Sometimes I get frustrated and ask myself what it is all for.

I spend three whole hours making an illustration on my iPad, and all it gets are three measly likes on Instagram.

What a waste of time.

Why contribute? Billions of people are making better illustrations on Instagram than I do.

What is the point?

Not just of Instagram, but everything really.

What if we’re just living in a massive hologram matrix anyway?

And then I feel better when I think about why it is all worth it.

Here’s what makes me feel better:

No one expects anything of me.

We’re just not all that significant in our blood and guts state. We’re born. We live out our lives and then we’re dead.

The Universe won’t notice either way.

Our insignificance is laughable actually.

No one expects anything of you.

For some, this might sound uninspiring, but I view it as a motivator.

There is no pressure, in the wider picture, whether you lose or if you win. This is why you have nothing to lose.

You might as well then play the game, be unexpected and make something cool, maybe even incredible, and maybe more than once.

You must act as though you have nothing to lose. And you really don’t. This perspective will feed you with raw creativity.

I try to remember to work for myself. I’m most alive when I’m defying my own expectations, not when I’m trying to impress others.

If others notice and like what I do, I see that as an added bonus.

People likely will notice when I share enough of the work that I created when I was alive without the fear of losing.

Breaking away from what is expected of me (i.e. Nothing much) sounds like fun to me. And having fun and being alive is more important than recognition ever will be.

There’s a point to it all after all, at least for me. And that is to play with it, to walk along its edges, and then to mould something out of it that defies my own expectations.

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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. I need to print this out and hang it on my wall. For now, since I don’t have a printer, I’ll keep it bookmarked on my phone’s browser 🙂

    If you only knew how often I didn’t post something or stopped midway into something creative that I was really into. And my inner dialogue has usually come in the form of your opening sentences, or something similar to it. Reading your post, top to bottom, has suddenly re-wired my brain to consider the flip side of the coin, to see it as the motivational trigger that it can so wonderfully be.

    Your words could not have reached me at a more suitable time, it’s so crazy how things work out. Your article “What I Learned from Ten Years of Making Illustrations of Monkeys, Mountains and Monsters” was recommended to me on the Medium newsletter weeks ago. I opened it that day, one of the usual 50-60 tabs open in my browser at any given time. I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. So there it stayed…until today. Long story short, this past weekend was bad, come today and I finally read your article, really enjoyed it, continued to check out the rest of your blog and work, and landed on this post.

    Thanks Alex, I’m definitely a fan now!

    • That is awesome Robert – I’m glad to know you.



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