Adam Savage visited the the Bay Area Maker Faire and gave a ten minute talk with and a Q&A session afterwards. During Savage's talk, he gave a 10 commandments every maker should follow, well actually nine real ones, but close enough. Even if you aren't a maker, this list is relevant to just about anyone who is an artist. So here's the run down.
1. Make something
As a maker or an artist, you have to make something, thats what you do. So make something, anything. This can include cooking, welding, carving, or sculpting. Literally, anything you can make is worth making. Humans have used tools and told stories for forever. For people, this is the "thing" we do best. And by making things, you are able to do both at the same time.
Even if the things you are making seems insignificant to others, you are making something which if anything improves you as a person, so makes something!
2. Make something to improve your life
Making something that can improve your everyday life is extremely rewarding. So If you can, make something instead of buying it. For example if you need to buy a new drawer for your kitchen, make a new one. The satisfaction of using that drawer everyday, knowing you made it is incredibly rewarding.
3. Start now
We tend to believe that its to late to learn a new skill. Whether its coding, welding, building, or what have you, it will never be to late to learn it. So start learning now & developing new skills.
4. Learn something new with a new project
Starting to learn something new can be tedious and will make you feel like you're back in school. In order to counteract that, build something that will incorporate your new skill. I learn best when I'm using my hands, If I can grab an object and move it around and study it, I will learn it. This transfers into making, If you need to learn how to weld, well pick a project which will make weld. This way it forces you to use this skill and perfect it.
5. Ask Questions
Very few enjoy ask questions, but it's important that you do. Ask for help. Ask for advice. Ask for feedback. By asking, you're setting yourself up to be vulnerable, but with people you trust, it can be very extremely valuable. Rarely do people ask for others opinions. However if you ask the right person, their opinion can give you incredible insight into the work you're doing.
At this point in time, practically everything is sharable, so share it. Share your work. Share your knowledge. Share your "secrets". One thing that people believe is they have a secret that makes them different from the rest of the group. That secret is you. You can teach people your technique, but that technique isn't the things that makes you different. You make you different, so share everything you got.
7. Discouragement & failure are inevitable
At some point in time, you will fail & be discouraged in whatever you do. Instead of becoming frustrated and giving up on a project, embrace it. Whenever I'm working on a project, about 70% of the way through I absolutely hate what I've done. By knowing how you're going to react, you will be able to gage how much work you have left to do. So even though all of this will happen, embrace it and let it improve you.
8. Measure carefully
When making, you need to know the tolerances you are working with. Whether you have a lot or little wiggle room with what your making. What sets the hobbyists from the experts is knowing your tolerances & priorities in making.
9. Make things for others
Try and make things for others. Being able to share your project with someone is great things to do. When you give something away, you are also giving them your time, skill, and concentration that you had spent working on said project. Even though it's valuable to you, give it a way, it's worth it.
10. Use more cooling fluid