“The years between eighteen and twenty-eight are the hardest, psychologically. It’s then you realize this is make or break, you no longer have the excuse of youth, and it is time to become an adult – but you are not ready.”—Helen Mirren (via mystiquel)
There is a time for everything. It’s not a matter of right or wrong timing because no matter what, we are bound by time. Even when you think you have ultimate freedom, time constricts you. For youth, time looks plentiful and is easily wasted. After spending a lifetime learning how to live, time appears scarce. Time shows itself through lines on your skin and the pulls from your body where gravity has given weight. It is the cover of cynicism where innocence once stayed. At a point of suffering my good friend said to me, “You are already dying every minute, so why let yourself die more?” I joked back, “because I’m impatient.”
Marketing is never taking any risk, it is a dead end. It is only repeating strategy that already exists everywhere else in the world, so it is deadly for ideas, it is deadly for the situations where people take risks, it is deadly where people start thinking for themselves. This situation killed basically everything in Netherlands, that is my opinion. It is a constant struggle, because you can say that the most talented graphic designers withdraw themselves from the world, where they have no dialog with institutions that have power, because they are only interested in things that they already know. So if people want to change things, they want to do things, there is no room for that. It is all about the people who are influential on their positions, there is no dialog with interesting designers anymore. There is no place for design.
TMB:I wonder if sticking to your convictions the way you have has helped bring those projects your way. If you become known for doing a certain type of work, that’s the work people call you for. So the more you sell out, the more you’re asked to sell out.
Eliot Rausch:I’m speaking at Masters in Motion in December, and that’s pretty much the point of my talk. Earlier this year, I was at the peak of my career. I was taking every job that was coming my way, and I couldn’t have been more lost. I couldn’t have been more separated from my heart and from who I was as an artist. I felt completely void and empty of life and emotion. I really was passionless. I had to literally strip away everything in my life and turn down several jobs to figure out what had transpired.
Ultimately, I had subscribed to a certain kind of trajectory and upward mobility in life that was about winning and doing greater work and being more powerful and being a stronger brand—appeasing the people who believed in me and pushing forward to become stronger, faster, and more efficient. And that was never the reason I started doing this work.
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On a whim a few years ago, Eliot Rausch borrowed a 7D to film the final hours of his friend’s dog, Oden. When he woke up the next morning, Last Minutes with Oden had 30,000 Vimeo views, and Eliot’s directorial career had accidentally been launched. But that’s the way things seem to go for Eliot. Without trying to control or manipulate his career path, he’s inadvertently become one of the most well-respected independent filmmakers in the business. After working for major brands like Nike and Under Armour, Eliot is now taking a step back to rediscover what brought him to storytelling in the first place.
“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”—Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
If in this lifetime I remain a nobody, then I think I can accept that. If one day I become a somebody, then I hope I remember what it’s like to be a nobody. Humility is a rare gem in this capitalism-driven world.
MCQUEEN: Do you think you have another 10 years like this in you? Can you extend that interest and success that you’ve enjoyed in music into whatever other fields that you want to venture? Is that possible?
WEST: One-hundred percent. Easy as cake, easy as pie. Too many people are scared. But it is my job to go up every night and talk about this kind of shit. It is actually my job. I’m like a broadcaster for futurism, for dreamers, for people who believe in themselves. We’ve been taught since day one to stop believing in our own dreams. We’ve had the confidence beaten out of us since day one, and then sold back to us through branding and diamond rings and songs and melodies—through these lines that we have to walk inside of so as to not break the uniform or look silly or be laughed at. So I hope that there are people out there laughing. Laugh loud, please. Laugh until your lungs give out because I will have the last laugh.
Maybe the answer is to give without expecting anything in return. There is a way to do that without violating your own principles, for there are few people who truly deserve your unconditional respect. We don’t learn the meaning of unconditional until you value someone enough to set our selfish egos free.