Secrets of Autistic Artist Stephen Wiltshire's Success
Rachel Hennessey's article about autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire treats him as a canny entrepreneur who everyone can learn from, not just a magically gifted savant:
Stephen has had plenty of chances to stop making art — whether due to obstacles or as a result of reaching a high level of success. Trying to think of reasons that an artist may be tempted to retire, I asked him if his hand ever gets tired because the landscapes he draws are often massive and highly detailed. “Not at all,” was his entire response, verbatim. Maybe a sore hand isn’t going to stop him from making art, but perhaps reaching a level of financial satisfaction would? Nope, Stephen has pieces that sell in the six figures (in pounds); if he wanted to retire the moment he didn’t have to work to make a living anymore, he would have by now. Even his eight month long waiting list for commissioned projects seems like a viable reason to want to slow down the workflow – a person can only handle so much.
Stephen is motivated to continue making his art because he enjoys the satisfaction of “making other people feel happy” and thereby making himself feel proud. His self-proclaimed personal motto sums it all up: “Do the best you can and never stop.”
Thanks to my friends Gaetano and Zoey for sharing this story.