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Can 78 bad sketches change your life?

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Don’t stunt your growth by reaching for fame

It’s funny we gauge personal success by numbers of followers. It’s as if we’ve adopted the business transaction as a model for every area of our lives.

Business wants more eyeballs for more attention for more revenue for more profit. And that makes perfect sense for our business goals.

What’s problematic is when we confuse business with what humans need to move forward: Doing what attracts attention and gathers “Likes” is often very different from the stuff our souls need to grow.

Your business factory is not a solid model for personal growth

Your business factory is not a solid model for personal growth

One thing I’m learning from the artists and photographers I’ve been interacting with at Dumb Sketch Daily (currently at bad drawing #78) is that while today’s drawing is (clearly) imperfect, there is always tomorrow’s drawing. And I know what I’ll do different in that drawing. I know I’ll try this technique, or that view, or this topic. I’ll do it again and create yet another imperfect representation of the world.

And that’s OK.

Because the pursuit is about learning to see, learning how to draw, learning how to write. Learning how to tell the truth. Learning how to interact with each other. Learning how to be human. Perhaps even learning how to interact with God.

The goal is not fame, unless you really want to turn this pursuit into a business. But learning itself—whether crowds acknowledge you or whether you plod silently and alone—learning is its own reward.

But I still argue your growth is also a benefit to the humans around you.

And while I don’t think 78 bad sketches have changed my life, I can say with certainty that I see things differently than I did 78 days ago.



Dumb Sketch: Kirk Livingston

13 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on Dumb Sketch Daily and commented:

    I’m seeing things differently these days.


    March 19, 2015 at 9:48 am

  2. Great post, Kirk.


    Kris Livingston

    March 19, 2015 at 10:15 am

  3. Your stuff is consistently good. I always enjoy it. Another great one. Thanks for sharing it.


    March 19, 2015 at 4:58 pm

  4. Just looking, that’s unusual these days (eyes on devices at all times). You’re doing great. And I’m waiting for those stories…


    March 20, 2015 at 6:52 am

  5. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking about lately. There’s always this natural tendency to think that if people aren’t “Like”-ing or “follow”-ing you then you must be doing something wrong. It’s a dangerous thought process because it can lead you to change your whole process to something that you think other people will like better which can completely derail your personal growth.

    I definitely agree that it’s really important especially in artistic endeavours to just do things for yourself and not try too hard to please everyone else. Let yourself do badly and let yourself fail because that’s the only real way to learn. In the end, that’s what life is all about. Great post :).


    March 21, 2015 at 3:37 am

    • It’s nice to get noticed–just not necessary. Thanks for resonating.


      March 21, 2015 at 8:03 am

  6. I’ve been taking a closer look at your website. I’m enjoying it’s content, both visual and verbal. It’s very intriguing to me, because I’m the opposite of you. I’ve developed the visual side, but like to dabble in writng, although written word is hard work for me. See it’s a run on sentence, case and point! Basically I have the urge to tell stories, it is to determine how much is pictures vs. words. Someday, I may figure out what works for me. Thanks for sharing!

    Tracy Bezesky

    April 22, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    • Tracy, thanks very much for taking a read through my site! I appreciate it. Writing is hard for me too, but it seems like I get more done than I do with an ink pen and color. I like that you have the urge to tell stories. Me too. I wonder if we all just keep finding ways to tell them, sometimes with words, sometimes images. I’ve enjoyed your painting very much. Thanks again for reading.


      April 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm

  7. […] See also: “Can 78 bad sketches change your life?” […]

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