“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman –
I believe that we have been created to create and that we each have a unique contribution to make if we allow ourselves to experience it.
In this blog series, I hope to encourage at least one person to move forward on their creative path and the only way that I know how to do that is to share my experience.
Understanding Your Fuel
It takes fuel, understanding your fuel is key to the journey. It’s fashionable to refer to the drive towards our soul-satisfying pursuit as passion. But passion can be misleading…. I’ve come to think of it as fuel. It’s a burning fire to some, an inner guiding light to others, and to many, it is disguised or mislabeled as something inconsequential or even negative.
There was a guiding light within me, I concealed it for a while, but it never died. However, it was pain that really moved me. At first, I labeled it anger and tried to wash it away. I wanted to get over it, make it okay, but it was not okay… I was angry that the gatekeepers of our stories had decided that people like me didn’t belong in the stories I loved.
I identify Black and Latino – but where were we in entertainment? Blacks don’t get to fight dragons. Latino’s don’t make it into the future of space. A lack of representation is no surprise to anyone from my generation, but as the inequity of imagination continued into the lives of my kids, it REALLY started to piss me off.
It wasn’t the anger that was my fuel it was the persistence of a bigger problem that I knew that I could do something about. I had solutions sitting on my computer, and I needed to do something about it.
That was my fuel. What is yours?
What is Uniquely You?
I could create something uniquely me. I grew up on the streets of New York, my neighbors were Nigerian, Indian, Cuban, Polish, Puerto Rican, Black American, Irish, Jamaican and Guyanese. Years later DNA tests would reveal a very cool mix of European, African and Native American ancestry in my blood but that’s for another blog.
Diversity was a reality for me, and my entire life I had been building a storytelling universe were my neighbors and my family belonged.
It’s what I knew, creatively the multiculturalism just happened. This is what I could create, this was uniquely me, and this is how the Planet Random Universe was born.
What is uniquely you? What do you excel at? What interest you? What are your influences?
What is your fuel? What keeps you up at night? What inspires you? What change would you like to see in the world?
Putting it all Together
“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
– Nelson Mandela –
For me, the secret was to release my creativity as an expression of what moved me. It started with comics but it was really about visual stories. Stories about would make you hungry for more.
What you are doing won’t always “make sense” so you have to allow your curiosity to lead the way sometimes. The curiosity of what could you do if you see this through. What could you share? Who is waiting for it?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. For me, a risk was my pride. Okay, maybe it won’t work out the way I think… Is that failure, no it’s part of the process of getting to the vision.
Invest in the skills needed to do what needs to be done. How? Skillshare, Lynda.com, back to school… There’s a ton of help out there. Plenty of help to make you a better creator. Invest in yourself because you can never lose here.
Are your art skills rusty? Hit the web for tutorials and classes. You’ll sharpen and improve your skills in no time.
Need to find the time to make this happen? Take a class on time management or ask your friends how they are finding the time. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people with the same challenges you have, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Not confident in your writing skills? There are a ton of resources that will move you up the writing skills ladder. It’s possible, and it’s all just a click away.
“There is a superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the cape.”
– Superman –
First believe that you should, then believe that you can.
Understand your fuel, invest in yourself and create what you uniquely can.
2018 New York Comic Con
In October, I had a huge trip to Africa which I’ll blog about later. The rest of the month was pretty much me struggling with trademark office-actions and updating the planetrandom.net website. The web construction and IP stuff are starting to wind down, and I’m dying to get back into my latest horror script!