Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Self Help for Nerds" by Chris Hardwick

I had plans to post about other things today, but then someone sent me this article and I knew: This is what I must blog about.

(Wired magazine)

I'll try not to say too much because really, you should just click the link and read it. But I'll just say that, for me, the pursuit of artmaking skills that I've been undertaking for the past year now is, in large part, a psychological shift in the way I've been living my life. I wrote a whole post about this already so I won't go into detail here. And I'm certainly not saying that a year ago I was an unemployed alcoholic and now everything is great. But I was certainly at a low point, and I was aimless. Having goals and being driven has literally changed my life, as it did for Hardwick.

When I began to draw again, it was because I had the startling realization that I only get this one shot at life and I had to try to do something with it - otherwise I would be sitting on my deathbed feeling I'd wasted it. This is perhaps my greatest fear, deathbed regrets.

On a side note - I've realized recently that it's possible to be too overambitious. Originally I had myself on a set schedule of having to have a stellar portfolio by July of this year and jumping right into supporting myself as an artist, hopefully at a major animation studio. This has made me rush through studying a lot of the things I should be taking more time with. I need to learn to slow down and really absorb - otherwise I'll never truly learn, and the time will have been wasted. Hardwick's observation that "Nerds tend to spend a lot of time in the past and future, but to achieve happiness you have to cultivate the skill of living in the present" applies completely to me. I have stopped attaching specific places of work and even a certain timeframe to my art - as long as I'm progressing, learning, and enjoying the work, I'm happy with myself. Keeping an end goal in mind is a good thing - so long as it doesn't get in the way of your focus in the present. "Enjoy the burrito," as Hardwick says.

© Gina Florio 2013

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