You may have heard the expression “Luck favors the prepared.” Perhaps my all-time favorite use of this is in the movie The Incredibles. Honestly, who of us doesn’t look up Edna Mode just a little?

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There are any number of variations on this idiom. “Trust God, but keep your powder dry.” Is one of my favorites. “Fortune favors the brave.” “Fortune favors the bold.” “Fortune favors the strong.” to name a few others.

In truth, the original saying Edna Mode drawls to Mrs. Incredible comes from Louis Pasteur. And he said, “Fortune [or ‘chance’] favors the prepared mind.” Meaning that in scientific observation, breaks can only come to minds who are prepared to witness them.

In truth, nowadays it is easier than ever to be prepared. The world wide web at the tips of our fingers, sharing information and making communication with experts in any field a mere click and call away… preparation being as easy as all that–I should say that we are all a lucky bunch indeed.

There is no easy way for an artist to make their way in our world, but it is a great deal easier now than it was even fifty years ago. Yet the rules remain more or less the same: connections, hard work, talent, vision, and luck.

There is no easy way for an artist to make their way in our world, but it is a great deal easier now than it was even fifty years ago. Yet the rules remain more or less the same: connections, hard work, talent, vision, and luck.

Connections must be made between the artist and the customer, the customer and other customers, other artists, and so on.

Hard work is the only thing which reliably fosters talent.

Vision is the usually the only thing that makes art worth buying, even if it is just the sight of being better than you were yesterday.

Lastly, luck.

What’s an artist to do about luck?

Well, if we are to believe Edna, and I think we all surely must… then preparedness is key.

For the first time in my entire life, I was paid actual money to make a digital art. I’ve done it quite a bit for the family business, various presents, and my own amusement.

Never been paid.

Until my Aunt, working at a local gallery, heard another artist turn down something that sounded like it could be done in digital. She pitched my services without asking me but knew that, during the lighter season, I’d be willing and able to help the gentleman.

Having only been commissioned to do art for friends, family, and the family business, I didn’t really know how to act… professional. So I did what any respectable Millenial in my situation would do.

I Googled it.

I mean, I didn’t just Google it. I made a list of questions and concerns, and then I googled to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

This meant that when I called up Mr. D. and asked all the questions I needed to ask, laying everything out in a clear, concise format paired with my usual charm and joie de vivre. This man, this total stranger, was pretty impressed with me. I would be able to get him what he wanted, in good time, with several options for him to chose from, and my billing was shockingly reasonable because I didn’t feel right charging a boatload for my first piece.

Upon completion, well before the deadline, Mr. D. asked me if I would be willing to design a logo as well since he’d had an idea for one.

I said ‘yes’, but said I’d need to bill him for a completely separate piece. Similar questions, similar preparation.

Painting in Photoshop is one thing. A vector logo is another entirely. I slid up the learning curve at lightning speed. Then I started, finished ahead of time, accommodated as sweetly as I could, and, at the end of it really wasn’t sure what to charge poor Mr. D.

I’ll grant you, I’d acted the consummate professional, but not only was this my first paid logo. THis wAs mY fiRsT LoGO. I told him that vector was more of a challenge. I gave him plenty of options and a lot of leeway. The time it took was just about as much as the painting he’d commissioned. So I shrugged and said, “You know what, Mr. D.–just pay me what you think is fair.”

Luck favors the prepared.

He paid me three times what I would have asked for.

Rarely do we get to quantify just how much luck favors preparation. In this case, the level of preparation and charm was equal to 300% luck.

 

 

Lady luck favored me indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Photo Credit

Photo Credit

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