Be Kind

by tjbeitelman


So I have these two letterpress posters in my office at work. Two of several from this guy, Amos Kennedy, who is awesome. You should go find him.

The one you can probably read: The essence of art is generosity.

The other is harder to make out. It says: Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a GREAT BATTLE.

I concur with both sentiments. Obviously. They’re nailed to the cinder block walls of my office. (No small feat.)

Today I am thinking about how these sentiments apply to the creative process. I’m not sure about you, but I know that there’s one person in particular who needs my generosity and kindness when he endeavors to “fight the great battle” of being a creative person.

Which is to say, when I seek to make things, I need to be generous and kind to myself.

Why is that so hard, I wonder. Maybe it’s because I come from a creative background that privileges awards, accolades, approval. Achievement. Which is to say: I am a (so-called) Master of Fine Arts. Maybe it’s because of my parents or something. Or some cheap trick of neurochemistry. Or all of the above.

It doesn’t matter.

It’s not nice to tell people they suck. It’s not nice to tell people what they want to do is stupid and impossible. It’s not nice to “Yes, but…” away everything that matters to them.

So don’t do that. To anybody. Even — especially — yourself.

Just be nice.