Last week, I worked on an About page to make my blog less anonymous. And putting it together reminded me why I write.
Today, I want to share that reminder with you.
The Flower Thrower
Five years ago, I was on a weekend trip to Amsterdam. I went to a gallery there for the first time in my life. (It was before I smoked anything that day. Just wanted to mention it because I know you’re thinking it.)
It was a Banksy exhibition. That’s the secret identity artist who once shredded his painting right after it was auctioned for 1,4 million dollars. That’s cool if you ask me.
Anyway, I starred at his creations until complete emotional exhaustion. I didn’t know looking at pictures could drain your energy. But it did.
And there was one painting in particular that sucked my attention like a vacuum cleaner. It was an image of a masked man throwing flowers.
Something about this image resonated with me on a level I didn’t understand. So I bought a poster of it in a gift shop and pinned it on my wall at home.
Just so you know, I never do this. I don’t hang pictures or photos anywhere. But somehow, I felt like this image was meaningful to me without knowing why.
Fast forward five years, and this image still hangs on my wall.
It explains the emotions behind my work better than I ever could with words. But I’ll try to tell you anyway.
Choose your weapon
As far as I know, besides being called The Flower Thrower, this image has two other names: Rage and Love is in the air.
To me, each of them shows one half of what it means to find and express your creativity.
Everyone has something they quietly rage about.
We are cranky creatures constantly scanning for what’s just not good enough. Then, once find it, we want to fix it.
Rage gives me the courage to say things in public. It helps me to show my work despite being terrified of what others will say. Getting angry about how stupid some things are is fueling my work.
So what are you raging about?
What frustrates you? What are you trying to say through your work?
Find it and use it. Write, draw, code, lead, dance, teach, play. Whatever your craft is, use it to say what you want to say.
However, aim your rage carefully. It’s too easy to get destructive and become the problem rather than the solution. Don’t settle for being a hater.
That’s where the second part comes in.
Love is in the air
Once you’ve found your rage, the question is, how are you going to you use it?
Are you about to throw a flower into the crowd, or is it a grenade?
Rage is pure energy. And it’s your decision whether you deliver it hatefully or lovingly. Are you going to tear something down or build something up?
Once you get angry about the status quo, loving delivery is the hardest part. The trick is to realize there is no enemy. Your job isn’t to make people see what you see.
All you can do is try your best. Express what you have to say as well as you can. Then let others decide what they’re going to do about it. That’s all.
If it didn’t work, do better.
But whatever you do, rage. Do your thing because no one else will. Be useful.
We need you to throw your best work at us, lovingly.
This is what The Flower Thrower reminds me:
Show your rage with love.