Okay, home stretch How to affect perfection. Chapter six, Let's read from the opener, chapter six purpose. Most people are lost. Ouch or at least feel lost. It's understandable, we take a job because the job becomes available, we move passively like leaves in the wind from one gig to the next. Making a change only when were sacked or when the phone rings with a better offer. Not actively pursuing a calling but professionally aimless with no direction. The reality is that you're not lost. You're searching for a purpose. A purpose is a reason to get up in the morning excited, horny and ready for the day. A purpose is the spark that incites you to move act and follow through. It provides focus and single minded determination to get up and kick butt. You ain't lost. You're searching. There's a beautiful idea that I've been thinking about a lot lately and it goes like this. We all, everybody, everybody on the planet, we all just want to be seen and heard and loved. And if you can understand...
that idea, you can understand the breadth of human behavior, the good and the bad, right. The bad behavior exists because they want to be seen and heard and loved. They just don't have the tools none of us are really equipped to be seen and heard and loved. Okay, I am a an author and a writer, same thing, right? And an artist and a designer and as a designer, I make shit up for a living, right? Um as an artist, I draw on everything I always have, it's what made me weird as a kid remember weird as a kid. I mean I draw on, I draw on big ceramic platters if I want. Um, but I've realized over the years that I am a much better teacher. I mean as a designer, I'm a pretty good designer. I mean I can get into most museums around the planet and I have had two shows at the museum Modern Art in new york, but I'm a much better teacher. So teaching is my purpose. And in order to follow through with that, I have to maintain focus through action. And that helps me beat my horrible habit of perfectionism and procrastination, right? This is how not only I make things happen for myself in my life, but for everybody else remember make yourself happy. First I have to take care of my own focus in my own purpose. First, this is how I help my Children. This is how I help my community. And this is how I help you right through finding my purpose. So what I teach is creative courage and I teach adults how to play, right? Because both are extremely important. Creative courage means trusting yourself, trusting that voice inside of you and following through with it right? Um, and allowing that gift to come through, It's also trusting others, trusting others that they will receive your gift, that they will accept that they will acknowledge your work and understand you and of course understanding that not everybody will not, everybody is going to like your work. My work isn't for everybody. I've always known that I am only for the sexy people who'd have thought. So the first line, in fact perfection says that we were all born wildly creative. Some of us just forgot, okay, I firmly believe that we're all born wildly creative. We were born with um with gifts and talents. We were born with laughter and seeking fun in our lives. Um, and then along parents and schools and traditions and customs and everything that is normal. Remember we talked about normal, uh, we were born with what I call the four freedoms. We were born with fun play. Joy and love, right? Fun is that life is fun. Life is supposed to be fun. I wasn't put here. You weren't put here to worry or to to toil at an endless, meaningless job. Yes. The buddha tells us that life is suffering, but we suffer because we attach right? We attached to outcomes. We attached to other people and when they move, we fall and then we blame them. So we attach, we suffer because we attach. But life is supposed to be fun. Play is the fun that you bring to your work to your tasks right? And joy is the experience that we get from those and that we get to share when we do when we, when we follow through with this to our work, right? And love is our ability that we had as Children to just freely give love and just fully want to receive it. And all of those things. Fun play Joy and love are difficult for us now that we're adults. We were born with those freedoms and they're extremely difficult for us to access right now. Even for me as practiced as I am at putting play into my work. It's still hard. Joy is a theory to me for the most part and I'm very good at giving love. I'm a giver. I know this, it's really hard for me to receive. It's hard for me to even to take a compliment. And I'm working on that I'm practicing on that. I'm trying to create new habits in that direction. So all of those things fun play joy and love are essential for a sane and balanced, not only for your creativity but for a sane and balanced life, especially especially today. Okay. Um I have learned so much more since I wrote this book that I'm actually writing a follow up book, but I've learned so much more um from this book and from my Children lightly. Okay. Um and I have a beautiful idea that I want to share with you and it comes from my Children and it is, it is the natural creative drive. It is the most powerful creative urge that is in all of us, or at least was in all of us before all the ego and the subconscious became part of our voice. Okay. Um, and it goes like this. Uh, this is a natural urge that my Children having all Children have and most parents squelch it, we tell them to tone it down, comment down. I'm busy. I can't play, I can't play, I can't dance with you right now, right? I've got work to do, right? And I've got two of them coming at me constantly. But they express this most beautiful urge and I'm going to share it with you right now and it's something that we need to learn. You need to write it down and we need to learn how to do and it goes like this, Hey Daddy, look at me, look what I can do, that's beautiful and that's powerful and that's what we all want because we all want to be seen and heard and loved, We want to share our gifts freely. You know, I know it about me and my work. I'm constantly, I love social media because I come up with a goofy drawing and I put it out like, hey, look what I can do. Look what I did, what do you guys think? Right, beautiful idea. So you can leave off the Hey Daddy part but that, hey, look at me, look what I can do, that's important. That's important. We need to be able to call attention to our beautiful selves to our gifts to our talents. We need to be able to show our work and not like, well it's not my best work, right? Look what I can do. Get back to our skills and our crafts and get back to our four freedoms. That ability to say, Hey, look at me, look what I can do. That's an act of love. That's an act of fun and play and joy. Okay. Um, we want to be seen and heard and loved. Yeah, but not by everybody. It's not gonna happen, right? Because we know that haters exist. I mean every time I send out a newsletter I get unsubscribed, right, people unsubscribe and I'm like, oh, how that hurts. But then I remember, no, I'm not for everybody. That's okay. When people drop off for people become haters or people become critics. It's great for you because it shows you those are not your audience. You do not pay attention to that, right? You pay attention to the ones who show up. Not everybody is going to appreciate your gifts. And this is how you find your audience. This is how you find your audience is how you find clients. This is how you establish relationships. And this is how you create business by trusting in your voice and expressing your work and saying, hey, look at me, look what I can do. And this is how you change the world by being, by embodying that changed, Just becoming that, you know, becoming so trusting in your voice, that you become that thing. It will change how you stand, it will change how you present yourself, right? It will change your thoughts. And that's important, right? Is by allowing the world to see you. So your purpose, your purpose that you're seeking isn't your job or the money or the career. Your purpose is allowing yourself to be seen allowing yourself to be you the rest, all the calling and all the money and all the career and all the adulation will come from that. That is your purpose to trust yourself to trust yourself. This is the path. And this is how in fact perfection. Thank you. So how to affect production. Chapter six purpose in the book. In fact perfection. I talk about a client of mine, one of my clients, um, and they are called the do Books And the story goes that a bunch of years ago I spoke at the do lectures in Wales and after the, after I spoke there, they got in touch with me and they said, hey, we want to start a publishing arm. We're gonna, we're gonna release books from authors who have spoken at the lectures. Um they said, we'd like you to design the series, Look and all of the covers. And I said, awesome. I'd love to do that. And they said, here's our budget. And it was small, it was a small budget. And I said, okay, I'll accept that budget. Here's the deal. And the deal is you get no say creatively. I design them and you print them. And they said, that makes us nervous. And I completely understood. And it made me nervous as well. Right? What I was doing there was not being a diva or being being a super pushy. I don't think I'm a diva. Maybe I'm a diva. But what I was doing there was creating a boundary, write a professional boundary. Um so let me go through and show you how, how I come up with some of these covers and how we get to these places. Um this series has gone to like 30 or 40 different books. Uh let me show you something like this one. This one is do sea salt right? The magic of seasoning. And um what was interesting about this, this cliche, my job with all of these books is how to do the cliche without doing the cliche. How do I show sea salt without showing sea salt. Um and I went through, I started drawing um in photographing salt shakers, uh drawing the salt crystals coming up with all these different ways to kind of show salt without showing and be kind of like interesting. But um and I finally realized it was much more about the sea. So what I did is like, basically cut and tore out a little piece of paper to look like the ocean, right? And I photographed it two ways I photographed it when it was a flat piece of paper and on a white background. And then I crinkled it all up and photographed the crinkled paper and it just, the crinkle paper looks much better and fits into my format. Um And what the format is is basically the idea is something I'd always wanted to do. I had always wanted to designed the typography for a book and the imagery for the book separately, right? And only have them come together at the publisher. Right? So whatever happened happened, so basically the type is always just running right over the image and the image is rights generally smack dab in the center of the book. So this is due sea salt. And here I have uh do preserve making their own jams and chutneys and pickles and cordials. And when this one came out, it was funny because the authors who loved the book, most of the author's love their books, even though they get no say right. Um this one was funny because the author said, oh that looks like a perfect elderberry jam. And it was funny to me because basically that image is finger painting, it's purple and white paint on this clear vellum and I just smudged it to kind of look like it just looks like jelly to me. Um and I guess I flipped it and you can see there's a level of this is an important idea, there's a level of, of readability. If I say a level, I say maybe a problem of readability in the, in this. And I have to tell you that it is not my concern. My job is to not make these super easy to read in any of my work. I do not try to make the typography super easy to read because I believe that I have an intelligent audience that they will do, they will make the effort and we get no complaints whatever on the, on the readability of these things. So let's do preserve. Let me show you do breathe. Um okay, do breathe, calm your mind, find focus, get stuff done, find focus. It's like what we've been talking about all day. So here's do breathe. And to me, the art for it had this kind of respiration quality. Like these are like three big breaths and take three deep breaths. They felt like three deep breaths for me. So that became the art for the cover and they're just watercolor on some watercolor paper. Um and then later on I had done a goofy little drawing that in black and white that said books make you stronger and the publisher was like, hey, we'd like to use that um um um as a postcard and has some other, some other ancillary pieces for the company and I said awesome. So I gave them the, the black and white drawing, but I also put this art underneath it, I just felt really comfortable there and I have no problem with repurpose ng art into other things um and this is actually now not only a postcard that they use, but it's a huge super graphic inside of their offices, so that's do breathe Um I have the art for this someplace, but it's not important, this is do grow, but the important part is this on this is about to start with 10 simple vegetables, it's just about growing vegetables or flowers right? And on every single cover about growing and gardens and flowers and vegetables, you see literally photographs of a photograph of a vegetable or photographs of many vegetables and for me it's the same thing I'm showing you on this book growth for me it happens to just be a little okay a crayon drawing right to me that feels like crow right here is um do story. This one is a very popular book for them, do Story how to tell your stories of the world. Listens by a friend of mine, Bobet buster and for me it was this idea of the fire with the idea of where we first started telling stories right? When we first started telling stories is by the fire and then just have this goofy voice balloon around it and again, then just run it smack dab on the front of the book and this is one of the more recent ones, it's do walk um navigate earth mind and body step by step by another friend of mine, Libby Delana. So this is um got literally walking literally legs walking on it. Um and that is the original drawing for the legs walking. And the funny thing is this is a rare instance where this set of legs was probably the Oh or 40th set of legs that I've drawn and I generally don't do that, I generally usually shoot, excuse me do it once or twice or three times and I always try to go back to the first but this was an instance where it took a lot to make it feel very very comfortable um on the book. Um there's one more thing about these do books that I want to share with you, which is this on every cover, there's this Koofi little piece right here and that is my signature, that is my signature. I signed the front of of of all of my books. Um all of these books uh if I designed the cover of esquire magazine or Time magazine, I sign I sign it right to me, this says artists signed their work. It means if you like it, I did it, if you don't like it, I did it Right, it's not a bravado thing, it's not a it's not a showmanship thing, it's just ownership, its ownership of my work. Uh so the do books has been a fabulous client, this has grown out to like 30 or 40 books. I just sent off another one to them just the other day. Mhm.
James Victore is an artist, author, and activist who teaches people how to illuminate their individual gifts in order to achieve personal greatness. James is widely known for his timely wisdom and impassioned views about design and its place in the world.
I really enjoyed this course. It's full of great information and presented in a great style. At the end of the lessons he presents a behind the scenes look at some of his artwork, which I really found fascinating. Highly recommend!