Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Be Driven

PLANET GRIFFIN has quickly become known for left-of-center Pop Culture, the occasional tale of humor, and more plugs for one book 'coming soon' than anyone can imagine! Tonight on PLANET GRIFFIN, Tonight's post is something that weighed on me for a while. I figured it was about time to let it go and assure a few people that I'm not an inhuman machine when it comes to (art)--- just flawed like everyone else. Like someone told me: 'Tell it to someone who doesn't know you."

Well here it is.

The pursuit of dreams can be an arduous task, whether in its infancy, caught headlong in its planning stages, or the logistical nightmare of plotting out its final stages. It takes an unusual type of dedication to 'finish what you start'.
Of course, sometimes the toll that kind of dedication can have on those around you isn't always noticed, nor appreciated. I know... I've been guilty of this.

For years, I have labored long and hard to create an independent enterprise from the ground up on the strength of my talents... Since 1991, I've toiled on my first works through alot of trial and error, hits and misses, and heartaches and triumphs. I gained the attention of the Hollywood machine, only to walk away because the deal wasn't going anywhere. ( I lost out to a romantic drama by Bruce Willis and Michelle Phiffer--- which tanked badly.) I've dealt with the Comic Industry on many an occassion, only to get cut off by ego's who were so afraid I would take their job. (Don't worry fellas... That's still comin') I have survived the pain of 2 marriages lost in pursuit of this. ( One thought the work was more important/ The other thought the work was more important than family and thought that 'nothing will come of it because nothing has happened') --- at one point, I found myself so heartbroken and waylaid, I burned pages! (I was saved by a friend who snapped me out of it by providing me with those very same page copies, saying ' Your talents are far too important to throw away... I refuse to see that happen.' Thanks MDouble)
Time management and sacrifice walk a fragile line, folks... For those of you, like me, who ARE driven to succeed, be warned of this: The price you pay can be great if you're not careful, because not everyone can understand what it is that drives you to do what you do. Practical people, to this effect, only see the end results and not the 'behind-the-scenes' blood, sweat, and tears. Forgive those who either don't know or don't do.

I know. I have.

Art can sometimes be the cruellest of Mistresses--- 'Her' rewards can be overwhelming, but 'her' paybacks are a bitch--- This is the hard lesson of the perfectionist and the driven to learn. ( The legendary ALEX TOTH taught me that before he died.) This is the hard lesson I've learned. Now, I teach this to the neophytes and serve reminders to the hardliners. To be driven is to stop at nothing, yet appreciate everything along the way. Never lose sight of this, folks.

After reading this, walk away from the computer/art table and find your loved ones, whoever they are. Give'em a BIG hug and kiss and let them know where you stand and where they fit in. You'll thank me for this later.

Now back to work.


samax said...

i'm still getting used to being a husband and father. sometimes, i can tell that my wife has never seen someone who REALLY loves what they do.

the good news is since i'm making money freelancing, and she saw how unhappy i was working at my previous jobs, she is very supportive. i'm very thankful for that.

still, my knobs are all set to "proceed with caution"... i want to do it for them as much as for myself. i want my daughter to grow up believing you can do what you want with your life... that's what my mom told me. and even after all i've been through, i still believe it!

anyways, thanks for this one. it's easy to forget to unplug. you KNOW you love them... but it's good to make sure THEY know it, too.

RodBuddah said...

This post is a moment of honesty that you wouldn't see ordinarily... (Ego's and bragging rights y'know how they do)
Folks need to realize what we really feel and go through when we try to not just create, but create something our loved ones can BENEFIT from--- more importantly, they should be FACTOR as part of what drives us to be successful, not as a selfish pursuit.

DME_VERSION1 said...

WOW, you hit the nail on the head. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that feels this way. The pressure of being a man, of being the one who brings home the "bacon". The one who has a giant influence on young innocent lives. The "head of the household". To be able to balance all of that and relentlessly pursue your dreams, is HARD at times.

I often sacrifice sleep in order to complete task. But, sometimes I can't avoid sacrificing time with my family. I've been married for 12 years and what I have learned is, although she is your "best friend". Be careful on letting anyone know every step you take to get to your goal.

Meaning, sometimes things don't work out. When you have them hyped up and then things fall flat. They are disappointed as well but they don't have the drive and passion you have. They may not understand why you are climbing back on that horse, that just kicked the F*@) out of you. After a while, they begin to loose interest and a wedge begins to grow.

Anyway, thanks for the therapy and remember to chase you passion, not your pension.

Brian Miller said...

This is definitely something I think about often. I think the angle that's helped me most is to think "would I be willing to give this up for my family if I had to?"

Its a tough thing to answer, 'yes' to, but its vital that I do. Its really what helps me to keep it from becoming a monstrous idol that seeks destruction of all I value. I think my wife sees those boundaries in place and that's what helps her to know she can trust me with this crazy endeavor.

That doesn't mean I care less about it, it just puts control where it needs to be and makes me really focused for the time I allow myself to work on it.

Its definitely difficult toeing that line though, and I'm really interested to see what happens when we add a kid to our family picture...

Great insights though Rodney, and another stellar post.

Rodbuddah said...

Great feedback!
I've been kicked in the gut for years with this one, and in reflection, it's a painful topic, but one that cannot be avoided.

Honesty is something you don't find in business, you've got to find it in yourself... That's what I'm addressing here.

Thank you all so much!