That Old Familiar Feeling (Art School)

There was a time not too long ago when September would roll around and my thoughts turned towards school and a year full of promise.

Ever the optimist, but a little slow on the realism, somehow every school year start felt like it was going to be the year that would make my life all the better and thrust my person into a new and more adventurous lifestyle. In this fantasy world everyone of my pursuits went right and all of my experiences were opportunities realized.

I never got to that place at any point, dear readers. It was a child’s dream.

Not during elementary school, not during junior high school, not during high school, and also not during post-secondary.

The closest I ever felt to that point of arrival was in post-secondary, but I think it was mostly due to limited contact with the general public and maximum contact with substance abuse AKA critical thinking and alcohol. I blame that line of thinking on my lack of experience at the time and my stubbornness in not seeing things as they were, but rather as I wanted them to be. You see, I spent a lot of effort thinking about things, and considerably less time trying things.

I should clarify myself here.

I had a great many experiences that were very positive, some that were less positive but which yielded good lessons, but ultimately I did not push myself nearly as hard as I could have in order to become a functioning member of society as quickly as I should have. I realized this in my third year of university and made great efforts to land volunteer work that I could use to get myself a “day job”  after I was finished. But what about friendships, industry contacts, and meeting someone who I could be in a fantastic relationship with.

You see friends, life is a series of events that should be viewed at much like school, we all need to learn lessons, but some lessons come easier than others. And so you need to look inward to determine what skills you are lacking in.

Whether it’s home and personal care, life-management/organization, education, professionalism, transportation, and finally conscientiousness which is the area I admittedly still need to spend some time on.

With that said – let’s agree that September should always be a time for self-reflection, and for that reason alone I feel that it should replace New Years Eve as a time of making resolutions.

As creative professionals, we should resolve to work on ourselves always, because creativity is needed in this world and no one teaches you how to nurture that quality, but I definitely have some theories about how to do so.

Tim!

Reach For The Stars (David Wiens interview, Perseverance)

Perseverance has always been about the long game.

Single people who are attracted to a friend, remain purely friends and wait until that person becomes single or interested, then focus on being sexual at the appropriate time, will follow this mantra.

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Thieves use it when they are trying to coerce people out of their money, often with elaborate plans that involve emotions, a false sense of security, and a final change of money or account ownership at the last second to sneakily gain said funds.

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Politicians do it too – when they are negotiating with another party. They will appear weak at first in order to gain a stronger position later on and gain the upper hand, so that they can acquire that which they really wanted in the first place, power and prestige.

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And while those 3 instances are perfect set up examples to demonstrate the value of perseverance in this thing we call life, it can be used in other avenues. And because timotheories is about digital curating at heart, I think I’ve found one example which we can all benefit from, whether we are fully functioning creative professionals or just starting out.

You see, dear readers, it can be challenging to succeed as an artist, no matter what your stripe, but often, the best teacher in life is experience, and I know just the man to get you your allotted life lesson.

That’s right, we’re going to review the final feature length interview with my personal friend, David Wiens. Which means we’ve now reached episode 9 of this incredible series which both highlights artists who deserve exposure, and supplies you with teachable moments. It’s win-win in the long game.

David Wiens is a photographer with an incredible insight of the product photography industry, and he has dedicated the better part of a decade to gain these skills and become an expert in his particular niche. He has applied all sorts of principles from the broader discipline of photography so that he can have his choice of both full-time and freelance jobs.

He realized long ago that in order to make it as an artist, he would have to not only walk the walk and talk the talk, but never balk the balk. Bad pun? Probably, but you get the point.

Besides, you aren’t entirely here for my comedy, you want to watch that sweet sweet interview, and I’ve made you wait long enough. This is truly my most dedicated effort yet, and one which I’m incredibly proud of. I promise.

As always, if you want to check out more timotheories interviews or the Cross Talk series please visit our YouTube channel.  And please, please, please share this post and of course subscribe to both the blog and channel!

Please also check out David’s website to see his portfolio and to contact him for creative services.

And of course my sincerest thanks to David for being decisive, dedicated, and dynamic. See you tomorrow with an album review that’s kind of profane.

Tim!

Road Map (Find Your Mentors)

One of my favourite things about film is the great associations films can have with words and ideas (spoiler alert for today’s wisdom). For instance, whenever I think of taking a road trip, I can’t help but remember 2000’s road sex comedy movie of the same name, Road Trip.

That movie is chock full of references for me.

For instance, I can’t help but think of Austin whenever someone mentions Boston and vice-versa. Clip conveniently included if you don’t get the reference.

On the other side of levity, the consequences of absorbing this content meant that I had weird ideas about what a new adult should be and could be, and as I mentioned in a previous post, it created some strange ideas of what post-secondary (and in the larger picture, adult life) would probably be like. But that doesn’t mean Road Trip has no redeeming qualities. In fact, the eccentricities of it’s lead characters demonstrate reality far better than most college themed films, that and an amazing idea tucked into pop culture sensibilities towards the end of the film, is super important.

Specifically, the scene where one of the characters is able to teach the lead character Josh the ancient philosophy course material needed to pass a class and stay in university. This is achieved by using analogies of wrestlers from WWF (WWFE or WWE as it is known today).

Rubin: What class is that again?
Rubin: Ancient philosophy.
Rubin: Well I can teach you ancient philosophy in 46 hours.
Josh: Really?
Rubin: Yeah, I can teach Japanese to a monkey in 46 hours. The key is just finding a way to relate to the material. Like, OK… You like pro wrestling, don’t you?
Josh: Who doesn’t?
Rubin: OK. Socrates was like the Vince McMahon of philosophy. He started it all.

This might seem dumb on the surface, and just feel-good filler but it is incredibly profound – perception is reality. What this means is that if you believe something, no matter how untrue, you won’t be able to get past it unless you come at it from a place of understanding. Rubin was able to “teach” Josh about philosophy using a subject he loved and cared about.

That’s the first step to growth, moving forward in a way that you can understand, which means making the content relational to your current interests and understanding and engaging with enthusiasm.

On that note, I want to continue the self-improvement concepts we’ve been examining, by focusing on a fairly important point, one which I’ve avoided in previous weeks because I wanted you to be as prepared as possible for the inevitable. How sneaky of me.

Well here it is – the realization that change is difficult and sometimes feels impossible, is only one step of many steps you need to take in order to stick with whatever creative purpose you have in your heart. You have to do this in order to make something and offer it up to the world.

I struggle with it myself, dear readers.

But that’s why it’s so rewarding once you begin to see results, because these are hard won battles, and a lot of the time they are with old beliefs you didn’t realize you were nursing so hard. That means taking baby steps and slowly changing a little by little, and to always keep in mind the power of reinvention.

By moving forward and focusing on what is in front of you, you can begin to dissolve the past. But guess what? You can’t just figure it out on your own, that’s how you got to where you are right now. By simply sleep-walking through life and absorbing things in your dream state. And we all know how fucked up dream state can be.

And then you aren’t making your art, you’re struggling to figure out what it’s in front of you.

Which means you need to find a teacher; this can be accomplished with a person who already has done what you want to (quickest, most emotional), through resources like books and films (longer, how you get 3/4 of the info), and lastly through a change in perception. Ever heard the expression, when the student is ready, the teacher appears? That’s largely a mental thing, because everything around you is capable of demonstrating the ideology and passion you are striving for. Rocks can represent hidden art for instance, or tree roots can represent learned knowledge.

So please find a mentor. This can be challenging for sure, as covered already, but  there are levels of mentorship and you will need all of them.

But don’t take my word for it, read this article to get yourself started.

And that’s all the theories I have for today, my friends. Please leave some comments below, subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already, and I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

 

Real Talk (Bridging The Talent VS Vision Gap)

What if you only had a few more months left to live? How would YOU spend YOUR time? Would you stay at the shitty job you took to get your career started or because you didn’t know what to do with yourself, or would you restructure pretty much everything so that you could finally do the things you’ve been saying you’ll do for years? And that probably means travelling, time with family, and projects that might not work out.

Seriously think about that for a minute.

Think about the dreams you have in the back of your mind and which ones (yes plural) you are not pursuing right now. I’m sure you’re scared about them too, right?

But that’s not gonna cut the mustard anymore!

I’m going to share a list of ten things you likely haven’t considered simultaneously but seriously need to if you want to get out of your funk and start contributing to society proper. That means you need to take a good hard look at your life and what it is made up of and start dissecting many things and nurturing other less obvious things.

This is real talk! And not the creepy kind from R Kelly.

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10 Sentences That Can Change Your Perspective On Life

  1. People aren’t against you; they are for themselves.
  2. Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.
  3. You learn more from failure than from success. Don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.
  4. The most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.
  5. Go where you’re celebrated not where you’re tolerated.
  6. The person that you will spend the most time with in your life is yourself, so better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.
  7. If you accept your limitations you go beyond them.
  8. People often say that motivation doesn’t last, Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.
  9. Everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.
  10. Comfort is the enemy of achievement.

I originally found this list from imgur a few years back, so I can’t properly source it, other than the link itself, but here is the link if you want to do some investigating.

Today’s post dear readers is about this theory I have that most people are only willing to do the bare minimum to get through life.

You, yes you, as a creative person have a choice though – decide if you are willing to accept this as reality, or if you are going to fight with everything you have to stay passionate, to burn to produce something real, and to keep doing it until the day you die.

You see my friends, nobody is going to tell you the most obvious thing, they expect you to figure it out yourself.

We all have a reach that it is much longer than our grasp, in terms of asethetics/ability and our vision of what we will accomplish. We will always have this vision, from youth to our old age; but you have to work through potentially years of work in order for your talent to reach your vision.

Admittedly that last point is not my own idea, it comes from Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life. I paraphrased it, but here is the quote I took the idea from.

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me.

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste.

But there is this gap.

For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.

A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have.

We all go through this.

And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap. And your work will be as good as your ambitions.

And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Ira is right though. And I am gonna expand on his idea –  when we have nothing to lose AND we are physically able, we finally hunker down and start making beautiful things. And that’s when we start to close the gap.

Take for instance this song Clouds about a young man who was an incredibly talented musician.

As delicately as I can say it, the point I am making with Zach Sobiech is not that he FINALLY started to make art and follow his passion because of his cancer (though that is true), my point is that many of us finish school or enter the workforce and give up on our dreams. That was not Zach’s story, but look how much he accomplished in 4 years because he had a purpose and committed to it.

As I mentioned, most of us wait.

But if we wait until we get sick or when we retire and show signs of age, then decide to take up “hobbies” and finally start to share our unique visions with the world, we might not close that gap.

And that’s my theory for the day. Leave some comments or reach out to me with your thoughts! I’ll see you tomorrow with a Melodic Monday review.

Tim!