Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Effortless life - a 30 day experiment

"The journey is the destination"

Life is totally unpredictable.

That's one of the things I've learned ever since I started to seriously update this blog in my quest to become a better artist. Overall, I think I did become a slightly better artist in three months' time, but the funny thing is, I think I also became a better person.

It's weird, but I really do feel wiser and happier. And it all started with a realization that "Art is a mountain with no summit".

Almost everyone I know is looking for an upgrade all the time. I'm not an exception.

I have to get better at gesture drawing, expressions, animation, painting, animal drawing, character designs..I have to be great at everything! But as we all know, these are very vague goals. After all, how do we know if we already made it as a character designer? What is the yardstick for "greatness" at a certain area of artistry?

Think about it, have you ever heard a great artist say "I've reached the standard that I want when I was 30, so I stopped learning and just started churning out a ton of amazing work. This worked out until my retirement when I got to enjoy the fruits of my planning and foresight. Now I'm chillin in the bahamas, a beautiful lady in one arm and a coconut drink in another."

Obviously, that's an exaggeration but you get the point. It's crazy but many artists have this illusion of reaching that perfect position that you've learned all you can and from this moment on, people will praise every work of art you put out and you will never make another mistake.

This is a flawed belief, one that took me awhile to understand but once I did, I immediately recognized how insane it is. 

So to counteract this craziness, I want to do an experiment from the other side of the spectrum. I recently purchased a book entitled "The Effortless Life" by Leo Babauta. He's the same guy that runs the site and for some years now, he gave up on basic success concepts like "goals" or "planning" and instead rely on where his passion lies for the day. This is a foreign concept to most of us but I think it warrants a try because Leo claims he's never been happier and more productive, and I just think there's a better way than stressing out on things I can't control and feeling bad whenever things didn't go out as planned(which is 90% of the time).

As a start, I made a very "loose" list of guidelines, just something to help me remember the concepts:

Guidelines for my Zen way of effortless living:

1. Have no fixed goals, plans or expectations

2. Instead of improvement and success, think about exploration and having fun. You're now free to do things not because you want to be better, but because you love it.

3. Don't create false needs, create no unnecessary actions.

4. Don't rush.

5. Prefer subtraction.

6. Don't spend time comparing yourself to other people, instead realize that you have everything that you need and try to help other people.

That's it. A month without planning, curriculums and dreams of success. This will mostly apply to my personal time of learning since I have a job, but for that period in my day, everything's an open book. I'll just go wherever your passion takes me, and take everything as it is.

I'll see you in a few weeks and let you know how it goes!


Post a Comment