Monday, October 6, 2008
The American Red Cross is always low on blood and trying to get folks to roll up their sleeves to donate. In an effort to develop a more effective campaign, they did some research on why people don't donate. The most common response was: "No one asked me." So, they launched their "Consider Yourself Asked" campaign!
I feel the same about art, writing and other creative, constructive endeavors. I meet a lot of folks who have either "been meaning to" write that book, or pick up the brush, or write that song, or film their grandparents telling the famous family stories... or those folks who have not thought of it - or haven't done so in a very long time.
SO - consider yourself asked. Write a Post-it note and put it on your bathroom mirror. Tell a friend, "I've started a book!" (Try to avoid: "I'm thinking about writing a book." Thinking about it, in my world, IS part of the process of DOING it. Combine the two for success. Dream and do. Some people dream. Some people dream and do!)
The drawing above I made today to help me share something to help people to take action. The surprise invitation that might trigger the "next step." This image reminds me of when I was walking by a restaurant under construction in Harvard Square in the winter of 1986. There was a sign on the door: "Artist Wanted." I thought: "That's me!" I walked into the noise place, sawdust flying, sparks shooting from welding torches, and found the manager, Mike Eberly. "We're calling this place "The Border Cafe" and we want big murals of old Tabasco labels and the like. Do you paint murals?" I, of course, said yes. I had not YET painted a mural, but I could imagine it wasn't much different than painting on a sheet of paper. I had a LOT to learn! And boy, did I learn! (My mentor, Aldo Servino and I ended up painting 17 murals for the Border Cafe!)
I'll save the details of that story for another time, but the lesson from my story is that a simple sign from the universe might be your invitation in... and do not worry if you lack the experience.
The experience begins by accepting the challenge, sometimes bravely, and making it real.