While I regularly maintain a daily journal, and do so in plain text (while also keeping a concurrent journal in the Momento app on my iPhone for the search and tagging features), often I find that I never actually read any of the old entries. Which is fine, as I mostly just like the habit of recording the information. Recently, I developed a system that is proving to be immensely useful. Continue reading “Yearly Recaps: A Monthly, Contextual, Plain-Text Journaling System”
“Cryptid Command“, my latest embroidered patch set is now live on Kickstarter until October 31, 2015. The patches feature Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and Aliens/UFOs all with a fun military-themed look. Continue reading ““Cryptid Command” Bigfoot/Nessie/UFO Embroidered Patch Set on Kickstarter”
I like to see the Big Picture. Most calendars suck for that. I also have idiosyncratic wants. Here’s the list of criteria:
- The weeks starts on Monday. I started experimenting with this a few months ago and love it. Weekends are chunk and belong together visually.
- The days are continuous. We live an endless stream of days. The calendar should reflect this experience.
- It fits on one printable page. I want something I can print out on regular paper, and not have to deal with cutting or assembling.
I found this near-perfect solution to my desires, but being near-perfect, I wanted to make it perfect. So I did.
I’ve been so busy running my “Sasquatch Brigade” campaign on Kickstarter that I nearly forgot to update this blog to let people know. The campaign fully funded in less than 18 hours, was made a Staff Pick on day one, and as we head into the final week, the campaign just surpassed 1000% funding and the $10,000 mark. Continue reading ““Sasquatch Brigade” on Kickstarter”
I was a former “Foodiot” — an idiot when it came to food. I remember back then how daunting it all seemed to try and get started eating more healthily. At least for an overthinker like me. This post will be a primer of sorts on how to get started eating in a more healthy manner. I’ll discuss how to shop for vegetables, how to store them, and what to look out for.
I used to be a slob. It wasn’t pathological, but it did get pretty bad for a period of time.
I started a new routine a few weeks ago where I applied the mechanics of my daily drawing practice to cleaning up my house: do it regularly, and don’t worry about doing a perfect job. Just establish the habit/practice/routine of doing it regularly.
My main goal was mental health: I realized after cleaning up one weekend how much I preferred the experience of a clean house over a messy one. I joked to myself, “Why do I ever let it get messy if I like it clean so much?” But then it struck me that it was no different than my previous lack of effort in creating art regularly: I needed a routine.
But as I was cleaning the house the second weekend, the deeper reality of why my cleaning habits were so lax become apparent: it was a side-effect of perfectionism. Continue reading “Perfectionist Slob”
Perfectionism is a dangerous cocktail. A few sips early in life can have undesirable long-terms effects. Typically comprised of 80-proof attention, with an external validation chaser, perfectionism is rarely taken straight. Most often, it’s a mixed drink that includes, self-worth, ego and esteem in unhealthy ratios.
Perfectionism isn’t just “a glass of wine with dinner” — there’s nothing wrong with aiming to do your best. Instead, it’s a beer bong fed from the keg. One feels obligated to chug away until the cheers and accolades of the onlookers is attained. But those accolades always seem to be receding, so the chugging continues. And continues.
But this can only be maintained for so long, and eventually the perfectionist becomes a teetotaler. You can’t fail at something you don’t attempt. And the perfectionist, like the one shot-gunning a beer, has wrapped up their identity as someone who is the best beer shot-gunner there is. Better to rely on your established reputation as a party animal if you’re unable to maintain the same level of drinking prowess. You might end up puking, and that would be a devastating revelation that you’ve sank low from your former glory. But there is another solution. Continue reading “Perfectionism Hangover”
The perfectionist artist is constantly near or in that mindset where one has built up internal expectations extraordinarily high because it’s been so long between creative output. Because one hasn’t created anything in a long time, somehow the belief that the very next creation needs to somehow “make up for lost time”.
I suspect it’s yet another subconscious procrastination technique designed to hold off the feared judgment of the results. Again, the perfectionist fears results because they have come overidentify themselves with their creations. A negative judgement on the creation is seen as a negative judgment of the self. Curiously, the perfectionist never seems to place the same validity on positive feedback, nor give it equal importance. No doubt a result of the negativity bias of the brain. In other words, it’s not “you”, it’s just an artifact of how the brain works.
It struck me recently that the economy is actually built upon failures, as opposed to successes.
One would think that it was all the money generated by the huge successes that really powers everything. But really, the bulk of the results in business are failures — or more accurately, unsuccessful attempts. Most of the projects out there don’t succeed (or rather, result in a successful attempt). But there is money spent trying — people to hire, resources to purchase, advertising, support, design, manufacture, printing. And I’m sure there are plenty more industries involved that I am overlooking. But these “failures” far, far outweight the successes we actually hear about. And a lot of money was spent on those attempts.
This got me to wondering if this perspective is something that we can apply to our own businesses, own own “micro-economies”, to help us fuel a more successful version with the understanding of the collectively generative power of unsuccessful attempts. Continue reading “Failure Is The Engine of the Economy”
One of the demons I’ve had to repeatedly face along my path of creating and sharing my artwork on a daily basis has the indifference to which the creations are received. I know that far more followers on various social media outlets see these posts than do those who interact with them (like, star, fave, etc) because other, non-art posts on those services get that kind of interaction. Not a ton, but enough to contrast that which the art gets.
As a recovering over-identifying artist, this can be a constant jab at the ego. In a way, this was one of the things I wanted to face directly with this practice. Increased production requires the relinquishment of other consumption habits. Social media was an early time-sink that I let go. You discover quickly how tenuous those connections actually were when there isn’t a mutually-flowing dopamine reward of recognition maintained. As Stephen Pressfield says in “The War of Art“, “There is no tribe”.
After a recent vacuum of response from a posted drawing, again the hurt ego reared up and attempted to begin the indignant tirade against its perceived oppressors. But a thought crept in, which slowly defused this rant. I had really been enjoying this last round of art creation. I felt at home, in a style which came easily and allowed me to create more. I knew there was something deeper going on here. Continue reading “Indifference Guru”