What do you need to be you?
Stuff whether we like it or not is a part of us. We live in a multilayered reality. In this reality to fully express ourselves, we use stuff.
I would love to leave it right there, at that last paragraph. I just want to sit and think about it. But, I have other things to do today and so do you. We will get dressed, eat, and if it is cold outside, be indoors, and if you are lucky, you will have someone to cuddle with. Those are the basics of survival. Everything you need to “live”, but we are creators and what we need to live goes beyond the basics. A very unscientific estimate is that about 90% of what we do and consume doesn’t fulfill our need to survive. What it does do is makes our life more enjoyable and interesting.
I am sure I could cut everything above, but I have a lot on my mind and I have only one thing to say. The basics are the best and enjoy simplicity.
I am not against consumer culture, in fact the arts need it to survive. But for us as creators we can fall into a trap. We can believe that the next tool, idea, or app will make us better.
We want to get lost in complicated plans that make us feel busy and productive. We shelve being expressive and plot to be famous (or famous enough to make a sale of the art we are not making, but would make if we had a plan that would make time to make art.) I digress. To write we need the basics it was pencil and paper, but now a laptop works just fine if not better, (I thank God for human ingenuity) we have auto correct and apps to help with grammar. If you want to paint, you don’t need to take a master class. To paint You need five colors a brush and something to paint on, that’s it. Start a business, you have to sell something.
To be you, you don’t need more than the basics. Of course you will move beyond them. Of course you will up your game, but that will happen organically. It will happen when you stop trying to copy someone and start experimenting with the tools and materials around you, and try to do it your way.
We can only imitate for so long. Please, let your flaws, your passion, and your experiments with making things be expressions of who you are and what you care about. That is it.