Guest repost; original by Fesbra [www.fesbra.com]
I’ve come across with the problematic of being a “full person” colliding with the fact that you need too many hours a day to become the best professional you can be in a certain area. In my case as a freelance illustrator that didn’t go to university to become one, and that by 24 got the stress of his life to “recover” years by crunching as hard as I could to sorta regain that acknowledgement of progress. Feeling that I owed a toll of money, time and effort to my parents and friends that watched me go by my years, with the promise of a “functional man”. A gear.
I’ve come through with a certainty. One that has been there in the shape of an abstract idea about how to live a life. At the beginning it would instinctively bother me the idea of “killing myself for the work” and also the idea of “sacrificing things” to become the best I could be. Somehow it sounded as a metaphorical deal with the devil that you must do in order to harvest all the skill and time you need to become the best at what you do. Suddenly the idea of “success” became superfluous and how to live life as such, a bigger subject to the problem.
It is evident.
Life is what we are going through as mortal people. And by the time we die, we will become nothing but a memory, if not a mere forgotten picture or a name in a file, those things will remain the only proof of our existence. Something true as a fact.
By the year 2014 I was trying to get into FZD (for those who do not know what FZD is, long story short, is a design school in Singapore dedicated to Concept Art for the entertainment industry, very expensive admission for a single year program) and was already in with tests and interviews completed. The only few things remaining were to pay an entry fee and some other legalities related to travel. But it was in the interview that I came with the conviction of my own appreciation of “life” and the misinformation around the entertainment industry about these topics, if not the whole professional industry for every single career.
In the interview I asked the lady that was evaluating me as a future student. Are there any places nearby to go out for a run or a hike (in order to exercise), are there any means for me to get locomotion with a bike instead of taking an expensive taxi every morning, at the same time being able to do some workout. I know for a fact that sitting down for too many hours tends to be damaging for your body in pretty much every way. And being able to exercise, do workout and have a healthy life is very necessary for this type of sedentary career. The lady will honestly tell me that she doubt that would be a good idea since the school would demand most of my time and “wasting time” for exercising or going out for a run would be detrimental to my instruction.
This is the first time I get a sure idea of what seems wrong with an educational system and what is better for my own life, I get a certainty of what life should be able to be like very clearly after this.
A few days later I would reject my entry to the school, but the feeling of what should be a path of life for me would be every time clearer.
I has been 3 years almost and I’ve been encountering other people and artists in my way that have similar issues unanswered as the sort of mystery that unveils later in life by the whole situation of experiences and regrets. I’ve come to try to aid and help whenever I can my colleagues and friends. To try to unveil a bit more myself a mist that haunts me whenever I want, or need, to make a move forward. I’ve also come across with people that talk about other people with grudge and warning. The cause of this being a simple misunderstanding between those who chose a path of high sacrifice (sacrificing their humanity) and those who maintain a vision over things that are more earthly and obvious to them and their imperfections.
I think there’s a problem here.
There are too many people talking about all the sacrifices we need to do in life as a certain type of badge of honor. It reminds me of those days in university where senior students would tell stories of “war” on how they spent 4 days without any sleep creating a final architectural project (an architectural project that would have absolutely no influence nowhere whatsoever). They would wear these experiences as a title with pride. Trying to say things underlined as “Behold! The blood I’ve been willing to spill for the sake of my success! All glory to me in the war of professionalism and shame on those who ‘procrastinate’ in the joys and relaxations, as the lesser kind would”.
But by the end I would see some of these A+ students earn their careers with great honors and spend 2 years wondering what to do next without any idea. Falling into depression if not giving themselves up, under the pressure of success, to a job they never wanted.
But do not think me wrong. People that work hard get their pay in mental muscle. Ready to strive under any kind of problem. Several of those students might be efficient “successful” architects today.
But I’m not talking about those students. I’m talking about those who break under the pressure. Those who are different people, those who have a sensitivity to realize that there are bigger and most basic things in this world to take care of, rather than a single job for some years in a company doing a random project that gives you big amounts of money for reasons you might not really have. Those people that cannot find themselves fitting in the puzzle of industrialization and that can’t find concepts such as “family man/woman” and “successful hardcore professional” to click and commute in this modern accelerating life.
Too many times I’ve encountered in this career, stories of people having experiences with some person that apparently exposes himself as a successful professional, to be criticized secretly as a crazy person or even a sociopath, and warnings related to “not to mess with him/her”. I’ve even experienced myself having arguments and having to cut relationships with people (successful rising concept artists and illustrators) that happen to have a lack of empathy with people of sexual minorities or even other races and that are unwilling, if not incapable, to understand other realities. These kinds of experiences only reassure my idea of a life and humanity as a main thing to solve. We cannot go around life thinking that our career, our job, our professional experience is way more important than life itself. Than our condition as an all-round human being.
I’ve always said to myself and others close to me, that people want to deal and work with humans, not machines. Companies are supposed to work like organic entities that create intellectual property with the help and effort of people striving for a single purpose, not by slaves, not by machines, not by “martyrs” that kill themselves for a single work, but by humans that are capable of empathize, communicate and relate, solve problems, struggle and thrive together as a unit, not as individual superstars. And today reaffirming my idea I watched a video where Brom talked about life and work in an interview with “One Fantastic Week”. Quotes came out of the video and bombarded my brain with truths and certainties that are only part of life experiences and human empathy.
I would recommend to everyone to give it a listen, not once but every now and then when we feel that struggle of separating ourselves from our human condition in order to facilitate “success” in our careers.
I will never forget that to be happy is a way more important thing, than to be “successful” and having money. The reason I chose this career is for that matter, and not for the sake of being in a certain company, or getting rich and popular. And above all of that, life itself is way more important. There’s no reason to keep at this if I’m literally killing myself, destroying and undermining my own state as a human being and disregarding any other who has nothing to do with my career path.
Because life is way too short.
Besides a kind open guy he’s a fellow metalhead. He’s strongly inspired by music and nature. To see his artworks click on the image below:
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