I watched a Prince retrospective on tv and dreamt his songs all night. I didn't even know I knew that many Prince songs. I never paid that much attention to him, or at least that's what I thought when I heard he died this week. I sent a condolence email to a friend of mine who looooved him and thought that's that, but the retrospective reminded me Prince was a changing factor in the world.
I'd forgotten about how he wrote "slave" on his cheek when he was mad at his record company. He took control of his music, dressed like he wanted, wrote what he wanted, didn't talk to the media very much, and overall, I respected him. He was role model to my friend, and I'm realizing he played that for me too in subtler ways. His was a life well lived. RIP and thank you.
I know, lots of people think they can't succeed for one reason or another. Prince was an abused 5' 2" epileptic, effeminate black man. That would be enough to stop most people from trying. There are lots of incredibly talented people who never make it. I suspect the biggest reason is because they don't believe they can so they never really try.
Many times I've been told to have "realistic" expectations. Dream lower. Don't be so full of myself to think I have what it takes to compete. The people who've told me these things didn't want me to succeed. People can be like a nest of hungry birds. If a sibling gets a coughed up worm, that's one more worm the others didn't get. They try to keep you weak so you can't lift your head. Fighting in the nest takes so much work you can't fight for yourself in the greater world.
I don't want to get on stage like Prince. I just want the best successes for the talents I have. I finally received the Mensa 50th Anniversary Bulletin magazine for which I did 5 illustrations. I love it when I see my work in print! This full-page piece is for an article a father wrote about his elevator-loving, autistic son. It was the first piece I've done like this in a long time, and I pushed myself and fought my inner critic to do it. (Pat, pat myself on the head.) Alright, I'm still fighting my inner critic because Isee things I'd like to fix, but enough. I did it! I feel a bit like the happy boy in the illustration.
The first step in doing it was deciding to try. I wrote the art editor, attached samples, and expressed desire. I got a response and had to maintain that desire. It didn't help that I hated the first article she sent me. When I rejected it, I felt like I'd shot myself in the foot, but she came back with this article and I was happy again. I then went about the illustration in all the wrong ways and had to keep myself motivated to succeed.
My fights were entirely within myself. The art editor gave me more articles. Each got easier to accomplish as I went along. I rejected a cover article because it just wasn't me, and that felt good too.