When I didn’t have a mentor, I read several interviews of people whose work I found inspiring. It informed choices at different points in my career. Here are a few (paraphrased) tidbits I’ve gleaned:
Tony Kushner: Don’t wait for someone to champion you. Get out there and create art. CHECK
David Mamet: Stay out of grad school. Get your material in front of a live audience. CHECK
Patti Smith: Don’t be a slave to your own concepts. CHECK
Guy Magar: Go to film school where you want to live and work. OOPS, but I got this info too late.
Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips: Not everything has to challenge an audience. What’s wrong with making beautiful music that people find enjoyable? CHECK
Walter Murch: Don’t cut yourself off from other influences even in the middle of a project. Embrace spark points and ideas around you. CHECK