Author, poet, screenwriter, filmmaker, photographer, graphic artist.
For much of my life I’ve been screaming at the wind that the tenacity of an idea isn't the thing that gives it value. Simply because we’ve always done it a certain way doesn’t mean we shouldn’t re-evaluate to see if there is a path more efficient and effective. Too often it seems that people find themselves immobile in their complacency toward tradition and repetition no longer having the impact it once did.
This is something I’ve constantly tried to employ in my own life as a parent, as a professional, and as an artist and writer.
It’s not remotely easy.
In fact, there is beautiful simplistic innocence that comes with doing something the way it’s always been done. How can it be wrong? It’s always been done that way. What’s more is that it’s often not wrong.
There are lots of good things in conventional thinking – but also lots of stifling things that don’t make sense to me. It’s true for me in religion, in marriage, in sports, in work, and in life. The thing I seem to always have at my disposal is skepticism. It's this skepticism that drives my art and creative spirit.
With progress comes good and bad. The beauty of evaluation is that it’s constant. It’s fluid. It’s an ideal that must constantly be applied. Whether it be religion, or belief, or politics, social beliefs, or your own creativity and creation – having the humility to step back and ask the simple question of whether there is a better way for you, the individual, to accomplish that task, to tell that story, to paint that picture... and then broadening the question - do we, as an industry, a community of artists, a family… or a community… or a city… or a state… or a nation, have the audacity to ask the question of not just what are we trying to accomplish, but how are we going to accomplish it.
The tenacity or immortality of an idea doesn’t instill it with value. It may still be valuable – but just because we’ve seemingly always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s still the right way.
Creating for me is oxygen. There is a screaming chaos inside of me and art is my sword; the camera, the logline, the stage, the period, and the semi-colon the arrows in my sling. For me, having the opportunity to share my expression with strangers and professors is an honor and a privilege. I do so knowing that it will be judged and evaluated, but I also do so knowing that it’s judged and evaluated so that it can be better. It can be sharper, tighter, and ultimately more refined. That’s the beauty of creating – it’s ever-evolving. On a whim I may change a word in a paragraph that has remained static for months. I may add an adjective, or change gears and delete a sentence entirely. I may edit out a shot, or a line of dialogue. I may add a splash of paint to the canvas. None of it is wrong, but the magic is that none of it is right either. There is no right or wrong in writing or art, but rather only the tenacious ideas and guidelines that create the structure, the canvas - but what you do with the canvas is up to you. There is beauty, there is art, and there is effort. Ultimately, it’s the ultimate form of breaking away from complacency. What happens on the page or canvas is different moment to moment, day to day, month to month - and that is what makes it good.