💌 Why I create (and why you should too)
Using art to self-express, memento mori and not following the herd online
Hi friends & new subscribers,
Last week, I visited a local art gallery (AGO) in downtown Toronto.
I'm not a museum person and can't appreciate traditional art like paintings and sculptures like other artists do. I went because I needed to kill some time, and I thought it would be 'good content' for the weekly vlog I was filming for YouTube.
My theme was: it's okay if you don't know where you're going. Just keep following your instincts.
Lo and behold, that tiny visit to the gallery gave me so much insight into why I create online.
Obviously, it didn't happen suddenly like in the movies.
I went inside the gallery, thinking I'd leave after half an hour as I explored the abstract paintings that had no meaning to me.
But the more I took my time to read the descriptions and try to understand what each work was about, I realized that each artist was trying to express themselves in their own way. They were trying to communicate something you couldn't do in words but needed to do it with paintings and photography.
After all, a picture speaks a thousand words.
One exhibition that resonated with me was called Everyday People. The photographer decided to visit her friends during the pandemic and took photos of them from their own houses. Looking at the photos, I felt the photographer's desire to be close to them but unable to do so.
The pictures evoked feelings of sadness and loneliness in me.
From the artist’s perspective, how could they be so close yet so far? And the composition and editing of the photography shows that.
Another work that resonated with me was photography/videography projected into four white globes. Created by Alan Michelson, the artist wanted to disrupt traditional art by creating a new medium to present her art. The artist who has a Mohawk (indigenous) descent, was influenced by her cultural upbringing.
I found the art so simple, yet it evoked a powerful message.
She was trying to be a disruptor, and the rebel/contrarian inside me felt something. It was almost like she was telling the world, “no, art isn’t simply painting or sculpture. Sometimes, it’s the way it’s presented.”
The whole experience made me think that these artists create because they have no choice.
And through their creation, we feel inspired to go out and do something in our personal lives too.
Similarly, I write and make videos because I feel like I have no choice. I experience many emotions, and it's my way of expressing them to the world. I want to share my sadness, loneliness, joy, happiness, or whatever I feel because I feel the need to.
And sometimes, it resonates with other people. And I hope that it urges people to do something in their own lives too.
I have a feeling that if each and every one of us pursued more creative work, we'd have a little bit more understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
And that would ultimately affect the way we show up to the world, in a better way.
What do you think?
🧚 3 Fairy Tips for Multipassionate Creators
On writing: Create a system to publish your work and wait 1 year.
Sometimes, no matter how many writing growths hacks you do online, the only thing you can fully control is the system you create. Beyond that, you have to let the results of your system compound over time. Most people (including myself) don't stick to their system long enough, and that's why we don't get the results we want. I recently got reminded of this in a webinar by Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush inside the Ship 30 for 30 community. In the webinar, they suggested to pick one goal (i.e. grow your email list) and create a system that you can control that if you waited for a year, it would lead to the results that you want. Sounds simple, but it’s hard to implement because most of us are not patient enough.
On entrepreneurship: Just because your business relies on your online persona doesn't mean you have to share everything.
I'm not a big fan of Gary V. (sorry, hustlers), but this interview with Jay Shetty has some interesting insights about sharing things online. For those who want to create a personal brand online, Gary reminds us that we need to be mindful of what we allow people to know about us. If you’re sharing about your personal relationships, you essentially give strangers permission to ask about them. Even though others like vulnerability, it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to share everything. I have to think more about this since I tend to overshare.
On life: Remember that you have to die or Memento Mori.
I recently learned about this quite popular Latin phrase online and during my visit to the gallery. It's a phrase that reminds us to live our life to the fullest because we will, at one point, die. On one hand, it’s scary but on the other, it’s freeing. It means that we can do whatever we want in our lives in whatever timeline we want. But we just need to be mindful that at some point, we will die.
✨ Latest Work On The Internet
In case you're curious, here is my most recent work in the last two weeks.
🤔 A question for you this week:
If you could create anything online, what would it be and why?
With online love 💌 ,
P.S. As always let me know if you liked this newsletter or if you’d like me to cover any other topic you’re curious about.