My design professor gave us 6 tips for successful art, design, and things of that nature. He had us write them all down so I thought I might as well post them. :3
1. Learn from Everyone -- Even non-artists still can have interesting input and techniques
2. Follow no One -- Copying someone else's style isn't a way to get noticed, you'll stand out more if you have your own unique style instead of trying to mimic another's
3. Look for Patterns -- See what works for you and find what makes working on a project easier and more efficient
4. Don't wait for inspiration -- If you sit around waiting for the moment to be just right it will never come. Working through a block is the best way to get the ball rolling.
5. Push past your first ideas -- If it's the first idea to pop into your head it's probably the first idea to pop into someone else's too. The strongest ideas take more thought.
6. Work like hell! -- You won't get anything done without actually working on it, after all!
Also go look at some of his stuff: [link]
It's pretty cool.