Noah Bradley is a 26-year-old artist finally surpassing the 10,000 hours mark for working his craft to perfection. Over the weekend his collection of drawings showing his progress from a 14-year-old with a dream to a master artist went viral, which as Bradley told The Huffington Post, has led to many aspiring artists reaching out to him about their own paths to "pursuing art."
"Learning that my story served as some amount of inspiration for people to pick up a pencil just warms my heart," Bradley told HuffPost. "I couldn't be happier."
Bradley transitioned from someone who wanted to be an artist to someone who fulfilled his dream.
Bradley started as just a "hobbyist" artist in 2003.
In 2006, right before his 18th birthday, Bradley decided that becoming an artist was what he wanted to do with his life.
Bradley explains in his blog:
The reason I decided to become an artist has nothing to do with what would make me the most money, or what I was “talented” at, or even what I necessarily always enjoyed the most. It was simply something that, in my gut, I just knew was the right choice. Without anything better to go on, that’s what I relied on.
From this moment, the fear began. I have spent every day since, with some variance, utterly terrified of failing. Of not being good enough. Not making enough money to support myself. Being a horrible, embarrassing failure.
And it was this fear that propelled me to improve.
He got into Rhode Island School of Design, but had to turn it down because of the high cost of tuition. So he decided to delay his attendance, work harder and apply for a scholarship instead.
The next year, Bradley received a $20,000 annual scholarship to RISD and accepted the offer, taking out loans to cover the rest.
After a year, with a rising tuition cost, Bradley decided to transfer to his home state and attend Virginia Commonwealth University, from where he'd eventually end up graduating.
Now that his skills were becoming more refined, Bradley worked on his professional portfolio.
Bradley was getting paid for his work, but he always had a dream to draw for the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. At 22, he got the commission.
His next dream was to work for the trading card game Magic: The Gathering, a goal Bradley also achieved at the age of 22.
Along with his professional work, he began creating his own unique fantasy world. Called "The Sin of Man," the series really started taking off when he was just 24.
At the end of his post, Bradley gave some advice for other aspiring artists:
If I can leave you with one piece of advice that I have acquired over all of these years, it’s to always find some degree of pride in what you have accomplished so far. Be thankful for every accomplishment, no matter how small. Be proud of yourselves. Not to the point of pride, but rather to encourage and motivate.
"Because if you just keep going, eventually you’ll find yourself somewhere."