May 18, 2008

Weekend & Beyond Man

I took the week off last week. As far as productivity it was equivalent to a 20 hour work week. I made NO money.

I had a decent recharging weekend so I hope to kill it this week.

I got to drive 7+ hours from Alabama to Nashville for a get together so I had lots of time to think, which it seems I need drive time to really get the freedom to explore all the marbles that are clanking around in my head.

I think from now on, since I have no financial burdens, no obligations, almost total freedom, these are my thoughts.

1. I will strive to make all designs/illustrations EPIC. Epic as being defined as being top notch quality of the best of my ability.

2. If I take on any client work, regardless of their ability to compensate me financially, the work will also be EPIC. (Im sorry, this probably means I wont be taking too many freelance gigs. I have two solid ones I need to wrap up, and til June 12, I am gunning for the threadless designs. Beyond that, Im not sure. My minimums start at $350.)

3. I have some peculiar value system that prevents me from selling out. Although I have pandered somewhat to attract the votes of certain contest sites, from now on, all images will represent my style, my vision, with very little influence from outside critiques unless they are valid artistic critiques. This is to ensure that my identity in my art will not become lost in the translation in hopes to win. I have been surfing too much to see the trends and the audience preference. THIS, is not an artist's life.

4. Although it will be difficult, I will attempt to become more professional in my expression, starting with complete sentences, correct grammar, and punctuation. Image is everything, and although I disdain conformity, this level of conformity/pandering is not selling out, it is a business decision to project a level of professionalism.

5. Do art for the love of it. Though the previous week when I created my woot derby entries, I achieved a higher level in my skills in cartooning, at least two of the entires were shoddy representations of my ability. Also the Viking Kittens piece was not at 100% of my desired quality.


On Competition

I am competitive. I hate to lose.

Although in knowing this, there are some issues that lead to grandiose questions about the morality of judgement.

To compare oneself is a slippery slope. Is my car, job, looks, etc better than my neighbor's?

But it is futile to resist our nature. It is in our nature to judge and compare.

If you are approached by a homeless man for some change, do you not internally cower in disgust?

If you are dating, do you not judge your possible mate for their status in society, their ability to earn income, their appearance, their health?

If you watch competitive sports or any other type of competition do you not value the one who is the winner? Or at least society value the winner as being the Better team?

Knowing this is nature, I sense an inherent problem in my competitiveness. It makes me keen on how to judge, where I am constantly judging everything. I am not excluded from the judgment either, especially my artistic performance and my performance in marketing myself and acceptance by my audience. Herein lies the problem. It is difficult to disconnect ones perception of self worth if one is constantly engaged in competition. Although I know that I did well artistically in my pieces for the woot derby, even before entering them, I knew I was going to lose. Although I can be proud to say I did some of my best works in cartooning, I am by the rules of the contest a loser.

I am unable to formulate my thoughts clearly, but the final questions of this tendency to judge is

1. If, by virtue of hard work and perseverance, one gains value in any craft or skill, there must be some intrinsic value to the work.

2. If there is value in the work, then there is conversely less or no value on things that do not take as much work to produce. Although there are concurrent quality skillsets unseen such as concept, and idea.

3. If trying to escape the downfalls of judgment, how is one to absolve the issue of self worth being connected to performance?

4. If one is being valued for their work, much like my self worth built by the admiration of my artistic skillset by others, how do I not ask the question, if I were not talented or skilled, would I be of any interest to others?

5. Being that I am judged by my craft, how do I not judge others in the merits of their perceived ambitions and goals?

I don't think there is an answer, unless you seek out a religious or spiritual philosophy that excludes all human perceptions of value. It would be an inhuman thing to do. I think this is a good exercise to pursue. To be inhuman that is. If anything to disconnect my self worth from my work would help me lead a happier mental life.

Although I may sound strict in my judgement, I enjoy the friends I do have, and I do not think about their accomplishments when I hang out with them. Sometimes I do, and I dont prefer it. As everyone should be accepted as they are regardless of their 'accomplishments.'

I don't know if I made any sense, but I wanted to finish with some other possibly enigmatic thoughts.

You can take the man out of a Godly/spiritual/religious man. But if you know that they cannot be separated, you can strive to make the man a lesser part of the whole.

Meaning in all situations, regardless of the state of the man's belief system, there will always be the fallible: the vices and idiosyncrasies, you can however try to become less a man, or in the case of accepting others, understand that they are just as you, man and hopefully partially attempting to become beyond man.

There is no changing another, but if you are to change yourself, maybe you will inspire others to do the same, as it is easier to follow by example.

Disclaimer. I am not a Christian man. Although sometimes my thoughts may have a tendency to hint of it, I am not. I only tell you this, because I do not wish to bear false witness, and lead anyone astray if they think I may be. I am very fallible.

One more thing. A cool t-shirt would be zombies on segways. That's from the brain of Eric Denton.

1 comment:

Jim L. said...

I need some work done. My email is atartdrops (at) yahoo (dot) com. I'm looking for your #2. If I take on any client work, regardless of their ability to compensate me financially, the work will also be EPIC.
I will compensate for all work done. I am artdrops on Threadless and saw your posts. Please contact me soon. My name is Jim.