After looking at the social media (maybe anti-social media is more true) posts following the state of the union address on both sides of the opinion continuum, I created this cartoon.
Confession time: I have no idea why I ended up creating this image, except that I saw it in a dream, and it was so real that when I woke up, I knew I had to actually create it. Now in the dream, I was sculpting it in clay because I was going for a rough hewn look, but I have no idea why on that front either. When something is that real in a dream, I usually try to record it. I mean I have my suspicions. This is very much how I used to feel—square peg in a round hole. In gym class in elementary and middle school, I was usually the last one picked. (By the way, if you’re a gym teacher, this way of picking teams stinks and y’all ought to get creative and think of something better.) In high school, I had a growth spurt and I got a lot faster, but by that time my lack of popularity usually covered over my newfound speed and I was still near the back in a lot of things. As I got older, in the working world, I didn’t often feel like I was ever good enough, nor would I ever be, and while I kept trying and trying hard, I kind of gave up inside. Yes there were a lot of times where I felt like the last in line.
The reason I’m not sure why I created this now, is because, for the first time in my life, I don’t feel like this. I feel like I’ve found my place and my zone. I’m feeling better, and I’m happier than I have ever been. The things I’m doing now really matter and maybe that’s the point of this exercise. I’m not the last one picked anymore, but I sense it’s more. You see one of the things that always helped me through my problems was helping other people and maybe that’s what this is about. I can tell you at times this life has been a painful journey, but I will also say this, it gets better, so hold on and keep trying. I just recently wrote a book that talks about God and the fine art of measuring up and this is key. In this life, where you get your identity matters. For years I started to identify myself as the “last one picked” and it became a self fulfilling prophecy, but you know what? It wasn’t true. I have a wonderful wife, and she picked me and together we had two wonderful kids. More than that, I have a Savior who loves me so much He laid down His life and died on a cross for me. He loves you too. You can have Him too, and while He didn’t make all my struggles go away, He gave me someone to trust through them. I got through because of His love and the love of some very special people around me.
You might feel like you’re the last one picked, but you’re not. Before you were ever even born, God knew you. He loves you and He has a plan for you. He picked you. The painful trials and struggles of today make up a story that will one day look like victory, and when you get there, they will help you help many. Trust Him now and ask Him to help you. You’re not the last one picked and I have a feeling that’s why I had to make this image.
I have a web comic called Creacher, which is a combination of creature and preacher. It’s usually venting from my faith perspective, but for today it;s just a little bit of football happiness. Go EAGLES!
Okay, first I must confess what you already know, I’ve been lax at posting here. The thing is I’ve really been creating a lot of stuff. I wrote a book, I’ve done countless graphics, powerpoints and more, I’ve even repopulated my webcomic Creacher, which was also on hiatus. I’m finally finishing my other book, The Daily Creative, started a new book called The Imaginative Church. So basically I’m doing a lot of work, but not posting. This gave me a thought. Why not share the stuff I’m creating? SO that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to share the things that I’ve been working on, along with occasional articles and more. I hope you like the new direction and I look forward to hearing what you think.
I created this character a long time ago, and it should not be surprising to know I was not in a good place when I created him. That being said, I think a lot of people have found themselves in this place, and could probably relate. Strangely, at least to my mind, the character never really went anywhere. Well, I’m in a much better place these days, and after exploring some of my influences, I wondered, what would this character look like if someone like Big Daddy Roth had created him. The end result was something I really kind of like. What do you think? To see more of my pop art, go to my Dave Weiss American Pop Gallery.
Okay, okay, okay, I know this is children’s book, so why do I love it so much. I’ll tell you why. Because it’s brilliant and it’s a wonderful representation of a drum I have been beating for 20 years. I first found this book in a gift shop while I was on vacation this past summer. I read it standing by the shelf (not that hard it’s a children’s book, after all) and had tears in my eyes when I was done.
It’s about a little child and his anthropomorphized idea. It shares all the struggles we have with our ideas, the pain of rejection and the joy we feel when we immerse ourselves in bringing our ideas to life. What do you do with an idea? Well that would be a spoiler, but suffice it to say, it’s what I have been saying all along. I loved this book. Author Kobi Yamada did a great job of bringing this concept to its essence so that anyone can understand it and illustrator Mae Besom captures the spirit of this book fantastically.
Lastly I love that this book was written for children, but the truth is children don’t need it. Children already dream and create. The real and lasting impact of this book will be fond in two ways. First that the children will hold onto it when the world begins to tell them they are too old to dream, and second that people reading this book to their children,grandchildren etc. will grasp the concept and begin to feed their ideas again.
I have so much more to say, but by now my review is probably longer than the book so I will end with three words, read this book!
So the other day, Kathy Griffin posted the now infamous President Trump severed head picture. She thought she was being cutting edge and cool, making a statement. Then yesterday I saw her crying about how the Trumps were bullying her and she has secured a lawyer, I guess to bring some sort of lawsuit against the president of the United States and in that moment I understood, she doesn’t understand cause and effect. Do you?
Now let’s start off with the basics. First this is not a political post, it’s meant to get us thinking about our own actions as we put our creations out for the world to see. For the record, I am not a huge fan of the president, but he is the president of the country where I live and as such, I want him to do great things. Likewise I am not a huge fan of Ms. Griffin. I’ve seen her be funny and I have seen her be over the top and vulgar. In my opinion, the Trump photo crossed a line. That being said, I am a big fan of the first amendment. Now I believe there are extenuating legal circumstances about doing things like this with the president, and I’m not a lawyer, but if those laws were not violated, Ms. Griffin is within her rights to make this photo and share it. I support her right, not because I like her expression, but because I like the freedom to make mine. Is that clear enough?
That being said, while she may have been within her rights to post the picture, it seems she expected there would be no fall out. If that is indeed the case, that was not a reasonable expectation. This is cause and effect and it’s important that we see it as creatives. You may have the right to create something and post something, but others have the right to react to your creation as well. In Ms. Griffin’s case, CNN fired her from what was no doubt a lucrative gig as host of their New Years Eve show, not doubt costing her hundreds of thousands of dollars. The photo was the cause, the loss of the gig is the effect. Now consider all the others who may not want to be associated with this controversy and the end result could have cost her millions. Again cause and effect.
In the same way, we may have something to say as creatives but before we share that creation with the world, we have to consider cause and effect. As Jesus said, “Count the cost.” Will making this statement and venting this frustration be worth the possible fall out? If you believe it will, create it, post it and stand behind it. That’s your right, but understand you also own the fall out.
That’s the other side of this Kathy Griffin story. She now says she is being bullied by the Trumps. I don’t know that this is true. Post a picture of my severed head and you probably won’t see my good side, though my turn the other cheek skills are getting better. Again, though, I don’t think she is seeing cause and effect. She wasn’t fired by the Trumps. She was fired by the news agency who pretty much hates the president the most. I was a little surprised that they didn’t give her an award. For CNN to fire you over something you did to president Trump shows how reprehensible they thought this statement was.
At the end of the day creatives, like it or not we stand behind our creations, so it is very important that we make our choices wisely and count the cost. You might need to take a cool off period before you hit send or post. You might need to rethink what you’re trying to say and of course you’ll want to ask yourself am I speaking the truth in love. It’s cause and effect. Make sure of your cause, because you’re likely to feel the effect.