10 tips for Making an Impact in Life & Art

Let’s face it, making an impact in a fast paced, highlight saturated world is a challenge, to say the least. But there are people every day making an impact, so why not you? If you want to make a difference in your world, you can, but it’s probably not gonna happen just by pure luck. 


Life & Art  – Are You Making an Impact?

making an impact

“Autumn Cool” Craig Shillam, Colored pencil on museum board

How can we as individuals make a difference in our world? If you think about the over 300 million people in the U.S., the billions of people world wide, and the powerful media and corporate publicity machines, it probably would overwhelm most. So ignore those big numbers, and focus on you, your creativity, your talents, your vision, and work outward from there. It ain’t easy…but it’s possible. A person who is interested in making an impact needs to have purpose. Focus on your world, not the world. 

Making an impact is something not everyone wants to do.  But if you are one who wants to make a contribution, to change something for the better, to make a difference, you can. Through your art, your passion, your creative work, and purpose filled living. For those of you who want to make a difference in your world for the better, below are ways you could be making an impact immediately.

Life, Purpose, and Making an Impact 

  1. What is your purpose for wanting to make an impact? What is the end result you want to achieve? Clearly define your vision first. Have a plan.
  2. Focus on tasks and activities that really actually matter and coincide towards your vision. Think about all the distractions that come your way that aren’t really that important. Checking your email every ten minutes for example, doesn’t matter nearly as much when you have a purpose and a passion, and your focused on making an impact. Ignore the unimportant
  3. Start small and work outward. Small things do matter when they are in line with your big picture.  You don’t try to run the marathon the first time out, start with something smaller and work your way up. Your tasks and accomplishments will grow as you grow.
  4. Make sure your passion is your purpose and your purpose is your passion. The closer they are linked, the better off you will be. If you need help with this, go here.
  5. Be persistent. Making an impact doesn’t usually happen over night, nor does it usually happen without time, and effort.

 Making an Impact with Your Art

  1. Create a body of work of quality and passion, and share it. Show it, talk about it, defend it, get better at it, live it, and sell it. 
  2. Have something to say with your work. It may be technique, concept, design, color, or genre. Develop your style and your vision. Whatever it is, it better not be boring.
  3. Have a presence on the web. Your website, Facebook, a blog, participating in a forum are all worthwhile and necessary in making an impact. Whether you participate in some or all of the above, just remember that these are tools to get your vision out to more people. As with any tool, you need to learn how to use them, and what they will and won’t do. But Your work is number one.
  4. Join an art organization that you fit in with. Learn, communicate, and foster relationships with like-minded souls. It’s good, and maybe you can even take on a leadership role at some point, where you can have an even bigger impact.
  5. Develop your own “unique selling proposition”, or title. Think “Budweiser, King of Beers.”  Or “Howard Terpning -The Storyteller,” or “Sarah Smith,  American Impressionist.” It tells people quickly who you are and what your about. I’m still working on mine…I thought I had it, and then I went and started painting still life paintings, which I had never done before…and no, it’s not going to be “Excentric Artist,” or “Blowhard Blogger.”

Making an Impact with Purpose, On Purpose

 Creative people can have a huge effect on the people around them. Artist, writer, photographer, inventor, business person, etc. How much bigger of an impact could one have if they did it with purpose, on purpose? Having a passion with a plan and a creative outlet? Lookout!  If you grab on to a vision with those elements and some persistence, who knows how many people you can effect in a positive way? I’m thinking a lot.

Think about the people in your life who have, or are making an impact on you. Ask yourself how, why, what, and for how long those people have been doing so. Develop a plan and start to work on making your own great life while making a positive impact on the world around you.

One more for the road…Tell someone close to you that you love them…now that’s making an impact!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Craig Shillam


  1. […] national treasure here. It was hard to choose from so many exceptional photos for this article. She made a huge impact in her time that will be felt long into the future. Here are some great books to consider when you […]

  2. […] close to your heart. If your going to give a gift or make a donation anyway, might a small painting make a bigger impact than a check or a store-bought […]