Fear of the darker parts of the soul

Yoga mama  posted this quote:

 

We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. That is impossible. We can’t do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts. We have to see them. That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking. Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it and practice meditation with it.

Chogyam Trungpa

 

 

I speak purely from myself here, but I find that when I fear facing myself, it’s not because I don’t want to acknowledge my undesirable parts. I am fully aware of these chunks of myself that are on constant display for the world. I lament on them, they consume me. I am in constant self-reflection attempting to “better” my self, and yet find I fear success. I fear being able to do something well. I fear my true artistic power. I opened my closet last night and realized I have a ton of art materials. I have some dating back to my first college class ages ago. What this tells me though, is that I have a lot of materials I am not using. My friend, has one book and a few watercolors and one paintbrush. Maybe a set of pastels. But he has portfolio upon portfolio upon portfolio of work. He sits down and commits himself to his art. He does not fear it. He knows he has talent and shares it with the world. Me? I’m so scared of trying that I am not even sure what my preferred medium is! My place is a disaster area so I am constantly cleaning. This is really just a defense mechanism to help me avoid sitting down and doing art. I even have am a graphic designer for a company and yet fear graphic design when I get home.

 

How do you get over your graphic design fears? I sit down in front of my computer, excited, inspired, millions of ideas filling my head. And POOF! all gone the minute I open Illustrator or Photoshop. And then I find myself wondering what my idea was and what program should I be doing it in. I will fail if I cannot figure out how to focus and not fear my creative energy. If you do things, things get done. And I am not getting anything done b/c I fear doing things.

 

 

Another example is bakasana, though this is a successful example (but I hope it doesn’t take me as long to get over my artist fear). For a decade, I couldn’t do bakasana. This was totally my water break. I couldn’t even try for the longest time. Well, that’s not true. The first time I was introduced to bakasana, I was tricked into doing it. Clever yoga instructor. She led the class through the movements step-by-step without us any the wiser of what we were moving into. Place your hands on the ground, shoulder distance apart. Start to really bend at your elbows finding a drishti slightly in front of you. Place your knees on the back of your triceps and then lift your feet and bring the big toe mounds to touch. I was in bakasana without even realizing it. And I was soaring. I was confident and zestful. But when I tried to do it again I couldn’t. I tumbled forward. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it. I showed my friend what I was trying to do, someone who had never done yoga before, and she gracefully moved into bakasana with ease.

 

A decade later I am only once again experiencing the pleasures of bakasana and can nearly hold it for five breathes. Of course, now there is eka pada galavasana or eka pada bakasana. There’s always something new to try and something new to experience.

 

But, to bring this back to the beginning quote, it isn’t my fear of the darker parts of my soul that inhibit my ability to accomplish, I’m aware of the darker parts. In fact, my issue is that I am so aware and so deep in them, that I fear the brighter, more vital parts. The parts of power, the parts of graceful poise. I would like to not fear success. I would like to actualize the artist power I feel slumbering inside of me. I’m just not always sure how.

Finding in your seat in life – an unexpected lesson.

Shanti. A beautiful picture from Yoga Journal.

I was surprised the other day by yoga. I thought I had a decent understanding of the philosophy of yoga and had invested ample amounts of time in Karma yoga. However, I had an interesting experience that taught me a lesson I did not expect to learn from yoga.

 

I have begun a little freelancing with my yoga studio and we were going to work on a trade and in doing so I found myself in a quandary. The business side of me understands my prices, why I charge what I do and I have it all thought out and solidified. I have a solid billing system and things work for me. But when pressed with coming up with an hourly number for my yoga studio, a little voice in my head said, “Really? You’re going to charge your normal prices, really? Come on Karma yogi, really?”

 

I was struck at how awkward it seemed to charge my yoga studio so much for my work. I thought and pondered about it for a while. On one side, the yoga studio is not lacking in business, it charges me a lot for my unlimited access, and my work is quality and my time is precious. But on the other side, the humble yogi in me wasn’t so sure. It seemed to me that a discount was tolerable in this situation as I felt it would be karmically positively charged. I mean it’s yoga.

 

So, I made up my mind to charge much less than I normally would for other clients. This was going to be a special exception to my rules. So, proud of my decision, I sent off my hourly rate to the manager of the studio, a woman I admire and look up to as a mentor.

 

Her response was a quote from the Gita:

 

“The secret of karma yoga is never to accept a wrong situation, a situation in which you are exploited, discriminated against, or manipulated, because it is bad not only for you but for the exploiter as well.”

And then she proceeded with her own interpretation:

 

Not that I am an exploiter but part of Karma in the Gita is finding our ‘seat’ in what we are actually worth. This practice allows for others to step on the path to self-recognition of worth. Ya know? So please rethink what you would like to charge us for your services that is fair and worthy of your beautiful talents and that is what we will move forward with.

I was humbled. I thought I was being the “good yogi” by lowering my prices, when in fact, I was doing the opposite. I had no idea. I was so surprised by her response and the quote from the Gita.

 

In the end, I charged my normal prices, and the response I received from my yoga teacher, was that she was proud of me.

 

In the end, yoga continues to surprise and encourage me. It is continually encouraging us to find our own seat in life, and be aware of and acknowledge my own self worth.

 

You too, are worthy. Where is your seat in life?

A lack in artistic superfocus

It’s a goal of mine to produce more artwork. I continuously peruse the internet and see amazing pieces and get quite envious that I am not creating amazing artwork. Granted, I think my designs are great for what they are and for the conservative company I design for, but they aren’t what I see everywhere else. I’m the type of designer that gets lost clicking on links on twitter to all the “20 amazing…” “Inspiration of the day…” and whatnot. I click from link to link to link sinking further and further into my chair of inadequacy. I literally can spend hours just checking out other people’s stuff and feeling like the world’s worst designer since I am not as accomplished, and I don’t produce as much work and as much quality work as everyone else.

 

And let me tell you, I’ve been doing this for years.

 

I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I do as I always do and reflected and meditated on the current state of my life. And obviously I was less than impressed with as much time as I waste in a day. I was quite disgusted in fact. So I decided that I would stop spending so much time looking at others’ work and start creating my own. Even if it’s crap to begin with…who cares? At least I am creating and trying to grow my skills instead of just wishing I was.

 

I was super stoked for the next week and all I was going to accomplish. And then that week happened, and I was decently busy at work and home and did absolutely nothing. I had so many projects planned for this weekend and nearly none of them happened. My apartment was so hot I could barely stay there let alone be productive. Not a great excuse. I know. But at the time it made perfect sense. The heat yanked all my energy from me and placed me in a dreary haze.

I was going to bring in an oil pastel and photoshop the crap out of it.

So today was going to be the day! I brought a picture of an oil pastel I had done last month thinking I could photoshop the crap out of it. And I actually started it! I was super impressed with myself. And then I had some work to do and then I saw all these amazing links on Twitter I just had to click on and articles to read and suddenly, I was back into the same old routine. And worse, I decided to blog about it instead of just opening photoshop back up and continuing to work on it. I think I am ultimately still afraid of producing the crap, even though I know I shouldn’t care. One of the articles my lack of focus brought me to was on Tiny Buddha. And I realized, that in a way, I was clinging to the want of perfection the first time I produced something. Ultimately, I lack patience and focus and just want to be good right away. It sounds elitist, really. To want to be instantly good without putting the time and dedication into it. It’s a bit humiliating to admit that, but it’s true. I’m lazy and want to be good…now. I want to produce epic pieces of work and I’m not. Mainly because I am not even trying. It does me absolutely no good to bookmark a ton of tutorials if I’m not going to do them. If I’m going to cling to the fear and the lack of focus that prevents me from trying them. It’s literally insane to expect myself to get better without even practicing or putting time into my art.

 

And while I was still bouncing around the internet, I came across this article. And I was blown away by the obvious and yet somewhat elusive idea of focus. I mean, I do think Satya speaks to more than just mental focus, although that is part of it. But an energetic focus…your entire self being focused.

Superfocus is that rare state of being, in which whatever you focus your attention on achieving gets completed with near effortlessness. In the example of writing, as in creating this post, it’s as if a divine essence is channeled through you, and the output flows easily and without resistance. ~ Satya

I’ve never been that focused before. Well, maybe I have but lacked the awareness to bring it to the forefront of my memories right now. And you know, being a  yogi teachers always talk about setting your intentions and all that. And I normally can’t even focus on one idea so end up without one. Come to think of it, that should be another goal of mine, to set intentions in my yoga classes so aid me in setting life intentions. Setting intentions/focus’s during meditation instead of just trying to quiet my mind and focus on the nature sounds I downloaded to my iPhone. At any rate, to be a channel to the divine…well that just sounds blissful. If I can become that, me and my ego don’t even matter. If I can superfocus, then I can create.

 

So now my focus is superfocus…hopefully by the end of the week something will have come from the oil pastel I want to photoshop. And hopefully I’ll start creating epic work that inspire other people.

 

Cheers!

A couple design options for an event

My job consists of designing invites, signs and programs for the events my company holds, amongst other things of course. But these projects are a few of my favorites. They really provide me with the opportunity to explore new design approaches and get creative. I go through the whole process of sketching out ideas first. It feels good to be able to go outside with my iPod and sketch. I let my intuition flow and detail whatever comes to mind. This particular event is surrounding an individual, so the first step was finding out about this person so that the theme could relate to them. All the details I received were that she is a quiet lady who lives in the mountains and likes to read and needlepoint. Here are some of my sketches:

 

20110721-111802.jpg
Needlepoint idea sketches

20110721-111846.jpg
Book, life journey related sketches

Two of these options were chosen. The next steps for me were to commit the chosen ideas to the digital environment. This helps the rest of my team (and myself) see what they would actually look like. The transition from pencil sketches to digital sketches often surprises people. I usually get an, Oh! I had no idea it was going to be so pretty, or Oh! I had no idea it was going to look like that! Now, I don’t know if that says something about my sketches, or that the digital environment really brings something to life, especially with color, that alters someone’s opinion so much. Here are the options in the digital environment:

 

Needlepoint inside option.

 

Needlepoint outside option

 

Book option outside

 

I wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out, myself. Especially the needlepoint options. But I am glad to say I think they turned out relatively well. And for a conservative company, I think they are decently innovative and cool-looking. The book option was chosen so I will be moving forward with that idea for this event, but since it was such a close tie in votes, I think the needlepoint idea may become the holiday card later this September/November.

 

Overall, I am pleased with these options and am excited to see how the book option continues to play out.

leviathan Graphic Art

I’ve been experimenting with digital art, trying to “paint” in photoshop and whatnot. Below is my current piece. It’s a work in progress, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway, just to see what people think of the direction. My current thoughts are that it may be a bit too surreal. But I’m not sure if that is a bad thing yet. I mean, it’s a mythical creature so I’m certainly not going for photo realism here. But maybe the colors are a bit too vibrant and need to be toned down just a bit. Oh, and I didn’t draw it. Kevin Mino did. You can find more of his work here. Any thoughts on this piece?

 

Digital Art: Leviathan

Denver Music Scene

Denver is a place of the outdoors. People think of hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, skiing/boarding  and Denver Cruisers on Wednesday nights.  What people may not think of, is the Denver local music scene. Yes, we’ve had acts like 3oh3!, Flobots, the Fray and the Velvet Acid Christ come out of Denver, but their talent wasn’t really known throughout the town until post-success. It’s an interesting phenomenon when you consider how many local bands there are. There are a couple of contests out there that attract a bit of attention, for example The Best Band in Denver or the Metal Wars…but where are those winners now? Same place they were prior to winning of course.

Velvet Acid Christ
Velvet Acid Christ of Denver...did you know?

Take a band like Gritt Hitter, for example. They’ve been around for nearly five years. Yes, they have undergone many line-up changes in an attempt to find the perfect fit and the perfect sound and the perfect business partners.

Gritt Hitter circa 2009-2010

 

The thing that has been consistent though, is how much they rock the crowd when they play. The hard rock, Sabbathy riffs with Iron Maiden heaviness beats for the hearts of the listeners. You can see the transformation take place in them when Gritt starts to play. Their bodies start to move to the beats and suddenly they are caught in the Gritt Hitter spell. When space allows, a pit inevitably begins and the inner aggression of those involved is cathartically released.  And their minds, whether they actually hear all the words or not, know they are in the presence of lyrical genius. There’s something about hearing the words, “Nothing circles a slave like sacrifice” that doesn’t ring true and brilliant in your head.

Gritt Hitter EP Release album artwork

But why is their fan base still lacking and still the same supporters from the beginning. Everybody loves the dirty sound of Gritt Hitter. It brings them back to their carnal being. Why are they not showing up and bringing their friends?

 

I’ve heard the excuse of, “Sorry I didn’t make it to the show. It was cold outside.” You live in Denver, it does get cold here. Prepare yourself. That isn’t an excuse.  “Sorry man, went for a hike with my girlfriend and dog.” Really? A day activity prevented you from coming to a night activity?

 

I think perhaps Denver is lacking in musical support as a whole. And yes, it very well could be because Denver is still such a young city. We now have the First Friday art walk on Sante Fe, but I think that’s more because we are in an age of emerging artists. Few want to be bankers and business majors. They want the freedom of art. But we are missing out on the freedom of music here. The race of adrenal when a song pumps us up, when the lyrics speak our hearts and the energy of the band, music and crowd pulsates through us. I don’t know. Maybe technology is to blame. Few buy full albums anymore. Now it’s a go to iTunes, download the song you heard and call it good. I think Denver needs to get behind the other type of artist in their town. The painter isn’t the only artist. The Musician will serenade you. It’s time to support the songs of Denver. It is the musicians gift, and it’s for you.

 

 

Trying Tuesday: Musical Graphic Image

I am playing around with this image currently of the guitar player in Gritt Hitter. I like the colors, the textures and the words…not sure if it is completely cohesive yet. Thoughts?

Arch of Gritt Hitter

 

So I changed up the image a bit: lightened up the background changed the color of some of the words…Here’s the new image:

Arch of Gritt Hitter

Metal Album Monday: 05/23/11

There are so many brilliant artists out there designing album artwork. It’s an arena I would love to get into and as I hone my digital artist skills I look to what I love for inspiration and encouragement.

Monstrocity: Spiritual Apocalypse
Artwork done by: Conquest Music

Since this last Saturday was supposed to be the apocalypse and the world was supposed to be consumed by zombies by now, I thought beginning with Monstrocity’s Spiritual Apocalypse would be a great start. But where do you begin with such an image? The colors? The blend of darks and lights really enhances the piece, drawing you in to the brilliance flamed at the head of the seated man, perhaps at the Sahasrara Charkra, or the sun at the center of the universe, maybe indicating simply the mind on fire, though the zen meditative posture of the man, an archetypal image representing the spiritual and the enlightened, may suggest that perhaps he is at piece and that the head is burning with the collective connection of the divine. The yellow surrounding the archetypal zen man is either is aura, or the burning off of spirituality.  The texture of the piece perhaps suggests the latter. Great texture by the way. Seems like the artist really looked at the details to make sure that the texture blended well and that the shadows were correct. Really though, it’s the solar system that really makes this piece for me. A zen man is a basic archetype, the flaming head is pretty cool, but placing those elements within the context of a perspective of the solar system is what I am really digging on.

Monstrocity: Spiritual Apocalypse
Monstrocity: Spiritual Apocalypse album artwork

 

Echoes of Eternity: As Shadows Burn
Artist: unsure

An alternative and less zen experience of the merging of fire and humanity. In the Monstrocity artwork, the fire seemed to be content and connecting, in this album cover, it is destructive. The image seems to be superimposed on a leaf texture that seems to want to balance out the flames. I’m not quite sure if I think it is successful, but I understand why it was placed there. The quietness of the leaf doesn’t seem to actually balance the sparks from the flame, but then, that says something in and of itself, so there could be some artistic intent in that realm. additionally, the seemingly stone face is flanked by two natural elements.  Something I found interesting about this piece too, is that the right side of the face seems to suggest that the eye had been crying and it was the salt from the tears that had burned off the epidermis flesh. The colors are great, typical, but seem to work.

Echoes of Eternity: As Shadows Burn
Echoes of Eternity: As Shadows Burn album cover

Moonspell: Night Eternal
Artwork by Seth Siro Anton

Another archetype: the divine Mary. Hands held as if holding a baby, sitting on a suggested throne, cloaked in the purity of white robes and dress. The deviation of the typical image of Mary begins with the obvious absence of a baby, a head dress of skulls and dead flowers. and a chest plate that has a spine and organs imprinted on it. What is she thinking? Does she look sad? Empty? Or matter of fact that she offered her son to the world and yet it is Satan’s realm? The details on the actual album art are much more in depth and intriguing, here it appears much more subtle and grey, though the overall tone is bleak. Love this artwork.

Moonspell: Night Eternal
Moonspell: Night Eternal album cover

 

Obituary: Cause of Death
Artwork done by Michael Whelan

Whelan is an amazing artist of imaginative realism and an influence in album cover art. He has done work for Selpultura, Soulfly, Cirith Ungol and this amazing piece of work for Obituary. “The cover art of this album was used in an H.P. Lovecraft collection, Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre, and part of it was used in The Tomb and The Doom That Came to Sarnath paperbacks.” (wikipedia). The intensity of this piece leaves me breathless. The glaring use of reds combined with the subtle white of the web and skulls provides a great dynamic. The use of the eye with the moon lit in the background is fierce and haunting. The tree based in skulls, consumed by wailing distorted faces reflects the terror of the web-encased hanging soul. Bloody Brilliant.

Obituary: Cause of Death
Obituary: Cause of Death album artwork

 

Would love you hear your  thoughts on the artwork!

Metal album artwork Monday

It’s Monday and time to share a few albums that to me have amazing artwork. And the following paragraphs are simply my own personal interpretations of the pieces, an apperceptive soliloquy if you will. They have no bearing on the band or the artist, just me as a fan and appreciator of beautiful things and good music.

 

Morbid Angel: Illud Divinum Insanus
Artwork by Gustavo Sazes

The title suggests insanity. The reds and yellows of the image suggest something primal and necessary for survival. In yogic terms, they refer to the first two chakras that represent basic survival and creativity/sexuality. One may assume that it’s the need for a self-identity, a self-awareness of a sane individual. Most of us struggle at one point in time about who we are, what defines us…and faith/belief/religion/spirituality is included in that. But perhaps this imagery is even larger than the self, and may be of a divine insane. The iconic imagery of the pentagram on the (3) hands and the waxing Pagan moon at the center suggest something more religious. The face is masked and perhaps it’s a mask of ignorance, or denial. Or even confusion. Tyler Durden of Fight Club and Achilles of Troy suggest that the gods are jealous of humans. That each moment for us is special, because it could be our last. Because we can do things they can’t…fuck, for example. Maybe this mirrors humanities confusion on the face of the divine. We don’t know what the divine actually looks like, and so it is masked. But the downward turn of the head suggests a reverence perhaps, or perhaps a wonder at human hands and the possibilities. The artist does a fantastic job bringing together all of these ideas and with precision fuses the elements together to present us with an interesting piece that can be looked out for hours.

Morbid Angel's album cover
Morbid Angel's album cover

Dissection: Maha Kali
Artwork by “unsure”

I can’t seem to find who originated this artwork and for this I apologize. If you happen to know, please comment and I will give appropriate credit. This album has only two songs and is associated with Kali, the Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. Kali means “the black one” and is she who destroys, hence the skulls. She was the killer of demons, a fierce feminine force, bathed in blood red. This is a quality representation of her and is a reminder of the balance of energies…that females can also be strong and dominating. The artist does a great job capturing the energy and force behind Kali, and doesn’t seem afraid to exploit her demonic side. And for Dissection to embody her on this album: sic.

Dissection album cover
Dissection album cover

Enthroned: Pentagrammation
Artwork done by Nornagest & Neraath (of Enthroned)

A seemingly ghostly existence in a humble prayer pose. An anonymous individual on their knees. Blind Faith? A dying religious belief? The fading colors and feathery bleeds of the individual are tombstone in quality. I get the feeling of a quiet reserve praying to an unknown. Circles encompass the background, big and small, maybe they’re just images, maybe they denote the circuitous nature of existence. Birth. Life. Death. Birth. Life. Death. The kneeling figure is clearly highlighted and the focus of it, at the middle of the pentagram.  To the Sumerian’s, the pentagram may have meant pitfall and to the Babylonian’s may have had astrological meanings. Pythagoreans saw the pentagram as a mathematical perfect and Chinese Wu Xing saw it as representing the five elements. In the context of Enthroned, perhaps it means them all, and that they all encompass humanity. The idea and image is haunting. The artistic execution of the piece is great. The merging of the human image with the background is seamless and the color blends well. I appreciate the implied vignette as well. It compliments the circles and reinforces the focus on the praying, veiled, human.

Enthroned album cover
Enthroned album cover

Dimmu Borgir: Abrahadabra
Artwork by Joachim Luetke

“I will create as I speak” ~ Aleister Crowley. This is an intriguing merge of Crowley and H.P. Lovecraft. Bleak and post-industrial, the hollowed eyes and mouth suggest the unseeing and the unheard. Perhaps we are gods robots, set blindly on this earth to function without direction and without support. Being watched with indifference until our world explodes. The industrial nature eradicates the organic and replaces it with the mechanical, maybe we are becoming our own Frankensteins. Blue is the throat Chakra in yogic philosophy. The chakra of expression. The stillness and futile nature of the mouth makes me believe that we are unheard, silenced, perhaps from a religious or political standpoint. The artist does a great job of blending a variety of elements together, and the details of this piece make it a great success.

Dimmu Borgir album cover
Dimmu Borgir album cover

These are just a few that I love. Check back next Monday for the next Metal-album artwork Monday!

First attempt @ Vector Art & 6 things I learned

One of the things I am guilty of is looking at other people’s work so much that I neglect my own. I get sucked into perusing all of twitters inspiration collections, especially those from Abduzeedo.com. I look and review and start to feel inadequate as a designer since I am not producing work as beautiful as everyone featured.

And then I realized, it’s not that I am inadequate, it’s that I am not producing.

If I were to track my time, the time spent on perusing other people’s work/blogs/etc. would drastically overshadow the time I spend working on my own art. I had originally chalked the perusing up to research and my attempts to stay with the trends. But at some point, the research needs to stop so that I can contribute my own artistic perspective to the world. And maybe someday land in that inspiration list.

In lieu of that, I decided to try out my own vector art. It’s a technique that definitely has its place and can be used in dynamite designs. I had never really tried this before in Illustrator, and it’s one of those techniques I bookmark tutorials on, thinking that I need to try it. So, I decided to try it and see if it was something I could work on and add to my list of skills.

Ironically enough, I didn’t even sift through my Delicious account to find a tutorial. I just went for it, in hopes of utilizing the knowledge I had seen, and integrating my own personal style.

Because I also want to work on my sketching skills, I decided to sketch an image from J. Michael Straczynski’s “Midnight Nation” (a brilliant graphic novel, I must say). I grabbed my pencil and my Harry Potter sketchbook (yes, that’s right, a near empty sketchbook I had received as a gift after the first one came out, years ago).  And I did just a line drawing. This in itself was odd for me, as I love to shade. But because I wanted to do vector art, I was forced out of my safe zone into line drawing. Here is the initial sketch:

My line sketch for my vector graphic

I scanned the image in and opened it in Illustrator. I locked the layer it was on, made it 10% opacity, and started to color on the layers below it. Because I had seen so many examples of vector art, I knew that the gradual shade technique I love wasn’t an appropriate approach for the result I wanted. I tried to imagine the lighting and where my lights and darks would be, adjusting the shapes of the lines in hopes of making it actually look like the sketch I began with. And honestly, I just went for it. I hoped that my heuristic approach would work, and that my intuition would kick in and I would come up with something successful.

I don’t think I did too badly:

My First Vector Art

My next step is to try to put this vector art within a context, or just do some really cool design-y stuff around it that I see in my perusing. I don’t want this process to stop here.  I am intrigued by so many different styles, it’s time to put them together and develop my own.

Here is a list of things to remember if you are a new designer, or really any designer that may be stuck.

  1. Inspiration is good, but know when to stop
  2. Know what the end result you want is, and just go for it
  3. Produce
  4. Produce
  5. Trust your intuition…tutorials are there to teach you techniques, you need to apply them as yourself
  6. The process is on-going, always keep learning and trying

I’m sure there are a ton of ideas that can be added to the list, but these are the ones that struck me as I was trying new vector art.

There’s a quote from Nickelodeons series, “Avatar, the Last Airbender” that seems appropriate to end with. This is not verbatim, but it goes something like this:
“You are going to fail a lot before things work out…even though you will probably fail over and over and over again…you still have to try every time. You can’t quit because you might fail.”