Meditate On This (Vinson Lim interview preview)

There is a lot to be said about the importance of discipline, meditation and reflecting on your creative projects upon completion… Whether you shoot video, take photos, design logos or any of the other convention commercial arts, timelines and making the work count is a necessary evil of the job. People pay for expertise, and so you have to look at your art as a business in order to satisfy client needs, but what about the importance of inspiration?

Vinson Lim has come to accept that you need a healthy dose of both in order to achieve greatness as an artist. Truly talented individuals can live in the moment all they way, and produce high volumes of work too, but it’s even more important to take care of your health, and develop intelligent practices to maintain the workflow for years to come.

And so I asked Vinse the question – how often do you find yourself in a state of meditation when you work?

I wanted to see if he actively reflects on life or if there is simply rituals in place that fuel the fire and keep things going even when the spark of youth has left us. This is just a taste of our broader discussion on spiritual alignment, but I promise you’ll get a lot out of hearing what Vinse has done over more then a decade of shooting fashion photography, commercial product photos, living the weekend warrior life of wedding photography, and make artistic work too.

It’s an amazing introduction to the topic of spiritual alignment, and while this might be considered a heavy topic, Vinse has a great ability to present his thoughts in a meaningful way. But enough from me, it’s time for you to watch the video and see for yourself.

theories Summarized

Fun fact, I’ve known Vinse for quite a few years now, but it has been a while since we’ve been in touch. I’m truly impressed with how much he has matured in half a decade, taking on husband duties and now a father as well. But I’d rather not go into those details just yet, better to save them for the official interview, which I will be releasing next week!

That said, if you’ve enjoyed this introductory question and answer on the importance of meditation, please like and share the video, and of course leave some comments if anything really stood out or if you’ve got a good example of balancing inspiration and ritual in your own artistic practice.

More theories on the way, especially with this Our Lady Peace review coming out tomorrow! Check back soon!

Tim!

Vacation, Recreation, Sensation (Penticton BC)

Timely posts are some of my favourites to share with you, dear readers. They are short and sweet, they let you know what is going on in my personal life, where my head is at, so to speak, and some of the challenges I am facing.

Because I never want you to think I am some self-proclaimed guru with no sense of reality, standing on a perch from on high, a false messiah if you will. I am a regular guy, with a day job, a girlfriend, and my own set of weird personal relationships. Art is one my first true loves, but as I age and live my life, I struggle with my own motivational challenges sometimes, and my personal health doesn’t seem to go my way very often, despite efforts I make regularly to eat well and exercise.

No matter what the challenge, I remind myself constantly of this one fact.

I’m going to share a favourite quote of mine from Marcus Aurelius to give you some insight –

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.

This manifesto reminds me that life is difficult, but we all are mutually in it together, though we might each see through a lenses obscured. And now to explain why there are not going to be an timotheories videos or post next week friends.

I am going on vacation for a week, starting this Saturday and carrying through to next Saturday I’m going to check out all of Penticton, British Columbia with my lovely girlfriend Mysticque. I’m taking this time to bond with her alone, something we have not done yet together, because she has a son from a former relationship, and we only get to see each other every other week. Some people might not like or want to accommodate a situation like that, but she is so worth it.

But regardless of my awesome relationship, people have been frustrating me lately, and even though Marcus Aurelius reminds me constantly that I need to be vigilant and empathetic, I need a break. To a place that gives me peace and calms my mind down. We all have those places, the mountains have always been that for me though. Thus I’m off to see Penticton, drink some wine, enjoy fresh air, and relax for five days, without technology.

A retreat from modern distractions.

We all need these refreshers creative cuties, never apologize for taking time for yourself to practice self-care. Discipline and hustle are fundamental to your personal growth, but unfortunately no one can manage everything at once and grow simultaneously. This is one of those time where I will practice excellent self-care and come back renewed. And I’m ever so thankful for Mysticque for taking this time with me, and doing 85% of the planning. I love her, and you will too, because the rest of July will be awesome.

And so I’m out of theories for a few days. Enjoy your week folks, and I will see you on Sunday the 23rd with preview interview.

Tim!

I’ll Be Back, and Arms, and Legs (Arnold, Successful Body Building)

This is a story in progress.

It’s not finished yet because… well, I’m not dead.

That’s what I said the first time around, when I wrote the that initial entry on one of my personal heroes, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And I have gotten better since December, I’ve slowly but surely increased my capacity for greatness – through writing, reading, disciplined meditation, clean living, and creative pursuits. And especially through exercise.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a great example of someone who goes after what he wants. I’m paraphrasing but here are some examples of things Arnold has said.

I want to be the greatest bodybuilder in the world. Done. And he went through the rungs to get there. Then he decided, I want to be one of the great movie stars of his time. Done. Thank you Arnie for being The Terminator, and all of the other action hero roles you’ve taken on. And also, he decided, I want to be the governor of California… Guess what? Boom. Done.

Arnold demonstrates that with hard work and following key rules, you can have success. As he famously said in his six rules to success speech,

none of these rules work unless you do. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.

 

 

6 Rules of Success

But what are the six rules of success? Well of course, let me lay them down for you, real simple like.

  1. Trust yourself – Many young people are getting so much advice from their parents and teachers and everyone. But what is most important is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourself, who do you want to be? Not what, but who. Figure out for yourself what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people.
  2. Break the rules – Not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail – Anything I’ve ever attempted, I was always willing to fail. You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions. You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, and success will come. So don’t be afraid to fail.
  4. Don’t Listen to the Naysayers – How many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and it’s never been done before? I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it, that means that I’m the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done. I always listen to myself and say, “Yes, you can.”
  5. Work Your Butt Off – Leave no stone unturned. Mohammed Ali, one of my great heroes, had a great line in the ’70s when he was asked, “How many sit-ups do you do?” He said, “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it hurts. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” That’s what makes you a champion.It’s important to have fun in life, but when you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that. But if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work. None of these rules work unless you do. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.
  6. Give Something Back – Whatever path you take in your life, you must always find time to give something back, to your community, your state or to your country. Reaching out and helping people will give you more satisfaction than anything you’ve ever done.

     

But he only developed these rules by standing on the shoulders of his own giants, and let me just say, one of Arnie’s heroes should be yours too. Ever heard of Reg Park? The original italian stallion? Except he was actually British.

The Original Hercules

There have been a number of films representing the greek god Hercules, but the one that caught the attention of a young Schwarzenegger was Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis (1961), starring Reg Park in his film debut.

Reg Park was an English bodybuilder, businessman and actor. He inspired Schwarzenegger to become a bodybuilder, so if his regimen for beginners can work for Arnold, then it’ll work for us too.

You see dear readers, I’ve been exercising for almost a year straight, alternating between strength and core training (M/W/F) & cardio and meditation (Tu/Th). And while I don’t want to make this post about exercise, because I easily could break down the exercises portion of The Education of a Bodybuilder, instead, I’ll leave this here for those of you so inclined to read it. The writer is on point, and breaks down the exercises of the book really well.

theories Summarized

 

On this wisdom of Wednesday I leave you with something to ponder, what’s stopping you from committing to exercise time? I have this theory that health, wealth, and happiness are within reach creative cuties, but like Arnold says, remember the six rules.

You can do it. I believe in you, for you too are destined for great things.

Tim!

Things Said In Earnest (Meta-Reading)

I’m a big fan of lists, process improvement, discipline, personal development, branding, and having a purpose. These are expressions I’ve honed over years as both an artist and a marketing professional. And wisdom often denotes that if you want to continue to evolve you must change too as other successful people before you have changed.

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I do have to say something in earnest though, change is important and while that particular Xzibit meme pokes fun at recursive things, it also manages to be meta about the concept of change. As the old adage goes, the only thing constant is change.

A couple of weeks ago I shared a hint of a vision with you, as it seems I so often do.

But dear readers, you of course know that the much larger purpose of timotheories is digital curating at heart – we focus on cultivating the arts and providing you with positive feedback both on creative work and for creative professionals too…

And it is Wisdom Wednesday after all, so a vision seems appropriate. Where was I? Oh right I have a vision, a pet project, a task I am undertaking myself and which I seriously think all creative types would benefit from pursuing as well.

This project doesn’t have a name just yet, but for now, I’m going to refer to it as meta-reading. I’ve decided to tentatively call the vision as such because I know that I am going to be reading a minimum of one book a month. My rationale about said meta-reading is that I will also be writing about the act of reading, my relationship to the author I’m reading, and how my opinion of them and the work changes over time. I’m following this course because we don’t all consciously consider the act of reading. And we should. Most of us either do it or do not – which would make Yoda proud, but wouldn’t create well-rounded individuals.

So, I want to dedicate at least one post a month to a behemoth of creativity, one who I believe can provide you who some wisdom and help you to grow into the role you were meant to play, that of creative professional. I’ll admit first and foremost that this theory I have, that creativity is attainable by all, is not a new one, and I carry a heavy heart in sharing the knowledge I have gleaned from others and of course that which I personally pass on to you several times a week.

Which I why I’ve decided to start off the project of meta-reading by examines one of my favourite authors of whom I have never read anything by, but whom has been quoted and misquoted so many times in the history of writing since his contributions, and whom has been referenced in popular culture again and again.

That’s right, I’m reading a book by one Ernest Hemingway.

He has been called many things, from champ, to papa hemingway, to tiny, but Ernest Hemingway was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. And he lived a very rich life. Unfortunately his depression ended up killing him in the end, but that is not why I want to read one of his books. I want to understand why he influenced pop culture the way he did, and quite frankly I want to gain some wisdom myself.

Which is why my task for you over the next couple of weeks is to join me as I read Hemingway’s first novel, The Sun Also Rises, and next month I’ll talk about the book, provide a little background on him and my thoughts, and do it again with another creative type. Sound good friends?

I thought so too.

And that’s all of the theories I’ve got for today. Please subscribe to the blog, leave some comments, and share with your artist loved ones. I’ll be back tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

Take A Look, It’s In A Book… (Learn to Love Learning)

You want to be successful at your art, dear readers? And to be successful, the first step is recognizing what is required of you. For instance, do you have the right attitude (or have you developed a strategy if it’s out of your control)? Because you need to stop making excuses and take advantage of free resources available to you. The environment you have set up for yourself can definitely factor into the equation too… But don’t fret because happiness is within reach!

You really have to start forming excellent habits though.

One of the ways to best accomplish your goals is to create lists and break those lists down into manageable tasks, but to be honest, that’s only going to take you so far. Once you accept that life is not something which you can complete and then coast through, that it goes on and on, you will change your expectations and invest in processes which allow you to live a good lifestyle. Look at last weeks Wisdom Wednesday on timotheories if you need more information on how to get started.

Once you start setting those habits, goals will naturally get completed, but an interesting occurrence can also happen, and if you aren’t ready for it, you’ll fall right off the horse.

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Boredom can set in.

And one of the surest ways to combat boredom is through discipline. But here is the secret dear readers, and it’s a theory I have found is very likely to be true. Very rarely do teachers, coaches, gurus or whatever they want to be called tell this. I hope it becomes common knowledge at some point soon – you need to be in good spirits in order to maintain discipline. That means diet, exercise, and sleep.

Okay timotheories, but those are kinda obvious habits to keep up, we already knew that! 

Touche, my friends, touche. But you see, I haven’t quite gotten to my point just yet. If you would just give me another minute to build up the anticipation, I promise the payoff should be worth it…

Diet and sleep are straightforward, eat healthy food that is unprocessed and do your best to limit carbohydrates as well as most sugars. Next, get somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep every night and commit to a routine to ensure your circadian rhythms get lined up correctly (slow to start, ramping up into the middle of the day, and winding down in the evening). Now talk to your doctor and also a certified professional about a workout which suits your current body type, and ease into it.

The problem is that we are forgetting something, and I just don’t know what… Oh right, the boredom. Those activities are boring if you aren’t also exercising your mind.

Your brain automates a lot of the daily processes you use, and your mind is integral to your mood. If you aren’t in a good mood, new routines become a lot more difficult to set up. That means reading books which stimulate your mind in positive ways. From classical literature, to self-improvement, to education in the arts and sciences, to philosophy, to biography, there are a number of genres that you can and should be reading to keep your mind sharp.

You need to read if you are going to stay the course, because just like with exercising the body, if you don’t use it, you will inevitably lose it and suffer from health problems.

Now timotheories, that’s all well and good, but a lot of us don’t have TIME for reading, we work 40+ hours a week, have to fit in meals, exercise, sleep, and spending time with loved ones, AND find time to obsess over our art. How the heck are we going to fit reading into the mix?

Well, the question has been asked before, but never has it sounded so sweet to the ears.

Should you consider listening to audio books as reading? And if you do, is it a viable alternative? Yes! The answer is a resounding yes! If you can’t make the time to sit down and read, do it while you work on routine tasks, on your commute or in down time before falling asleep.

You might not be able to absorb the information as readily, but the truth of the matter is that there are a number of ways to get a hold of audio books – look here at overdrive.com for starters. This website is what a lot of libraries use to store digital copies of their books. And if you have the technology (you should), you can put the content on your phone or mp3 player for convenience.

So do yourself a favour, develop your mind, bolster your imagination, and discover new things in the process. That’s all of theories I’ve got for a today my friends, so I’ll catch you tomorrow with a timely update.

Tim!