Never, ever, work for bad people.
On November 22, 1963, as soon as I got over the initial shock after hearing John F. Kennedy had been shot, we called all our clients to cancel their TV advertising. The president's condition was still unclear and the networks hadn't yet slapped a moratorium on advertising, but our clients agreed this was no time for business as usual. But one of our account men called J. Dan Brock, our National Airlines client, who answered in his good ol' boy, southern drawl, "I think you boys in New York are blowing this all out of proportion." I jumped on the phone and said, "I'm sorry Dan, I guess you haven't heard that the president's been shot!" "Sheeet, Louis," said Brock, "He's dead! Hell, we're celebrating!" "Hey, Dan," I said in my Noo Yawk drawl, "Kiss my New York ass," slammed down the phone, and canceled all their television commercials. The next morning (surprise, surprise) J. Dan Brock fired us. Good riddance.
When the news got around my agency as to why we were fired, everybody could not have felt prouder.
Don't ever, knowingly, work for bad people.
Never eat shit. (If it looks like shit, and it smells like shit, and it tastes like shit... it's shit.)
If you're in a relationship (with your boss, supervisor, partner, or client) and you suspect that you are contiunally being used and/ or abused, admit it -- you're eating shit. Without the courage to put an end to it, you'll never create great work. Put an end to it.
To keep the Big Boys honest, speak Truth to Power.
Abraham Lincoln said, "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." (underlined specifically by DeemedCrusader) The best of us whose creations can be thought of as art are cultural provocateurs, infused with subversion against all kinds of authority, even God. Join those of us in the creative community that are hard on big business moguls, fat cats, "the authorities," courts, politicians, Wall Street greed, government that benefits the wealthy at the expense of the poor and powerless, and anyone corrupted by money and power.
Bob Dylan famously wrote in his iconic indictment, "Masters of War":