eric kim camo camouflage black wall

Dear friend,

A mini epiphany I had: If you’re not sure what to do with your life, or what direction to take it— consider your lifelong journey to be this: focus all your energy, ideas, and focus in becoming the most fully-developed ARTIST-PHILOSOPHER you can.


Download PDF: Artist-philosopher


What are you talking about ERIC?

Blue sky light pole

Okay, let me explain my thoughts and ideas:

First of all, we are all going to die, whether we like it or not. At best, we will live until age 90. At worst, we will die today.

Up arrow

Anyways, knowing that death is something (no matter how rich, religious, or smart we are) we cannot cheat, the prime question is this:

What should we do with our life? Specifically, how can we best utilize our time, energy, attention, focus, talents, and strengths while we’re still alive on planet earth?


Cindy made a film on me while in Marseille, when I first shared this concept of “artist-philosopher.” I think ultimately the idea comes from Nietzsche.

Anyways, what is an artist philosopher?

First, what is an artist?

Pink selfie shadow

Well, an artist is an individual who likes to make stuff. Who likes to make visual art, sonic art (music), who likes to write and/or perform music, and someone who likes to have fun and experiment. If you like visual things, audio things, or have any appreciation of aesthetics, you are (already) an artist.

Secondly, what is a philosopher?

Arrows diagonal pink Arrows diagonal pink

A philosopher is someone who is a “lover of wisdom” (philo=love, sophia=wisdom). Therefore if you’re an individual who is curious on how to live the best life possible, what the meaning of life is, or how to find more happiness/fulfillment in life, you’re a philosopher.

Being a philosopher doesn’t necessarily mean you must be super-wise. On the contrary, I think the best philosophers are children, who are constantly questioning, challenging the status quo, who are curious to ask “why?”, and who aren’t satisfied with “grown-up” answers.


How we can apply this line of thinking to our life

Pink flowers

I believe in practical philosophy. I don’t care about metaphysics or other fancy mumbo jumbo stuff in philosophy on determinism or free will which isn’t very practical in day-to-day living. Instead, I want to know the answer(s) to this question:

How can I best live my life to the fullest and share that information/knowledge/wisdom with others?


1. Develop yourself as an artist

Blue sky twilight diagonal triangle

First of all, the artist part: how can we become the most fully-developed artists possible?

Well, my suggestion is this: explore ALL forms of art. Make anything you want or are curious about. Make photos, paintings, sculptures, poetry, film, whatever. The most genius artists of history (like Leonardo da Vinci) was skilled not only in painting and the visual arts, but also skilled in engineering, physics, and science.


2. Develop your philosophy

Arrows in road

Secondly, how can we become the most fully-developed philosophers possible? Simple: Never stop learning, questioning your ideas and beliefs, and continue to discover new truths about life, living, and what it means to live a fulfilling, satisfying, and epic life.

That means study philosophers who you’re interested in, and consume/digest their ideas. But at a certain point, we must cut the umbilical cord with our masters, and we must be brave enough to venture on our own path.

Blue sky and clouds

For example for a few years, I was probably studying and reading philosophy related stuff for around 3-6 hours a day. Nowadays I don’t read much; I’m trying to put all of my own distilled thoughts into (digital) paper, and trying to share what I have learned.


FLUX

Blue and green face abstract

Also realize that as an artist-philosopher, you’re always in a state of flux. Meaning, you’re always changing, evolving, adapting, growing, and dying/decaying at the same time. This means, don’t feel like you must discover “one ultimate truth in life” or the “grand unifying theory” in life. Don’t hold onto your past self, your past memories, or your past ideas, beliefs, or thoughts. Rather, life and nature thrives on the new —so keep making new art, sharing new ideas, and innovating with new techniques and approaches in your philosophy and art!

Never stop striving,
ERIC


Philosophy

Find more meaning and purpose in your life:

Personal Philosophy »

Stoicism »

Zen Philosophy »

Life Lessons »

Learn more: Start Here >