Friday, October 1, 2010

If you know what you want, then be specific

We all (hopefully) have goals and dreams. Whether it's living off your art (like Monkey + Seal's dream), or becoming the highest grossing actor ever, or being able to get 40 regular marshmallows in your mouth and still being able to say "chubby bunny," we often have some sort of benchmark or achievement that we are striving for.

Sometimes, your goal is specific. For example, to be the highest grossing actor ever, you need to start making tons of money through acting. Sometimes, if your goal is being an internationally-recognized artist, it might be a bit more nebulous. How many countries do you have to be known in? Who has to recognize you as an artist in said countries?

Monkey made this one of his goals a year back, hoping to be invited to show his paintings around the world by some of the largest lowbrow/pop surrealist galleries in places like Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Tokyo, Japan. However, he never really consciously stated that. He chose his goal to simply be "an internationally recognized artist."

When your goal is more of an internalized concept like Monkey's was, you'd be surprised as to how quickly you can achieve it. Monkey has been selling zines overseas for two years now via our Etsy site, and recently, he sold some ties and prints to some fans in Australia (thanks everyone!). Technically, he has now been recognized by someone as an artist outside the United States, thus qualifying him as an internationally-recognized artist.

Sure, that's not what Monkey really meant. It's not what you probably think of when you hear "internationally recognized artist," but the term is sort of a vague one. While Monkey is happy he hit this goal, he's made his goal more specific, and is still waiting to hear back from curators abroad.

The point of all this is that if you have a broad goal and are constantly working towards it, you may have already achieved it in a sense, without even knowing it. If this this is the case, congratulate yourself for a job well done. If you find that this is a bit of a let-down, that you didn't really get what you wanted, then it's fate's way of telling you to be a bit more specific with what you want.

The realization of knowing that you're already gotten what you wished for is a bit sobering at times, and the feeling of "this isn't what I wanted" isn't the greatest. Many times Monkey + Seal will realize that we were asking for the wrong thing, or perhaps we didn't even know what we wanted in the first place. Use these "mini" milestones and learn from them, and use them to figure out what you really want, and set your sights on it. We think that once you figure out what you want in your heart of hearts, the steps to getting it will be clearer than you could ever imagine. Now it'll just be up to you to taking those steps.

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