What are my personal ambitions? My personal ambition is helping discover novel solutions to assist in the collective creative thriving of humankind.
Creativity is everything, creativity is king. Ever since I was a young kid, being creative, and creative pursuits were paramount to me. However, as I was put through the standard American K through 12 education system, my direction in art floundered. Why is this? In America, and almost everywhere in the world, there is no value for art and creativity. The supreme value is money, capital, and wealth accumulation.
For example, even nowadays, the virtue of being “creative“, is to increase our money making potential, and or as a form of recovery and healing, in order to give us the motivation to continue doing our hateful 9 to 5 work.
In America, no. Somehow, our artwork and creative pursuits is only seen as virtuous if we are able to earn money from it, “make a living from it“, or preferably make a killing from it.
For example, if you tell other people that you’re a photographer, probably the first question they will ask you is if you earn money from it, or if you make a living from it. Why do people ask you this? Because once again, to earn money from some thing is a legitimizing force. To do something, without concern of money is seen as pointless in America.
Besides American notions of productivity, and capital accumulation, what do people believe in Asia, or the east? I think nowadays the trend is, at least in South Korea, to make “well-rounded kids“, to not only have them succeed academically, but also in music, art, tae kwon do, etc.
However, my critique is that all of these extracurricular activities are poised in order to make your kid as viable for admission into a high-ranking university. In South Korea, a kid is not allowed to do art just because they like it. Either, their artwork must get them into a high-ranking prestigious art school, in order to help breed them to become a rich and famous artist or help them stay mentally sane, in order for them to continue grinding out their academic work.
My first thought is this: creatively thriving is the most supreme mode of our human existence. That is, if you strive to extract the maximum out of living in life, striving to optimize your life for creativity seems supreme.
Creativity could either mean novel solution finding to problems, or as a propensity to create stuff:
The first thought I have is that in order to become more creative, you must become more philosophical and deep. For example, rather than thinking— are electric cars better for the planet than gasoline cars?, perhaps we should rather think first principles; do humans really even need cars in the first place? For what?
For example, most people use their cars to either get to the grocery store, go to the gym, go to the mall, meet up friends and family, or go to work. However, maybe it would be more innovative and creative to think of ways you can live without a car. For example, getting groceries delivered to your home, working out at home by throwing around heavy rocks or heavy kettle bells, and maybe instead of having to commute to work, figuring out how you could work from home with an Internet connection.
In fact, I believe that so much creative potential is lost in humanity by being stuck in a car, whether you are a passenger or driver. Even if you had to be in traffic for four hours a day, even if you were in the best Rolls-Royce, the best Bentley, the best Tesla, the best Maybach, The best Lamborghini, etc., would it be worth it? Hell no. Having to sit on your butt for four hours a day is not only bad for your health, but bad for your creative thinking. No creative thoughts are ever conceived of while being sedentary, or your butt. The more time you spend on your butt, the less creative you are.
Of course there are some people who come up of creative ideas while sitting on their butt. But it is my theory that these thoughts are inferior to thoughts which are conceived while walking, or outdoors in the mountains.
Even Nietzsche once said, trust no thought which isn’t conceived of while walking! Also, the true sin against the Holy Spirit is to sit on your butt.
Before you want to motivate other people to become more creative, maybe it is best to start with yourself. First focus on your own personal creative thriving, and then, once you discover novel and interesting ways to be creative, share your techniques and ideas with others. No need to keep them a secret; the more creative thoughts your share, the more you and others will thrive.
The world is not zero-sum. If somebody else becomes more creative, this doesn’t mean that by comparison, you become less creative. The same thing with money; considering that money is a man-made concept, and it could be printed at will, there is not a finite amount of money in the world. Instead, any nerd at a computer who pushes the button could produce more “money”. Perhaps this is why Bitcoin is an interesting concept, as there will only be a finite amount of bitcoin in the future. Considering that the US has the biggest military in the world, they could essentially boss around any other nation in order to accept their currency, otherwise America will withdraw her troops from your nation, or stop providing your nation with the most high-end military weapons. Thus putting you at more vulnerability to neighboring nations.
For example, consider South Korea. It is because of the US, and the US military intervention that South Korea is secure against North Korea. If America were to withdraw all of her money resources and military resources away from South Korea, this would be bad news for South Korea.
I think the first idea is to realize and think, the most ghetto solution is the best solution. For example, if you desire to draw more, rather than shelling out tons of money for “proper“, paint and brushes, just start off by using a crayon and markers on printer paper.
Even a very interesting and novel solution that Cindy and my mom discovered is that the back of an old calendar makes for a great canvas. It is massive, has many pages, and Seneca loves to draw on it with his crayons.
Also, think about the creative Apple apps which are available on the MacBook laptop, the iPad, and the iPhone. For example, garageband is insanely good, not only on the laptop, but on the iPhone, and also the iPad. Start off by making your own music and beats, simply by using GarageBand loops. Creativity means how much joy and fun you are having making music, rather than striving for some sort of “goodness”, or uniqueness. In fact, striving to be unique is a killer to your creativity, because if your primary focus is to be unique, you will never create anything. Because there is no such thing as true uniqueness when it comes to our our creativity. We always borrow something from someone else. And this is a good thing. Imagine trying to teach your kid how to talk, without borrowing words and notions from your given language.
A word that Koreans love to use is this notion of “healing“. For example, even the holding group for the BTS K-pop group has a tagline, music for healing. Also, outdoor activities are promoted because it is a “healing“ force.
The funny thing is in America, we never use the notion of healing. Because, if we need to “heal“ ourselves, it infers that there is something either broken about us, or something weak about us. The only time we use the word healing is when it comes to video games, the mage as the healer, who actually typically ends up being the most important character. Although it gets the least amount of glory.
Even actually in ancient Greek times, typically the army with the best healer was the most dominant force. Why? If your star hero was injured in battle, the quicker he could heal, the quicker he could return to battle. Remember in the Iliad, when all of the main heroes were wounded, how much importance was put on the healer, to apply special herbs to get the heroes back into action.
My son Seneca, at one year nine months is my creative hero. Why? He has encouraged me to become a kid again; now, I throw rocks with him into bodies of water for fun, I go on outdoor adventures, and, I don’t do things for praise, I just do them for fun, or out of my own personal curiosity. Even, to overpraise your kid is not a good thing; then it teaches them to only be motivated to do anything, in order to get praise. Sometimes you just gotta leave your kid alone, and let them just have fun on their own.
Once again, Seneca likes to draw with his crayons because he is curious about the colors, and he is also curious to see what happens if he applies force with the crayon onto a piece of paper. Also, I think the reason why he is so fascinated about throwing rocks into bodies of water is he is curious to see what the splash and the ripple effect will look like. No two rocks are alike, and no two splashes are alike.
I think as artists, one of the most depressing thoughts is that we spend so much energy and effort creating something, but there will be no other human to appreciate it. For example, if you were stuck on a spaceship, all by yourself, until you died, would you have any motivation to create art? I think you would only be motivated if you knew that future humans would be able to witness and experience and read and view your artwork after your death. For example, the one space movie with Chris Pratt, in which him and his girl partner ended up creating all of these diaries, that once the crew was awakened, after they died, they would be able to experience their life together.
I think all humans innately desire some form of legacy, whether it be in their books, their artworks, their children, etc. Remember how Heraclitus once said that the greatest human good was to seek immortality amongst mortals. Which means, seek an immortal memory and legacy of yourself for other humans. A legacy that will never perish. For example, we have read Homer and the Iliad for millennia, and we probably will continue reading the Iliad many millennia into the future.
The Roman poet philosopher Horace once said, “ I shall make a monument more lasting than bronze!”, which means, “I strive to create a poem or a verse that is so exquisite and great, that this verse and poem shall be recited by future humans, far into the future.” Horace was right. Even though he wrote his poems centuries ago, we still read his poems today.
Even Henri Cartier Bresson, who denounced photography at the end of his life, we still love and enjoy his photos today. In fact, I recently saw an upcoming decisive moment exhibition of Henri Cartier Bresson’s photos at the Seoul modern art museum, in 2022. Considering that Henri Cartier Bresson did a lot of his famous photos in the 1920s, Being able to make photos which have lasted over 100 years is quite impressive.
It is my personal ambition for my photos to last at least 300 years. That would be my notion of success as a photographer. Even if one of my photos was viewed of and enjoyed 300 years from now, in the year 2322, I would be very happy.
I think, first of all, open source all of your photos and artwork, and make it easy for people to access and download them.
Second, strive to stay motivated to make photos and artwork until you die at 120 years old. The longer your artistic tenure, the more likely at least one of your artworks will last forward to the future. For example, if you are a prolific artist, and create many artworks every single day, and publish and share them every single day, until you die at 120 years old, you probably have a better chance of being remembered than if you don’t.
Third, I say it is a good idea to attempt many different mediums. For example, not just photos, but videos, vlogs, short films, audio podcasts, video podcasts, etc. Embrace plain text, markdown, PDF, and make your website easily indexed and remembered by Google. Considering that now, Google is the Internet, the more you could harness the power of Google, the better. For example, it seems that Google drive has better longevity than dropbox. A lot of my old dropbox links are now broken, whereas the Google drive links still live on.
Also, YouTube does a very good job of indexing and remembering your videos. I wish that Google had a better blogging platform, similar to YouTube, but for blogging. It seems that blogger is essentially dead, I wish that Google would re-revive it. I essentially desire some sort of open photo hosting platform, some thing more easily indexed of than just Google photos. Google Blog would be a great new platform!
It is of my theory that happier you are, the more creative you will be, and vice versa. Happiness is a great motivator for creating things, as your creations will show some sort of exuberance and gratitude towards life. For example, during early Covid, the NONFUTURE film that me and Cindy made while in Providence Rhode Island. While it was created in the midst of early pandemic, I think the overall tone and outcome of it is very positive and joyful. Also, all of the creative films that me and Cindy made while in Vietnam, it just exudes happiness and thanksgiving towards life.
In today’s world, we are so obsessed with notions of “quality“. For example, photographers spend too much time trying to optimize their equipment and cameras to be maximally sharp, high resolution, more megapixels, etc. For video and videographers, the overhype with 8K, 5K, 4K video, etc.
I think what is more important is making your photos and videos as personal and immediate as possible. For example, the reason why I love Ultra Wide angle, and using the GoPro, is that it gives you a more personal and immediate feel to things. It makes the viewer feel like he or she is really there themselves. And this is more important to me than how much resolution or sharpness my videos have. I would rather my videos to be personal and immediate, than high-quality and impersonal.
Another pragmatic thought is in order to become more creative, design things yourself. For example, rather than seeking the most expensive designer name T-shirt or outerwear, maybe it is best for you to just take an old outfit of yours, cut it up with scissors, or splash some paint or markers on it. For example, I remember being very impressed by this one highschooler who although he was poor, he just took his old white Nike shoes, and painted on top of them, creating a unique canvas for his art. To me this is 1 billion times more impressive than some insecure kid buying the newest supreme clothing or off-white shoes.
Or, take the things that you have, and debrand them. For example, my friend Josh White just gave me this sweet Mystery Ranch backpack and tote backpack, but I really hated the logo and branding on it. Therefore, me and Cindy just asked my mom to paint some flowers over it. I prefer the new look. also, I love it because whenever I look at it, it reminds me it makes me think about my mom, who I love for and care for very much.
Who is happier? The kid who bought a Toyota A86 car and modified the hell out of it, or the rich old guy who bought the newest Lamborghini convertible? I think the prior. Why? When you design and customize something yourself, you gain more pride in it. Why? The change and difference.
For example, my favorite car of all time is my old B13, 1991 Nissan Sentra SE-R two-door coupe. Why? It was insanely unique, when I owned it, in high school and college, most people either had no idea what it was, and also while I owned it, I actually never saw another one of the same type on the road.
Also, all the work I did to it. The pride I had in painting the fog lights and tail lights, the pride I had in debadging it, the pride I had in touching up the paint, the pride I had installing the intake header and exhaust, all with my hard earned cash as a highschooler.
I remember there were some other rich kids at school who drove a brand new Subaru STI, which was the hot car in high school. Yet, I had a bazillion times more pride in my own car, because of the joy I had in building it myself.
This also explains the pride we have in doing things ourselves, or DIY culture. That actually, we have more pride and joy and satisfaction when doing something ourselves, even if we do an inferior job when compared to a professional. Why? The more labor and toil we put into something, the more joy we have in it.
Don’t just hide it. Share it. Publish it online, on your own website, own YouTube, make it public and easily indexable.
If you want the simplest solution, just start a blog on wordpress.com.
Also, a simple idea is to create an iMovie slideshow of all your photos, and just upload it to YouTube, and share the link with friends and family. Also, embed the YouTube video on your own blog, and also share the link with friends and family.
Don’t strive for the best solution, strive for the simplest solution.
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