Be Like The Terminator
Do you remember how chilling it was to watch Arnold relentlessly pursue his target in Terminator part 1? Or how that liquid metal guy pursued them in part 2? It was like nothing could stop them, well almost nothing, but you get the point. Sometimes I stop and think about my career so far as an artist. Most of the achievements have come because I was persistent. Even when the odds were stacked against me I didn't stop, I simply kept moving forward.
I remember back in 2013 I was just getting into my first year as an artist and I really wanted to get some momentum going, to get my name out there. Yet no galleries would take me and I had little credibility as an artist and no collector base. So I decided to rent a small studio and hold my first solo show. At the time I was working a full time job, part-time college student, full-time dad, and just started a small business. I had 3 months to paint 23 large portrait paintings in time for the opening. It seemed impossible but I was determined, all I could see every night I went to sleep was this image in my mind of the art work hanging at my show. I stayed up till sometimes morning working on my art. I finished with one week to spare. The opening was great and propelled me to greater opportunities. More importantly it taught me an important lesson. We never really have a good excuse to give up on our goals and dreams only the lack of drive and determination to face the challenges. Several years later I've faced similar odds that seemed impossible. It feels almost second nature now to pursue "long shot" goals. I'm more likely now to pursue something that years ago seemed impossible but by nature of my terminator attitude I advance towards them relentlessly.
People often ask me how I was able to paint so well in such a short amount of time, and that this talent must have been lying quietly inside me for years. It may seem that way to them but its because they didn't see the work I put in. Researching painting and drawing techniques; practicing for hours and hours. I didn't want to just be a good painter. I wanted to be a great painter that could paint fast. Because like it or not time is money. So my attitude was that I had to be persistent not just to reach deadlines but also to become better. I've learned techniques sometimes by accident but most of the time I learned them by listening and watching artists much better than me. I've become obsessed. That's what it takes. Be like the Terminator. Obsessed with your target. Eat, live and breathe your goals until they have no where else to run.