January 2nd, 2023
Happy new year, friends. I decided to start this month on the second to give you all a day off from my bullshit.
Every month this year I’ll be sharing posts based on a theme, with most of those themes being a creative project of mine. January’s theme is simple: origins. My essays will generally be about the people, places, and things that inspired me to be the international superstar creator I am today (editor’s note: “international superstar” is a deeply misleading claim made daily by the writer).
I should start at the beginning: I was born and lived several years in Minneapolis, resided shortly in a place called East Bethel, and did most of my growing up in the city I consider my hometown, Faribault.
Since I can remember, I have been a perfectionist.
I think a lot of people think they’re perfectionists and I think a lot of people are wrong. Being a perfectionist doesn’t mean a person tries to make everything right and is disappointed when they inevitably fail; it means doing one simple thing even slightly wrong can be the catalyst for absolutely ruining one’s day, month, or entire life.
It can also be the engine that makes them go.
Walt Disney was a perfectionist; many of our geniuses, innovators, and icons have been.
You may have encountered my work and wondered, for a variety of reasons: how the f*** is this guy a perfectionist? There is so much wrong here.
Some people seem to think that perfectionism and the general speed I produce and release my work is incongruous; that I can’t possibly care about quality when I’m running as fast as I can.
It’s taken me years to condition myself to let go, and to realize that the art I care about is what I’m feeling in the moment, not about creating something that is potentially timeless. In fact, I feel like the former can, and often does, lead to the latter, if your art is telling the truth.
The kid in this photo both loved and hated everything he made. He was both happy and sad, all the time; a sunny day of rain.
That remains true now.
The biggest difference is I learned how to accept the weather. Every errant ink line and misspelled word is part of the piece, and every piece is a part of me.
And all of this to say: it still destroys me that it’s not perfect. But it heals me to be able to share it with the world and then try, try again.