Take Action & Become a Titan: The Michael Bay Case Study for Success

If all you want is to make money, then you deserve to be poor.  Creative success is meant for those of us who are driven by achievement, legacy and hard work first. And from there, call it karma or your integrity at work, the financial rewards will follow.  When you pursue a creative career there are no shortcuts and you’re hands will get dirty. But ask anyone who has reached their creative goals and they will tell you in a heartbeat that it was worth the struggle it took to get there for the sustainable long term satisfaction and financial rewards it provides.

You will be hard pressed to find very many people who have had all their dreams and goals in life handed to them on a silver platter. Somehow creatives struggle to understand that they are building skills, and need to use them like tools. Did you ever hear of a new top notch doctor fresh out of medical school say he or she was waiting to be discovered? Despite the media’s love for phrases like “she was discovered by a modeling agent while eating a Big Mac on the beach in Rio,” the real world doesn’t work like this. Albeit, it makes for great marketing and spin. Even for those that are born to Rock/Hollywood royalty, life, and respect certainly doesn’t come easy (see Jack and Kelly Osbourne- yikes!). Start Somewhere, but start!

Whether or not you’re a fan of his films, Michael Bay provides an inspiring story for any young hopeful in the art world. Case studies provide a cross section of what to do (and not do) for any industry, and making it big in the film world is no exception.

Michael Bay began working for Lucasfilm at 15 years old, and was immediately smitten by the action on the set of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Just like many starry-eyed hopefuls, Bay was entranced by the the magic that went into turning the “seemingly mundane” into action-packed works of art. This visual world ignited a love affair that steered his imagination toward an education in the arts. Education is Key to Creation. Once you realize what facet of the art world you’d like to plant your creative seeds in, never stop educating yourself in the field, and around and beyond the field every chance you get. To find your niche requires looking broadly and deeply at your skills and subject matter expertise.

Bay’s ongoing education helped him not only master visual techniques, but provided the inspiration for many of his stories; citing a conversation about plumbers “being the ones who fix the world” as his inspiration for the Criterion Collection film “Armageddon.” Parlaying his education and understanding into the real world helped him win Wesleyan’s “Frank Capra” prize, in addition to winning every major advertising prize by the time he was 26.

Michael Bay had “made it” by his early 20s. He could have been set for life directing commercials and advertisements, but he never let success get in the way of his real dreams: to bring art-infused action to life through a stunning visual narrative style. His accolades helped get him a meeting with Jerry Bruckheimer, and “Bad Boys” was born, cementing his directional prowess and knack for captivating audiences.

While not everyone has the directorial abilities as Michael Bay, opportunities are something we make for ourselves, no matter what field you are trying to break into.  Dedication, education and knowing how to focus on the right things with the right mindset at the right time are essential keys to building the legacy of your machine. Clearly Michael knows how to do this. Do you? You need to if you want to awake your sleeping genius and use it to become the Titan you are meant to be.

About Lisa Canning

“Vowels are to words what creativity is to the world~ basic and necessary.”

Lisa Canning is the founder of IAEOU, the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship (IAE) and Entrepreneur the Arts.

What motivates you to explore your creativity? Follow me @IAEOU


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