Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spit in the face of fear!

You can't be afraid! Fear will paralyze you! Of course, a little bit of fear can be healthy, that's what stops us from running out into traffic, but fear works on the law of diminishing returns; if you keep increasing how much you are afraid, it doesn't make you safer.

Your art is a reflection of your life. Do you want a particular quality in your artwork? You've got to live that thing in your life. If you want to produce bold work, you've got to live boldly. If you want honesty in your work, you've got to live honestly. This is the way to a genuine result. The qualities will just come out in your work. There might be other ways to arrive at what you want, but it's like driving through Argentina to go from Seattle to New York; it's the long way. If you live boldly, the boldness will just come out in your work naturally.

The easiest way to improve your work is to improve the way you live. Tired of all the indecision in your work? Eliminate indecision in your life, and the indecision in your work will vanish by default. As for me, I don't want to have any fear in my work, no uncertainty, and no hesitation. So I am going about eliminating those things in the way I live.

The above picture was taken around midnight from the top of Mt Si last night with a poet friend of mine, Malorie. We hiked up to the top of the mountain, partly in the moonlight, partly with headlights, and always on the alert for animals. Why hike at night? Aside from the obvious amazing view in the moonlight, it's an exercise in defeating fear. It's something of a scary thing to hike 8 miles in the middle of the night, but we did it anyway. And once you've hiked in the cold dark for 8 hours, putting the wrong line on a piece of paper doesn't seem like such a big deal. In an attempt to overcome fear and uncertainty in my work, I am overcoming fear and uncertainty in my life, one night hike at a time.

(And don't worry, I was equipped in case of trouble. Bear repellant and a huge knife.)

Don't be afraid, peeps! Start overcoming fear in your life, and you'll find it simple to overcome in your work!

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