A post about working out loud, iteration and abundance.
The original of this abstract work of art which you can see above, now resides in the USA. I created it as part of a one-off printing process using acrylic paint. Mixing paints, pressing sheets of paper together and pulling them apart again. There are bumps, ridges and an almost feather like quality in parts of the pictures – a result of the separation of the pieces of paper. You can see that more clearly in another piece of the work I have photographed here.
After I’d finished the work I was left with more art than I’d originally bargained for – as the separated sheets each formed their own image. What to do with this abundance? I photographed a piece of the work and the image has become the introduction to my current talk, The Art and Soul of Better Work.
The talk itself has undergone several iterations since I first started writing it way back when. It has even shifted, ebbed and flowed over the last showings in Lisbon and Barcelona, and I’m now heading to Madrid to close this wonderful Spring European tour with another, slightly different version of the talk. Working out loud, getting feedback. Iterating all the time.
I will post the latest version of the slides after the talk, and a question I want to answer now is – what to do with the remaining pieces of the art?
As you can see – they are now mounted, I’m taking them with me to Madrid and I am mindful to give them away. This work, this art, this stuff – it feels like it has become part of my life, fragments of the soul, maybe I should hold onto a piece, for now at least.
Ahhhhh, trust. We love it, don’t we. That elusive and vital oil in the machine of life, love and work. The perceived wisdom on trust is that it’s built over time and has the fragility to be shattered in seconds. I agree with the second point, I’m not so sure about the first, let me explain.
My default setting is trust. I trust you first, from the start. It’s your privilege to prove me wrong. Except, sometimes, life gets in the way and that sharp edge of trust is dulled. Dulled by forgetfulness, fear and failure. And so it has been with me lately. I’ve let life take the edge off my trust, and chiefly I’m grateful to Patrick Mullarkey for spotting this and making me aware of it (even though he may not yet realise it). Long story short – we met at conference last week and had a chat. At the end, Patrick observed I was tense. He was right, and my contribution to that conversation was poor. It lacked abundance, and was heavy on the negative. Sorry Patrick. On the plus side, later the same day I went out for dinner with some good friends and we laughed, a lot.
The following day I took my trusty sword of trust down to the blacksmiths and had her resharpen it. I rebooted, refocussed and reminded myself that I think trust is chiefly made up of two things.
1 – Come from a place of abundance, always.
2 – This.
And so – here I am rebooted, retrusting and coming to the end of a helluva week. I’ve experienced much fabulousness in many directions, and I know there is more to come. Much more. I’m not going to measure or manage it, I’m just going to roll with it, and I trust that you will do the same.