Legendary designer Milton Glaser has ten thousand hours worth of advice for aspiring artists.
Question: What is your advice to young artists who want to make a name for themselves?
Milton Glaser: My general advice to the young—you have to work like hell. There's no issue about being a natural genius and then falling into opportunities that will support it. Nobody's interested in supporting genius. Malcolm Gladwell's recent book defined ten thousand hours as the amount of time anybody has to put in to attain mastery. I love the fact that he was able to quantify that, and I would quite agree that that is a good number before you begin to understand what it is you're doing.
So the first thing I would say is put in your ten thousand hours. And after that, simply don't get stuck in your own belief system. Continue to understand the issue is not about style or what's going on at the moment, but things can be deeper, more profound, and more influential. And you can't stop working. The only thing that matters is that you have to be engaged and consistent and you can't give up and you can't be lazy. And outside of that there's no guarantee, even with all of that, that you will necessarily succeed—but as they say, that's life.
Recorded on: August 27, 2009