Ben Crowder / Blog

Things on my mind #7

  • I’m noticeably happier on days when I’m making things.
  • Reading long books is often daunting, but I need to remember that I’m never reading the whole book all at once: it’s always a page at a time, and I can read a page. (This applies to writing and other things, too.)
  • Thinking about a project helps motivate me to work on it, warming it up in my mind. Setting aside time (saying “I’m going to spend ten minutes on this project right now”) also helps.
  • I still have heaps of imposter syndrome with my art. (That it’s digital and not analog, that it’s overly simple and not ornate enough, that it’s too abstract, etc.) I try to not let that stop me from making the art, though. Relevant quote from Martha Graham that I think about fairly often: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” So that’s what I try to do.
  • It’s okay, I think, to make art that only one person likes. Or only a few people. Not everything needs to be wildly popular.
  • I feel vaguely guilty when making sequel art (a new version of an earlier piece) and worry that it’s less interesting, but it’s an important part of my process and I get a lot of value from reworking earlier ideas. (I also tend to overthink things, so here’s a grain of salt.)
  • With my art, I’ve optimized for short execution times — generally around a couple hours once I’ve got the idea figured out. Which is good, but sometimes I feel like I’ve lost (or am losing) the ability to work on larger, longer projects, pieces that take multiple months to complete. Might need to do something about that.
  • It’s been harder lately for me to write small atomic posts; I gravitate toward bundled/batched larger posts like this one. Longer posts feel heftier and more substantial, I suppose, but post length really isn’t a great metric for measuring actual value. Perhaps it also has to do with the design of my blog and/or the design of my internal blogging app, Slash.
  • I wonder if I ought to start writing weeknotes again.