Last week I talked about the concept of “Return and Report” and I mentioned a helpmeet. You might be asking yourself, “What’s a helpmeet?” And that’s a valid question. The term is Biblical and it referenced Eve in regards to Adam. The reason I mention it here is because of the nod to creation and because it’s more than a business partner or professor, it’s someone with a vested interest in you and your work.
Here’s some additional insight into what I would look for in finding a helpmeet. Trait one: when it comes to your artwork a helpmeet should be easily pleased but hard to satisfy. This offers an important balance. The easily pleased part will spur you on and give you a needed confidence boost to continue your pursuit, while the never satisfied person will push you in a direction of questioning and asking more of yourself.
Trait two: a helpmeet should encourage you to share. Too often I’m reluctant to share what I’ve created or second-guess if it’s really any good. My helpmeet always encourages me to put my artwork out there. What are we afraid of? Rejection? In all honesty, how often have you seen someone online openly reject artwork? Accepted or rejected, every interaction I’ve had with art directors, potential clients, and mentors has been a positive one.
Trait three: a helpmeet should push you to learn throughout the entire process. As an artist it’s easy to feel like you will never arrive. Isn’t that the point? If you arrive, you stop learning and stop creating anything of meaning and go back to the beginning to create a new path to pursue. Keep learning and you’ll be fine.