“The best advice I can come up with is this: Keep your living expenses LOW. The smaller you live (materially-speaking), the bigger you can live (creatively-speaking). This way the stakes aren’t so high…you aren’t demanding of your passion that it keeps you living a rich life. Then you can stretch and grow with the most possible freedom. This was my strategy in my 20’s, and it’s the reason I worked really hard to avoid all debts, and to keep my lifestyle really manageable. If I’d been saddled with a big life, I don’t think I ever could have found my way forward to the freedom I have now.”
“To work as hard as possible, and then, when you think you’re done, to work just a little bit harder. To know that if it feels “right” it may actually be completely wrong, and that if it feels “wrong” it may be completely right. There’s no governing principle to any of this except that strange instinct and feeling within yourself that you simply have to learn to trust, but which is always unreliably changing. To create something for people who have not been born yet. To pay attention to how it actually feels to be alive, to the lies you tell yourself and others. Not to overreach—but also not to get too comfortable with your own work. To avoid giving in to either self-doubt or self-confidence, depending on your leaning, and especially to resist giving over your opinion of yourself to others—which means not to seek fame or recognition, which can restrain rather than open your possibility for artistic development. With all this in mind, not to expect anything and to be grateful for any true, non-exploitative opportunity that presents itself, however modest. And to understand that being able to say “I don’t know what to do with my life” is an incredible privilege that 99% of the rest of the world will never enjoy.”
— Chris Ware’s advice to those struggling with creative work, in a delightful interview that’s chock full of his hard-earned wisdom and trademark self-effacement with Rookie Magazine.