as a designer , artists or creative - maybe you can relate to this next little story - a long while ago i was introduced to my younger self - although the medium of expression was different, the need for approval was exactly the same as me at that age. i was sitting chatting to folk as one does, when i was touched on the shoulder by my younger self and asked if i wanted to see a handstand. i said sure - and my younger self proceeded an attempt at a 4 year old hand stand. not very good but because i was me and recognized myself i said - wow what a fantastic handstand. well that small sentence opened the gates of handstand attempting muizenberg garden world championships.
my younger self had hands on the ground more than feet and i was forced to say after each attempt - wow - incredible - amazing. i did this because i used to do the same with my drawing attempts. i would rustle up a sketch of a cowboy or an eagle and show the sketch to everyone - that need for affirmation drove me to my next sketch. so the fact that im still sketching and pushing ideas, i now recognize my handstand self. the difference now at 47 i dont have this insatiable need for external affirmation as i did back then. hay dont get me wrong - i love any small wow or oohs or even an aaagh - but i recognize when its real or not. so i do my handstand - good bad and downright ugly - i stand up and simply do another one. if their is an audience, whats driving me to put my hands onto the floor again isnt the need for their affirmation. however i do self evaluate - mostly the sketches are to make sense of a fleeting concept - capture the butterfly of thought - i must say my ability to capture doesn't equal the imagined concept in my head - it always seems like i almost get my legs in the air before i come crashing down to the earth. but hay the point of this is - one must never stop trying. so many highly talented, super sensitive creative people stop creating because of a lack of appreciation of their expression from the "audience".
that to me is extremely sad - a young close relative of mine used to love singing and at 7 they used to sing around the house and fill the space with such enthusiasm and lovely warm energy. i really loved it. i made the absolute fatal mistake of encouraging them to sing for a school assignment - the panel of teachers where sadly not equipped to deal with the handstand phenomena - and the upshot of that is the young relative, now 18 has not filled the space with their beautiful voice since then. they where emphatically silenced - they where nervous , and possibly didn't sing as well as they could - instead of encouraging further development of the skill at 7, it was important for the non educator inquisition gestapo to crush them completely. why educators are determined to crush potentail and destroy expression is beyond me. to much attitude SC (Simon Cowell) - people think its their god given duty to tell expressionists and exhibitionists to please stop - lets face it - have you heard Simon sing - i haven't - maybe he can - maybe he cant - but he is the absolute final say on singing abilities - and yes for the show its necessary - but for life - we need more handstand expressionists - dont stifle expression - critics to my mind cant do, therefore to look capable they criticize - having the guts to perform is the hardest obstacle facing the expressionist - even if you draw stick men - draw , draw , draw - i love stick men - because that stick man drawn, with that pen, by you - is one of a kind - and we need more one of a kinds in this world of robotic everything the same fervor.
so my advise to my younger self - is dont stop doing hand stands, keep on sketching - one day - who knows you might be a gymnast or even an artist - and who cares if your not a world Olympic champion gymnast or if nobody buys your art work- you will have huge fun, keep fit, keep playing and live a life worth living. dont ever be overwhelmed by the pessimism of those critics who never had the guts to do handstands until their faces turned completely red. JUST KEEP GOING FOR IT.