There are some truly bad takes on what it takes to be a successful creative. On one of my Facebook posts someone suggested the worst: don’t say anything controversial if you want to “make fans” or sell work.
That view will kill any hope you have for a career.
Nobody buys anything bland. Nobody wants things that don’t leave any mark on the surface of humanity. If they stumble across one by accident, they won’t buy any more. Why would you want any grey in your life?
The creator’s character is infused into their work and that’s what people buy into. A voice. An opinion on the human condition. A stand. It will repel some people and that’s how it should be because no creative work is for everybody. But some people will connect and when they do they’ll stay with you forever because they sense a bond deeper than words or pictures.
A characterless work is for nobody.
So be authentic. Speak your mind. Kick over statues, upset people. Accept some are going to hate you, then ignore them – they’re not good enough for your work.
That’s the only way to make something that lasts. And that’s the only way to live with yourself.