This stock photo was one of the key pieces in understanding what my professional side needed to thrive.
Wednesday morning August 25,
This is the most abstract time capsule so far, because it doesn’t have an external source I can link to.
It’s something I needed to figure out and get clear on, and not so much a direct artistic inspiration like the other topics that inspired me.
What I discuss today will influence my work, but only in an abstract way.
It’s about how to frame what it is I do.
I was already in a final crossing t’s and dotting i’s phase, because a few weeks ago I figured out what the framing, the freedom-based form, needed to be for any paid work that was going to be long term sustainable and satisfying.
I had the title, the words that resonated with me, to know I would never face the same problems again of not understanding why job/ professional situations that were perfectly okay and even desirable for others, did not and would not, ever work for me.
After decades I finally knew, not what was wrong with me;
But what was right.
The paradox was;
My best work, the one you would want to aim for, save, nourish, laminate and never let go?
That was what had been created in full freedom.
And it was like a drug, that was only supplied to me when I respected that the work needed to be created in full freedom.
Anytime I forced myself to be more outcome focused, limit myself, and yield my work so that I would be able to do it more efficiently, label it better, package it up, sell it?
I don’t know if the work suffered, but I did!
I felt deprived of the sweet flowing creative juices I had become addicted to.
So long story short;
Yes, I was happy when I had found a few words, a marker, something to look out for and recognize red flags and such, to get an understanding of when that drug, my best work, and the creative flow could come, and when it would not.
In which case I was better off straight up working for money in an area that made the most money or an area that had other benefits such as great colleagues, connection and meaning;
And I was worse off if I connected it to any areas I loved.
However in hindsight there were two things missing.
And this morning I am able to see those two missing pieces.
Because only knowing you need full creative freedom, is still quite vulnerable you know?
It’s like knowing you should not be smoking, but only as an idea. An “I should”, and then you give it a go.
But it won’t last.
Just like a smoker who wants to quit smoking because it was killing them, I wanted to stop limiting, altering, and cleaning up my work because that was killing it.
But just like them I needed two things:
1. A WHY
I needed to know my personal and emotionally charged reason to want it.
WHY, did I want my work to come out unaltered, and why did I need the thrill of being in creative flow?
and the other thing quitting smokers and me needed:
2. Understanding the function the habit had
I needed to understand the pattern, the reasons, behind me defaulting to this. Obviously altering my work, planning it, restricting myself was giving me something. Or I would not be so prone to it, and quitting it would not have to be such an undertaking, including relapses because I ve been trying to quit planning and limiting myself for years.
I needed to understand what was in it for me.
And today, this morning, I figured it out.
The penny dropped when I was studying the topic of hustle culture and burnout by successful people, and how they all regretted having spent so much time on their work and missing out on family time, friends, and even love.
The message was:
“Don’t hustle, don’t strive so much. Focus on the things that matter!”
And as much as I agreed with that, I knew that by prioritizing my friends and family, I would not be happy.
That’s when I saw the bigger picture:
To me my work IS the priority. I don’t feel alive unless I write, create, and communicate THROUGH my work.
Not only is being in communication with my work required, before I can communicate in real life, but many people I know read my work and relate to me through my work.
I would not be able to show up in the real world, if I had not first invested in my daily creative work.
For a moment one step back to the “I don’t feel alive” part;
The creative satisfaction, the feeling of flow, purpose, being one with God, only comes when I am fully absorbed and do whatever wants to be done.
The dopamine rush is (unfortunately) not limited to blogging or other art forms that are pret-a-porter and can be posted!
I ve also “lost” days to archiving my notebooks, to creating vision board cards, sorting out old downloads and other files.
They were such good days that at night I would write in my diary:
“I had such an amazing day!!’
Also realizing that I had not seen anyone. That technically, in a worldly sense, I had not made any connections.
And yet I went to sleep with a blush on my cheeks as if I had a new lover.
So what I found out is this:
The work I am here to do in this world, is a fully submerged, timeless experience of totally being one with the work.
Whatever the work is that day or at that moment.
It is the moment I come alive and can feel God, The Universe, Life, flowing through me. And because there isn’t any resistance I would describe this experience of working, as the most satisfying human experience imaginable.
And coming from someone who loves sex, that is saying something.
But the reason I want to plan things, steer towards a certain outcome, the reason I want to (plan to) create something I can post, for all of my three main outlets, where this work for LS Harteveld is just one of them;
That reason is because I want that connection with other people.
I am afraid I will get isolated, in all ways both professionally as well as personally, if I don’t show up because I m submerged in my work.
That I have make a connection in my case online, and that I have to share my work in order for it to have value for other people.
There is a fear that I will not be loved nor paid, to be offline or to do other forms of deep work.
That I have to show up online, and therefor must push and plan, for work to have a visible, shareable outcome.
The reason I fall prey to wanting to plan my work, and post every day for all my accounts, and run the risk of burnout, just like those Type A hustlers who regret it later;
Is because I still feel I need to do that to be successful.
Guilty as charged.
But unlike the hustle culture, for me posting those things is also connected to my social life. I connect over the internet in pretty much the same way as I do in real life, and I do not have children or a partner, who do not get attention if I work too much.
So my payoff for hustling, in the sense of delivering something of value and making a (whether paid or not) connection, is more than just money.
It is human connection.
And The Work?
The work burned out Type A hustlers tell us we should not be prioritizing so much, and focus on the things that matter, and that you will remember when you are on your deathbed?
The work, that they say we should not make so important because it ultimately isn’t?
That work is the closest connection I have, to God.
An unexamined life is not worth living
ABOUT TIME CAPSULES
My time capsules are a written out collection of things that I have come into contact with, and that will influence my art.
The project is Inspired by Warhol, who created one time capsule (box) a month, collecting physical objects.
Time Capsules is a stand-alone project.
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