Tag: determination

Your Art is crap…but that’s okay

I’ve been putting it off for too long.

Let me fill you in: I wrote a novel four years ago. My first reaction? Hell YEAH! Take that Stephen King. Eat my dust JK Rowling. James Patterson—who’s that?! So there it was, a completed manuscript, in my hard drive, fermenting in digital soy sauce. And you know what? I was happy. I was exuberant. I was feeling like a freakin’ genius.

I read it last week.

 

It was crap. Damn…

I’ve written a few rudimentary novels in my twenty-seven years alive. I really cared about this one. That’s why it hurt. That’s why it hit me hard. That’s why I’m writing about it now.

Listen up. I believe this.

I believe that all artists—directors, writers, painters, singers, rappers, poets, and interpretative mime artists—take their art seriously. Too seriously. We’re an insecure group that craves affirmation and acceptance. We want people to say: “Hey, that was awesome!” although know-one truly cares. We want people to call us a genius, when, most of the time, our best work will remain invisible.

I envision my writing craft as a Jujitsu-trained pelican. It stabs me with its bill every time I make a mistake. It hits me hard. Every time. Pelicans don’t like me. Interesting fact.

Moving on.

I had to be honest: Kane, you’re a crap writer. Your sock choices are horrendous, too. Idiot.

But wait. Was it really that bad?

Think break. It hit me when I was on the MRT. There are levels to crap. It’s true—every profession, every artwork, every piece of work. So I began to think: what did I really do?

I transformed a dream…into a reality.

We often don’t give ourselves credit, but sometimes, the simple act of creating is enough. Transforming a dream into a reality, something you can see, read and touch, is an incredible feat. It takes time. It takes focus. It takes blood, sweat and repeated pokes to the heart. So what if we weren’t so self critical all the time? Where would that lead us?

Here’s my advice: Just complete. See your creations through.

Create your own story—an oil painting, a film, a stick figure drawing—and finish it. Make it personal. Care about it. Love it. Don’t have sex with it. That’s weird. But love the process.

Sometimes we need to think of our work as crap to push ourselves forward. And it’s okay to admit when it’s not your best work. Sometimes we put in infinite amounts of effort, and get nothing back.

Know this: you are making better crap every time. Slow steps. There are geniuses in the world. The simple fact is all of us aren’t. So practice and go through those growing pains. Pain is growth.

Right now I’m editing the second draft of my young adults novel. I’m looking back at myself four years ago, and I can see the intention, the enthusiasm, the fire to finish. But…

Art will never be perfect.

There will always be a “better idea”, a “better sentence” or a “better shot”. Make mistakes. Learn to love them. Do better next time.

So keep going. Success is just over that hill of crap.

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Inspiration 3#

Inspiration 3#

Cheonjiyeon Falls, Jeju Island, South Korea.

“And so the Dragon waited silently. He watched the ripples, like the passing of time itself, and occasionally caught the sight of a fallen leaf above him. He spoke to no-one. Not even the cold lifeless fish. He could smell them above. Their stench was tremendous. It smelt of spoilt milk and greed. It had smelt like that for a long time.”

Two of my idols – having a conversation! (Seth MacFarlane and George Lucas)

Thought I’d post a video today and this is my first on the Kane Domain Blog (and hopefully not the last!).

Given the recent news of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, and the incredible success of Seth MacFarlane over the last few years (with Family Guy, Ted and his Oscar hosting gig next year) –I thought I would post an interview video between my two biggest idols.

And they are….

(Drum Roll)

Well you read it in the title….SETH MACFARLANE and GEORGE LUCAS!

Seth MacFarlane is of course the visionary writer, voice artist and executive producer/creator behind ‘Family Guy’. He is probably one of the most successful writers and producers in television today, creating vast billion dollar franchise with Family Guy and becoming THE highest paid person in television. He was paid $100 million by Fox back in 2008 to renew Family Guy until 2012. For a guy that started drawing and animating dogs in his room – that’s just incredible.

George Lucas needs no real introduction..but I’ll give a short one anyway! Creator of Star Wars, Lucasfilms and a host of other companies, such as Skywalker Sound, and his visual effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) — George Lucas is the epitome of what it means to be a Creative Producer. A man that got his big idea out there, his way.

I respect them both immensely for several reasons. They are both writers, directors and masters of their own creative empires. And for both of them, their franchises literally came from nothing.

They were not born into wealth. They didn’t get any help from their families or have angel investors of any kind. They created Family Guy and Star Wars from a simple idea…but with whole lot of guts, determination and hard work on the side. That’s it.

I hope to develop and employ those same qualities when creating my own projects in the future, which also range from animation, to science fiction shows.

This is a conversation between them about their work that I found really insightful. And it’s funny too! Enjoy!