How to Use Games to Improve as an Artist

Day Lily by Su-sing Chow featured in his book Flowers of the Four Seasons Volume 2 Summer.

The Power of Games is All Around You

Human beings love to play games. From board games, to computer games, to your smart phone, and even your credit card, we can see the power of games to motivate us to the type of consistent action that, when properly directed, can be a key element of success.

Do you know people that enjoy making a game out of earning rewards on their credit card? I definitely do! They learn all the rules and make the right purchases at the right time on the right cards and eventually they have enough points for free flights or hotel stays or even for cash back. Not that long ago, there was a smart phone game called Pokémon Go which actually motivated people to walk more. As a result, there were thousands of testimonials of people losing weight and improving their health by using the game as motivation to walk. The game has created over $4 billion in revenue for its developer. What an amazing example about how games can be used to motivate action that is healthy for the game player!

Playing Your Own Game Versus Someone Else's

It is very important for us to be aware of how games work and especially if a company or another entity is using the power of games to motivate us to do things that is against our long term best interest.

In a more abstract way, this happen in our jobs or among circles of friends. Often times companies will create a pyramid of status, power and influence, start you at the bottom and direct you to start sacrificing things like, sleep, time with your family, or time doing the things that you love to climb the pyramid rung by rung. The concept of "keeping up with the Jones" where neighbors will buy flashy cars or other material things as a way to "show off" or brag to their friends is another type of game that can have negative consequences.

How do we use the understanding of games to motivate ourselves to focus on our own dreams and goals? In other words, how do we play our own game instead of being used as a pawn in someone else's?

Making Your Own Art Game

The structure of games is very similar. The structure looks a bit like this:

  • Identify the goal
  • Identify major milestones on the way to that goal
  • Identify repetitive tasks that progress you towards milestones
  • Award yourself for doing the repetitive tasks
  • Bigger rewards for hitting major milestones
  • Once you accomplish your goal, celebrate!
  • Set a new goal and play again!

When you learn how to take a big dream like becoming the Artist that you want to be and making a game out of it, you can make it more fun to chase your dream! You can use the power of psychology to motivate you to pursue your own dreams rather than being constantly influenced to play a smaller part in someone else's dream!

Flowers of the Four Seasons Volume 2 by Su-sing Chow

M008: Flowers of the Four Seasons Volume 2: Summer by Su-sing Chow - $17

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