Tag Archives: art

Art vs. The Standard


There is an industry based around how you’re supposed to do it


Every industry has an industry standard in it.
If you don’t comply, you’re a problem that the standard and those employing it will likely not deal with.
The standard is present because it produces results with time tested methods. Results which in turn further productivity. Productivity propels the industry.


Versus –


What pushes the standard forward?
Time stops for no one. An industry with old standards is in danger of not keeping up with the benefits of time.


If you truly love doing your craft, your art will become better. That also works the other way around.
With your art being the boundary-less free flow of ideas being readied for placement, your craft is then the science of it’s production, hard work infusing a modicum of artistic expression.
You generate high quality levels by combining the two and doing it over and over. Repetition teaches people that you are credible because you are always there, contributing more. Your art and your uniqueness are what people are searching for in a professional.


Have you ever asked yourself what would you do every day – for free?


Balance finding art in your standards or finding standards in you art.
That leads you to mastery – excellence.
The standard is based on the commonly accepted professionalism of unique people willing to engage in producing consistent results and then hurling themselves into the artful recreation of better craft.


What is it that you are doing towards learning or pushing the standard today?


The Junker In My Life

Is Your Car You?

I’m hanging out with a friend who drives this wonderfully junky car.
Of course it’s got a name, and it should.
This person, I think, is maybe a little embarrassed by the car.
I guess I’m not sure but there’s usually some tone approaching apology about the car from them. Mostly, they don’t care that much.
Here’s the thing though, they live a life that most of us would like to be living.
They’re free to create, and they do. They’re surrounded by their fun choices, their works of art – which are many and in many forms. They live a rich life with many well developed relationships. They walk around town saying hi to people and engaging with people and laughing and having a good time. They’re not playing the game that often starts early in life with a car payment and keeping up with what others have.
Would they like to have a new car? Sure they would.
Would they be this way if they had money and were busy keeping up with the Joneses?
Maybe a little but almost certainly they would not be as engaged in the benefits of care-free living if they had increasingly more to lose. The pressure to keep it can often outweigh the acceptance of their current level.
We’ve all got some struggles, but I’ll take their happier life and a crappy car.
One day you can upgrade to a better car.
Finding the way to make that metaphorical, to be living the concept, is the pursuit.
How far along in life are we gonna get before we realize that a certain behavior is too deep seeded to change now?
How far along in life are we gonna get before we put the priority on the things that really matter?
It’s always such a contradiction that what we seek isn’t best for us to actually reach.
It’s the process that makes us.
Always having something to reach for, to better ourselves, is the value.
Reaching goals means you get to set new ones.
Should we keep fixing up this junker?
We’re all broken to some degree.
Even a new car has flaws.

Living The Dash


19xx – 20xx
Your headstone will have the info on your entire life


You have a birth date.
You have a death date.
You have a dash in between.


The dash is your life.
What are you filling the dash with?


Everybody has an in-between,
but everybody’s is completely different.
When your child asks about your grandparents – “What was she like?” – what you answer
is their dash. What your kids or friends will say about you now and when you’re gone, is your dash. You are living your dash.


Dash is an expression of speed.
A long dash is about 100 years, and that is still fast.
A short dash can often have more impact than another’s long dash.


Whatever dates surround us, choose to make your mark every day, on purpose.
When you’re wrong, right yourself and start again, fresh and ready to help people with what your mark between years did for them.
Fill your dash.
Make your mark.
The symbol that looks the same as everyone else’s, is your art defining it’s difference.
When the end date is written, it’s people’s thoughts that pack your years into moments.
Your existence, then, is as good as your dash.


❤️ = –  / – = ❤️




Art has become a polarizing word.
It’s misunderstood because
people are misunderstood.


Art, like life, is the process of starting with nothing
and ending with something

Art is so many things.
It can be be a painting, a song, a sculpture,
metal work, food, writing, clothing styles,
how your room/house looks, your hair,
your car, the way you speak, how you assist others,
teaching, how you sell or market, your craft, your job–
the list is incredible to become fully aware of.


There is no adequate synonym for art.
Much like your name becomes you.
You have to put yourself into your art
to find even it’s single difference.
That difference will resonate with some,
in the way that building a friendship does.


The thing to notice about art is that
it rarely comes out fully planned and
digestible to the mass public at it’s seed.
It takes the openness to receive the inspiration.
Next it takes the skill building to put it into being
using whatever medium you have chosen.
And finally it takes crafting to refine.
Throughout that process the seed grows
into a fully grasped, living thing.


You play a part but not the only part.
It’s you but it’s also not you.
You put yourself into it but it gives more than you.


It’s misunderstood because the piece
reflects the artist and is interpreted
by each individual with their own sense of style.
Each one different.
It’s the personality of the piece that gets picked apart,
in the same way people do to each other.


Many artistic people think their art isn’t as great
as others do because they process their work
by other people’s views and standards.
When you are in the midst of creating,
you are in your own world.
When you show it, you see it through the viewers eyes,
and you are more critical to the vulnerability of it.
As is the parallel of good relationships.


Those who are committed artists
know they have to work it through.
They are concerned with the process and
they understand more of themselves and
their place in the world in the pursuit of a finished piece.


And maybe most important to see
is that the process is art.

Every artist gets the seed but fewer follow it to completion.
Go through the creating and let it be what it is at that time.
It won’t be understood by everyone.
It’s not the same thing spit out over and over.
It’s new.
We have to dig in to find out about it – about us.

Art is misunderstood because it speaks to it’s uniqueness.
It’s hard to make something new.
It’s also hard to be you.
You are unlike anyone else.
Putting yourself into a piece ensures it’s uniqueness.
Finding the personality in others’ work
makes it different than any others like it.
Getting comfortable with that
is getting comfortable with yourself.

It’s all a working process.
Art is your life.



Stop trying to reach that goal


If you strive for the unattainable you will
only be stressed out and unfinished.
Instead, try to find the art in what you do.
Does that weird you out?
Try creating something out of the routine.
Art is defined by it’s imperfections

So it goes that if there is no perfect that we can make,
then the next step that we can achieve is art.
It’s uniquely human.
Art means being able to think for yourself,
to be as good as you can until you say you’re done.
It means to do things in your own way.

We get the rules preached so often.
The have-to’s.
From early childhood, all through school,
and through our work life.
Here’s what you do” is the rule.

Point > Counterpoint

The counterpoint is that you must have rules for
the mainstream to follow to make the baseline work.
Fine, got it.
Once that is established,
and you can deliver the expected results,
then dare to be yourself.

Be better than the rule.
Question. Redefine. Have fun by creating.
Don’t concern yourself with perfect.
Concern yourself with creativity and productiveness and relationships.
Those are attainable, pliable and ever evolving.
They are endless to the point that they outlive you.

It’s more fun to work on being you than it is
to work on someone else’s idea of you.

Don’t be bound by perfect, there is no perfect.



Have you just started?
Maybe you’re not inspired
or just not done yet.
How do you know when it’s done?

It lives on in new ways each time someone has an experience with it.
When someone hears your song, it has meaning to them.
Different than the creator’s.

When is the creator finished?
When you’re ready to let it go and move on to the next piece.


How do you let it go?
Art, like love, is not a possession.
It’s not really yours, it more came through you.
And it must be let go of to let others interact with it.

My best creations I don’t feel I can take ultimate credit for.
They were instantly and always bigger than me.

Going Through The Stages

  • Inspiration and raw creativity getting captured.
  • Editing smoothes out the rough edges and refines it.
  • Final polish – post work.

Then let it go.
You’ve done your work and it is as it was meant to be.
You could refine forever but that would reduce the ability
for interpretation by the viewer.
It needs to be open for them to add to their life.
It’s why artwork hangs on a wall, or a song stays with you forever –
because it means something to you.
You brought your perspective to it.

We all see it through our own window.
It’s nice to be able to see someone else’s art for what it is to them,
but art works because we change it’s impression to our own.

See if you can find the art in your day where you didn’t before.


One community views artists as lazy.
Another community views business
as corrupt or somehow dirty.
I’m not sure how pervasive that really is
but it sure gets the headlines.


The truth is that art needs business.
And business needs art.
Without the other, their best
is not shared for us to experience.


The two live in slightly separated worlds.
That’s not a bad thing due to the practices of
each method’s creation process.


If this is a struggle, one practice is to find what you both
can use from each other and allow the rest to be something
you just don’t fully understand –
maybe philosophically you don’t want to understand.
You each still play a part in the betterment of a process
for a common goal or product.


Finding what you both can relate to brings at least
a modicum of understanding.
Understanding brings a potential for agreement,
and agreement brings an important sense of togetherness.


That’s all that’s needed to allow each other their ways.
Give each their credit and respect for their part of the process.
Intersect when needed and let the rest be.
Isn’t that what the coexist bumper sticker means?


If the result of two separate processes is
trust through agreement,
having a great product,
and letting others pay you to have access to it,
isn’t that a worthwhile venture for all of us?


How about not letting the minority of bad events grab all the attention.
How about avoiding lazy and corrupt in the process and sticking to the point.



I was called out for doing something in my work day that was uniquely me.
It was how I write emails to business associates.
I communicate like I am talking to them personally.
This was a bother to one associate of mine.
So was I comfortable being called out for doing something that obviously was wrong,
even inept in another person’s mind?
I went very quickly from feeling belittled, or allowing me to think less of myself because of another scholastically reinforced opinion, to feeling better about my individuality.
I made a choice all by myself, to be me to another person.
The only thing I can contribute is what comes from me.
Regurgitating ad nauseam that which is covered by others in ways that didn’t include me, isn’t me being me.
I want to get people information so they can understand but I also want them to get it from me. You don’t have to agree or even like it but when I write that way, that’s what talking to me is like.
It’s all been done before.
In music, when I wrote, I knew that every note has been played and there isn’t much truly new that can be produced. That doesn’t stop art from coming out of me and being put into a format that wouldn’t be exactly the same if I wasn’t involved.
That is art.
Art is defined by it’s imperfections as my mentor Jeff Casey & his, Nik Venet taught me.
He also said that “anyone can sing, anyone can write a song but not everybody tells the truth and it’s the truth that reaches people.”
Wise. And applicable beyond songwriting.
This is another way of saying what’s already been said – Be yourself.
Don’t be afraid.
Grow so that you can always be a better version of yourself.
Look around you, including a 180º look back at your work on occasion so you can measure your growth. Maybe even enjoy some of what you’ve done. It’s impactful to appreciate.
It’s good to find yourself being comfortable with what used to be uncomfortable.
Know the rules, and then break a few here and there if it’s of benefit.
It’s a sign of growing if you’re doing things that make you a little uncomfortable.
Live in it.