I’ve been trying and trying to think just how I can reach people at their heart. Creative leadership has to go straight to the source. No messing around with things that don’t matter. I want to touch people where they don’t get that much affection. We come from an industry with more than its fair share of criticism. If you are going to change the world, it is going to take a heart change. So, I wouldn’t expect much less from us when we change the world of comic books.
What do you think about when you think of preparing to do a drawing, or writing that next scene? You make sure the computer is on. Are your pencils are sharp? Is the paper and ink are ready? Is the mind is focused? We think of erasers, sketchbooks, and reference material. There is one thing that I’ve never once thought about as a tool of the artist—until now. The heart.
“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.” James Earl Jones
The heart is what makes everything worth doing. It is not the meager paycheck at the end of the job. The passion that comes out of the heart is what gives us life and energy and excitement to go on to the next level. To fully engage our creativity and energize our work to the next level, we must tap into that essential tool of why we even care to create comics in the first place. All inspiration and worthiness comes from the heart. We must let that out and be comfortable opening ourselves up in a vulnerable to a cruel and uncaring world.
So many creative personalities stop because they can’t take the criticism of others. Whether criticism comes through a bad relationship, or just someone talking bad about our work, we have let our heart become stomped on, crushed, wrinkled…to the point it is a shapeless mass that starts to get crusty, weather-worn, and fossilized.
Today is a new day. It is your day to create, It is your day to shake off the dirt and infuse new life into that crippled stump. Chisel off the dissatisfaction. Heat the insecurity crust to liquefy it. Scrape away the loosened mud of those hurtful words. Take a clean, cool fountain and wash away the resentment flakes. Looking better? Now massage rejuvenating positive oils over the surface. Now go deep. Penetrate the heart of hearts–the center of your soul. Now mesmerize yourself as you watch the love, life, creativity, passion that makes you so unique EXPLODE on the page with confidence, sincerity, and accuracy.
This is new life! You can’t keep it clean by yourself no matter how hard we may try. It’s tough enough trying to make it in this business. It’s going to get dirty again. Don’t give up on yourself. Surround yourself with those who will lift you up and inspire you to be better. Connect with others who want clean hearts as well, so you can clean each other’s heart when they start to get crusty again.