I went to a Kevin Smith lecture and Q&A a few months ago. Here is a man who went into credit card debt and maxed out a number of cards just to fund his first movie ‘Clerks’. This is a man who is inspiring because he just does and makes what he wants regardless about what people say or think of him. His view on life is it’s too short to please other people and do other people’s work. He only wants to spend his life making his art form and speaking his voice. Going into the talk I had no expectations about what was going to happen. But coming out of that lecture, I’ve taken some amazing gems from Smith and is wisdom is all inspiring.
Yohji Yamamoto once said
“Start copying what you love, copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copying, you will find yourself.”
This falls upon the lines of learning. Follow the path that inspires you and your craft, after a while you will develop and find your own voice. I’ve taken that to heart in terms of copying elements from people that inspire me. In taking these elements I’ve found you can redevelop them through your own eye and start to develop your own style. Which remained me about what Smith said in his lecture that night
“Imitate till you can innovate.”
Another thing that moved Smith forward was a nice talk about being stagnant and not trying. And I’m badly paraphrasing here but Smith said.
“You are in a world where people are in a constant fear of looking stupid, I think the stupid thing is not making the step forward.”.
I took this to heart because one of my favourite ideas around trying is the saying. “Just ask, what do you have to lose. The worst thing that could happen, is they say no, and if you don’t ask you’re at no already.”. If you break it down even more, what are you afraid of? why aren’t you doing, making or trying to achieve your goal? Ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen? If the answer is something trivial then get off your ass and do it.
So to sum up what I learned from Kevin Smith is do your own thing. Life is too short to do someone else’s. Remember that you have no excuses for not bringing what you love doing into fruition. So get off your ass, and start taking that first step forward your dream. Stop caring what anyone thinks or says about it. Again I’ll leave you with me badly paraphrasing Smith
“There is a world filled with ‘Why people’… surround yourself with people that say ‘Why not’.”