Nothing to prove
"Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make" - Bruce Lee
For a large part of my life I cared what other people thought about the things I made- this led me to situations wherein I felt I had something to prove. So I went ahead and made things to prove this point- it proved nothing as the people I believed would be proved wrong were nowhere to be found- the people that ridiculed my work didn't pop back up and say "wow you proved us wrong we take back everything we said"
The truth is- they never gave a shit- so why did I? A lot of us grow up with this sort of perfectionism and people pleasing thing built into us- if EVERYONE doesn't like what we do then we've got to fix that?! I would ignore ten pieces of positive feedback and focus on the one negative-
Something I learned later- that was re-affirmed in this blog post by Seth Godin
"Unanimity is impossible unless you are willing to be invisible. We can be unanimous in our lack of feedback for the invisible one.
For everyone else, though, the ability to say, "It's not for you," is the foundation for creating something brave and important. You can't do your best work if you're always trying to touch the untouchable, or entertain those that refuse to be entertained.
"It's not for you."
This is easy to say and incredibly difficult to do. You don't have much choice, though, not if you want your work to matter" - Seth Godin
I had just started telling people that "This is probably not for you" when faced with people who clearly had a problem with the way I create things, trying to convince me that my work was flawed because it does not adhere to their pre-conceived notions of what a film should be or what makes it "good" or "bad"- this statement is incredibly liberating- "it's not for you"
Only time will tell what films are "good" or "bad"- or perhaps the true test is to see whether a film can stand the test of time- whether it is still relevant in the future- still relevant to people in the future- no one knows that right now-
I'm having the MOST FUN I have ever had making this new film I am Nightmare- when I wrote the script I didn't give a shit what anyone would think of it, I didn't ever care WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT- I was just free, open and honest- and it resulted in probably the most personal thing I had ever written which I hope to be my greatest film so far ^_^
Creating your own path is really difficult compared to following the beaten path- but it is SO MUCH more gratifying and gives you such a GREAT feeling of wholeness- if you're goal is to be happy I say follow your own path- if your goal is to be rich follow the beaten path- but don't fool yourself into believing one of the status quo's biggest lies- that being rich will bring you happiness.
Life is short- what are you trying to prove? and to whom?
Those that became successful as judged by the status quo by following their own path and doing their own thing are probably the happiest people among us- I haven't met "success" yet but it sure is exciting to try! It's not fun all the time but I won't let that stop me. My characters are depending on me to bring them life! So back to animating I am Nightmare I am!
P.S. Actually I do have SOMETHING to prove- that IT IS possible for one artist to create cg animated feature films alone. I want to prove that so others will do the same if that is their dream.
Brought to you by professional weirdo M dot Strange.