Thursday, 4 May 2017

Thomas Oppong: Make Art. You Are an Artist.

By Thomas Oppong

Humans have amazing capacity to create anything, no matter how small, out of nothing. Every occupation – from painter to businessperson, teacher to chef – requires us to imagine, create, and execute ideas. And that’s exactly what has brought us this far.

    Don’t take your capacity to explore, discover and create for granted.

Art is the work of an individual seeking to make a statement, to invent, to cause a reaction, to connect, change a perspective, improve a design, and change how it works. And and yes, it might not work but it’s a step in the right direction that contributes to human evolution and transformation.

    Art is not just about the canvas or the gallery. It’s all around us. Art is what we’re doing when we do our best work.

Augustín Fuentes, author of, “The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional.” says there is no better way to flex your creativity muscle than to do art. He says:

    Without art, we’re not human. The ability to imagine and to take that imagination and make it into reality is one of the things that is really distinctive about humans.

    Whether it’s painting, building airplanes, or figuring out how to make a paycheck last to the end of the month, it all stems from the same creative capacity. And there is no better way to flex that creativity muscle than to do art, be exposed to art, and to think about art.

You have the ability to take nothing, and turn it into something magical. Something that adds value to another person’s life. Something that brings out the best in you. That’s creativity. Your capacity to create and make a dent in the universe is beyond measure.

Here is how Seth Godin defines art:

    Art is an original gift, a connection that changes the recipient, a human ability to make a difference. Art isn’t a painting or even a poem, it’s something that any of us can do. If you interact with others, you have the platform to create something new — something that changes everything. I call that art.

    Art is the opposite of trigonometry. Art doesn’t follow instructions or a manual or a boss’s orders. Instead, art is the very human act of creating the uncreated, of connecting with another person
     at a human level. What we’ve seen is that more and more markets will reward art handsomely, and hand out the compliant work to the lowest bidder.

You are not ready, but start anyway!

Picasso never achieved full mastery. Mozart never achieved full mastery. Kobe Bryant did not achieve full mastery. Nobody can achieve perfection. It’s humanly impossible. But they showed up everyday to share with us. They never withheld back. Perfect lets you stall, ask more questions, safe it up and generally avoid doing anything that might fail.

Technology and everything that makes it insanely easy for us to share our work were made by people who are no smarter than you. You can add to it. You can change it. You may not be able to predict the future but you can help to shape it.

Steve Jobs once made a profound and inspirational statement about making art and creating something you deeply care about.

He said:

    Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is — everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

    The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it.

Take advantage of the enormous opportunities the information age presents. You have everything you need to go make something meaningful. Something you deeply care about. You don’t have to be right when you start. But it matters that you begin.

And when you start, respect yourself and your work enough to spend yourself fully on the problems solve. Don’t allow complacency to rob you of years of engagement and fulfilling contribution.
Express yourself boldly

Start a blog you deeply care about.

Write a book. Or an ebook. Self-publish.

Write poetry and publish it on the web.

Create an app that solves your problem or frustration. Explore the world, and blog about it.

Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly.

Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks.

Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create.

Inspire others by being inspiring.

Teach young people to do amazing things.

Write a play, get others to act in it, record it.

Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.

Read, and read, and then write.

Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound.

Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach.

Take lots and lots of pictures. And share them..

Start a podcast. Interview people making impact.

Cook great food, and share it.

Be a consultant. Help someone find meaningful work.

Give people a ride in your car. Use Uber to your advantage.

Start an online shop on Shopify. Create and sell stuff on Etsy.

Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot.

Start now.
The first step is to take one

The biggest hurdle for all of us is to dive into our own potential, and to see our own selves as incredibly beautiful and gifted personalities. Everybody has a story to tell and a unique and distinct talent to share.

Self-expression fulfills. It gives others hope and faith in themselves.

So, please make art! When, if not now? The world needs more authentic artistic expression from you, expression from deep within. An expression of the soul. What you do matters, not what you think, say or plan.

Great discoveries often evolve as slow hunches, maturing and connecting to other ideas over time.

    Give yourself time in your life to wonder what is possible and to make even the slightest moves in that direction. Even if you make slow steps. It’s better than not trying!

You have a finite amount of focus, time, and energy to offer the world, and it can never be reclaimed once it’s spent. There’s no use in wasting your timelamenting the past, or waiting too long to make a move because you are not ready. Nobody will ever be ready.

Rather, I urge you to focus on what’s next. What you can do today, not tomorrow. What you can show us. And approach work with the mind-set of “What can I offer?” instead of “What can I get?” That in itself can alter the very substance of your engagement.

Ultimately, your life will be measured by what you gave, not what you received or what you thought about doing. Not what you think now! But by what you are doing now the action you will take tomorow.

    Great work, like a healthy financial portfolio, takes time to mature. Your best work will emerge with patient attention, time, and strategic action.

You have one life. You are the artist. Don’t just make life work, you make it a masterpiece. When you are the artist of your life, it reminds you constantly that your life is your responsibility. Give it all you’ve got.
One more thing…

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Go to the profile of Thomas Oppong
Thomas Oppong

Founder @Alltopstartups. Curator at postanly.com. Columnist @Inc. Featured at HuffPost, Entrepreneur, Thought Catalog, Observer, CNBC, Qz, The Muse.
Personal Growth
Personal Growth

Keep Learning. Keep Growing.


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