Wednesday 28 December 2011

2012: Enjoy The Journey

We always focus on the goals. Our giant ambitions. The problem is, anything less than complete success and we feel like failures.

But you're a success every time you wake up in the morning and declare yourself an artist.

Too many people I know, myself included, get locked into self-judgement, angry about the things we haven't accomplished yet and how we're not achieving everything we want. Instead of enjoying the creative people we meet and fascinating places we visit, we focus on what we've achieved or not achieved.

Too many artists are unhappy. I know the stereotype, I know the cliche, but it doesn't have to be. It's a journey. We create things and sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. The important thing is the journey we're on.

In the past I have preached ambition and dedication and work ethic. But here's the thing, they're not everything. You have to live life too. Your art will be better for it. Earn your artistic indulgences. Art is best when it has relevance in the world. You need to participate in it. If you spend too long dismissing the mainstream and hiding in your room, you'll miss out on what matters to your audience. 

Society has a set idea of success. Are you rich? Are you famous? Do I know your work? This is jarring to the true artist, because deep down your body dances to a different rhythm. An artist asks: am I enjoying this? Does it feel like me? Am I passionate? Without those, you'll be in mental chaos. We forget this, and begin judging our work the way everyone else does, which can only lead to unhappiness -- because they're the wrong questions. 

Get closer to what and who you love, and dive into the journey. Find souls who are like you. Find collaborators who you want to be around for the rest of your life.

Don't limit yourself with ambitions. Of course, It's good to have direction, but you gotta stay open to the different waves the universe sends.

Every artistic experience, whether big or small, is valid. When you're pissed off because you're working on a short film rather than winning Oscars, you're disrespecting the people you're working with, and you're limiting your chance to grow and be a better artist. Scrap that and enjoy whatever it is you're involved in right now. 

I've had a blast this year, and I'm only now realising it, after months of depressively dissecting the projects that didn't quite go right. There is always another project, another chance, another journey. It's important to remember that it isn't life and death, it's just art. And art is like the wind, it blows in different directions and sometimes it'll carry you and sometimes it will be a force against you. As long as you get out there and be a part of the journey, you're going to have a great time and you'll create work that will resonate with a lot of people. 

Just don't put pressure on yourself. You know what you want and you know how to do it. Beating yourself over the head every time you wake up is not going to help. 


Remember how much you love the movies. 

And calmly get to work. 

Care to share?


  1. It's easy to forget why we love the arts we do. When I sit to write or get an idea for a video to edit, the magic of that inspiration can sometimes get lost in criticism of the process. We often become obsessed with the results and miss out in the experience. I'm looking forward to many great things in 2012. Enjoying more artists and contributing my concepts are at the top of my list. Happy New Year Kid!

  2. I've gotta say, this surprises me! I think of you as a very focused, success-driven person, and I mean that as a compliment. It makes me happy to see you giving yourself license to enjoy other things every once in a while.

    I recently watched a documentary about screenwriters, and there was one guy who was working on the same spec screenplay for four years. FOUR YEARS! He kept bringing it to script consultants and changing things according to what "experts" said, but he wasn't working on anything else--that was it. The guy was miserable. His family was miserable. Sometimes you've just gotta let go. Do other things. Stop obsessing. Live.

    Good reminders, Kid. You're going to have a great year. :)

  3. I think you might be me just a couple of steps ahead:-)

  4. I have missed posts such as these very much (enforced break from blogging so I could get on with college projects). Reading this one, gave me such a good kick up the you-know-what, and reminded me what I need to be reminded of... You speak such wisdom, and poetry. I love the art as wind bit in particular. Another "Kid" post to save as a bookmark :)