"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Balance and Super-Focus

I've been having this ongoing conversation with a friend of mine regarding "balance" in life. He feels that I'm all over the place.... sometimes I'm about reading, wisdom and finding the deepest secrets of my soul and how it relates to the world, while other times I just want to play and laugh and create.

He insists that balance means putting a little bit of everything into your day. My theory is that to lead a balanced life, you must look at life as a whole. If I take all the pieces of my life and do a pie chart, I would imagine that my slices would be fairly equal in the thinking, creating, service and social categories when it is all said and done. It's will be different for everyone as they fall into their own patterns.

For me, as a creative, what works is focus - complete focus on what I am doing right now. In conversations with many artists, I have found that we tend to get "lost" in our projects. Creating art takes a great deal of time and energy since we are getting in touch with some deep inner feelings while using our technical skills to translate our message into our art, all the time experimenting and evaluating. If I'm working on a project and leave it to make dinner for example, I'd have a hard time coming back to the place where I was and would probably lose vision and motivation.

Focus also comes out in a commitment to riding a certain art form to the end - pushing the limits and seeing where it will take you. Right now I'm feeling the retro-beach vibe. I'm going to follow this and see what happens. In the midst of it I will go about my daily commitments - in this case it's teaching a class of professional photographers next week in San Diego - heh - what a great place to ride the wave of my beach theme! Funny how life presents opportunities if you just look for them.

So if you are bothered by your obsession toward your art and feel that your life may be out of balance, just relax and go with the flow. That super-focused quality might be the very thing that is taking you to new heights.


  1. I feel the same way! Opportunity sometimes can only be found with a little "focus"! :-)

  2. Yipee - a kindred spirit from the past! Hope you guys are focusing up there in the mountains!