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Nothing is more important than doing what you love. Gary lays it out in this video pretty well. If you’re not doing what you love, Stop. The hard part for most people is figuring out what they really love to do. We’ve been told and sold the ideal of luxury and leisure but in my experience what really motivates most people is doing things for the people they love. At the end of the day what makes us the most happy are people.
My work has transformed throughout my adult life from one of countless hours in front of a computer creating websites, videos and art for thousands of people to experience. Some of the most profound opportunities expanded my audience, whether by creating album art for Sublime with Rome or producing the Dirty Heads “Cabin by the Sea” behind-the-album videos. It has been transformative to reach people on such a massive scale, yet it is equally important to me – if not more so – to have the opportunity to share truly transformational moments with people one-on one through Tattooing.
There is no more profound experience than watching someone walk into the studio who they used to be, and leave as the person they wish to become. Most often grief drives us to seek what is “real” and to experience life again from a perspective of clarity, peace, and grace. Tattooing works towards this purpose so well because it forces you out of your head and back into your body. Pain is an incredibly “real” experience. Inviting in pain and surrendering to it reminds us that pain and grief are only temporary sensations in an ocean of experience. Life it would seem, is so adaptable and capable that no matter our circumstances it is possible to find balance again.
Schedules, expectations and obligations seem to drive most of our actions. Production is the al-mighty quantifier and it becomes progressively harder to keep up with the work, education and growth of yesterday. I would like to argue that production is not nearly as important to progression as efficiency. Perhaps the greatest use of time isn’t merely obsession with production but focus on efficiency. When it becomes efficient to do what you love, you can create a life from it. A life with purpose, meaning and value that will sustain itself over time.
I am in a constant struggle with this process. As my heart moves from project to project, place and people it becomes increasingly difficult to manage my time and to stay focused on doing what I love. One thing that has helped incredibly is understanding that by following my passions as they arise and learning to be flexible, I can more quickly transition from thing to the next. The ability to follow my passion is more important than following a strict schedule or meeting someone else’s expectations.
This makes me challenging to work and live with, but lies the foundation of my art. If I’m not doing what I love then it is not what I should be doing in that moment. Practicing this is harder than it sounds. The most difficult problem which comes from being an artist with so many interests and passions is learning to communicate what it is at that very moment that drives me. If I can learn to communicate clearly and effectively then I have freed the emotional and social restraints that keep me from doing what I love in that very moment. The one thing that persists is the desire to use art as a path for transformation. Art is my method to reignite the fire in the hearts of beautiful souls who’ve somehow become disconnected from their hearts, stopped following their passion and who are unaware of what they truly love: Themselves and each other. I hope my art in some ways helps you to reignite your fire and follow your passion.