The Ten Commandments of Quality, or How Gordon Ramsay Kicked My Ass into Gear

I have been watching reruns of Kitchen Nightmares every night for the last couple weeks, and after a while, Ramsay climbed into my head and camped out there, a cussing, hard-driving, belligerent drill sergeant. To whom I am very grateful. So here’s some of the Ramsay wisdom, distilled into caveats helpful to any artist (and eerily familiar from my years in ballet):
  • Take pride in your work. That means, for a start, maintaining your tools and workspace.
  • Have a passion to craft the best. Your burning desire to produce quality will get you through the tough times.
  • But be humble enough to know you aren’t there yet.
  • To move in the right direction, seek out and accept critiques from those better than you.
  • Send nothing out into the world until you’ve given it your best effort—and a once-over, too.
  • Take responsibility for the things that come out of your oven half-baked. Then, do everything you can to make it right—or throw it out.
  • Don’t waste time crying about it. Ever.
  • Work your fucking ass off.
  • Build a strong team. Then, listen to them—they’re the ones who will clue you in to what’s missing.
  • Don’t even think about making it big until you’ve built a foundation of skills and quality output. You have to earn it. No shortcuts.
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