...or engineer, business person, Lego designer, clothing designer, stylist, rock star, the next Katherine Bigelow, teacher, entrepreneur or whatever... here's a Letter of Note for you. It was addressed to a young, aspiring American architect during the Great Depression.
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It was written in 1931, but I think the advice will always be sound. The man who wrote it is Charles Morgan, an architectural artist who did work for Frank Lloyd Wright. You can read a complete transcript of the Charles Morgan letter here.
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A few quotes....
"Imagination is the only quality that is creative."
"Above all else the artist must not copy. Imitate nothing except principle."
"A real architect like any good man in any business does not waste any time whatever doing things which he might be ashamed. He must above all be a sincere artist."
Sage words from Morgan, yes? If you read his entire letter, I disagree with one point though: please have more than a sandwich for lunch. You need ample, healthy meals to work hard! I know, I know... I am such a smother-mother.
By the way, Letters of Note is an awesome blog. Letter writing is an art in itself and it's a great online gallery. See how a young David Bowie answers fan mail; how Hunter S. Thompson can kick-ass writing novels and cursing his heart out in a letter; how Dr. Seuss is truly worthy of our admiration. Check out how J.D. Salinger reviewed Raider's of the Lost Ark in a letter to a friend. And... be entertained by Courtney Love's letter to Spin magazine with her assertion that Madonna is utterly artless. Plus so much more.