crap at the wall and seeing what sticks, so to speak.
As for success in the creative and performing arts: it really matters on what your goals are. If you want to be a mega-star, then it boils down almost entirely to luck. If your goal is simply to make a living doing something you love, then this is more manageable. Thanks to the internet, even the little guy can make a buck. But even then, there are people who simply languish in obscurity because they never got that big shout-out, or never got that big viral post. But overall, the internet has definitely tipped the scales more toward the "hard work" camp. So it's a pretty good time to try to "make it" in the arts.
As for survivorship bias, I actually remember going through my mother's childhood record collection from the 1960's and 1970's. The vast majority of it was just flavor-of-the-month pop stars that almost no one would have heard of. (I'm actually curious: has anyone ever heard of Rex Smith or Janie Fricke?) Yet most everyone remembers Floyd, Zeppelin, Sabbath, and the Beatles. I would imagine that the same is true for the art community. In fact, it might be a bigger issue for the art community. Think: musicians' work is mass produced to be sold at music shops, so there are far more surviving copies of the forgotten musicians' work. Plus, most professional musicians in the modern era have some sort of official record with a label or with music shops. Artists, on the other hand, did not have the means to mass produce their work (at least before the internet, that is), and many obscure artists never rose above selling their art on the sidewalk. Here, there is far less of a record of their work, so it is much easier for bad/mediocre artists to be forgotten. The good/successful artists are often quite literally the only ones who are remembered to ANY extent.
I definitely agree. You need to be in the right place at the right time, have the looks, the talent, etc. Sometimes working hard isn't enough. I was just reading a book last night and it talked about how social influence plays a role in deciding what will be the next big hit (provided it already has all the qualities of one). They did an experiment on this with a list of random obscure songs and multiple groups of people. In some groups a song became a huge hit with the participants, while in others it was at the very bottom of the list. Basically it all boiled down to what song the first few people preferred, and then everyone followed after. So even if something has the qualities of a hit, it doesn't necessarily mean it will become a hit. Unfortunately sometimes it's just a crapshoot.
I think it takes hard work and luck. Luck is fickle and random, but more than hard work and luck, you need to put yourself in situations where you can allow luck to strike if it can (ie going to conventions, networking both online and off, etc.) I know so many people who work incredibly hard and have awesome galleries of work, but they never put themselves in situations where they can be hired or "discovered"
I agree with you. I remember listening to an artist talk about "lightning rod luck". You can't guarantee anything good will happen to you but you can go out of your way to create new opportunities for yourself, like holding out a rod to attract lightning.
Survivorship bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility.
Example: "Music was better in the 1980s." We remember the good music because it stood the test of time, while the bad/mediocre music is forgotten.
This has been on my mind a lot lately and I was wondering your thoughts on it. Do you think it applies to our art community as well?