Friday, December 30, 2011

IF: Highlight

Male Model, Society of Illustrators, NYC - 2008 by Paul Zdepski
Male Model in Watercolor, Society of Illustrators Figure Night, MFA NYC Session 2008

During the new year's season, many important oaths are made, promises promised and resolutions sworn... then broken. I have a print out of "Three Things to Quit", as presented by Professor Ron Mazellan of Indiana Wesleyan University during the 2009 commencement of the Masters in Illustration graduation of the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, CT. Ron's words have been the highlight of my entire MFA experience. Sure, I've met illustration heroes, held masterpieces in my hands and been in critiques that set me on my heels. Ron's humble speech to his fellow classmates taught me more about myself and got me looking inside at my motivations; what drives me.

I pass this along with his permission. I ask that you print it out, and place it somewhere in your studio. I have my print-out in my studio bathroom, to the left of the mirror, where I read it when brushing my teeth, rinse brushes and wash my dog. It has to be reinforced to become a personal credo.

Three Things to Quit by Professor Ron Mazellan, July 2009

Quit comparing yourself to others.

  1. Dwelling on what others have and what you lack is a waste of time and energy.

  2. Be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else. There is no one like you!

  3. Stop dwelling on your short-comings. Everybody comes up short somewhere.

Quit complaining

  1. Quit complaining about the weather, your height, your weight, your hair, etc. It drains you, paralyzes you, and fosters a defeatist mindset before you begin.

  2. Complaining creates a false paradigm for life. We convinces ourselves to believe that complaining will make living a more pleasant experience.

  3. Complaining delays action. We delay and wait too long to begin, waiting for conditions to be perfect.

  4. Complaining is contagious and it causes others to lose heart.

Quit concluding

  1. Concluding stops dreams before they have the opportunity to begin.

  2. Concluding waits for opportunities and when they come, many refuse to act.

  3. Concluding creates a paradigm of fear; the pursuit of anything I attempt will end in failure, so why begin?

  4. Most people don't begin because they lack imagination of what is possible.

You can view Ron's work and follow him on Twitter:


Leen Christens said...

Love the watercolor and I love the text about "three things to quit"!! Great lessons for everyday life!

Coreopsis said...

Well. That certainly is something to think about. Thank you so much for sharing. Also, I love the watercolor--it's so simple!

Anonymous said...

Great watercolor

Ellen Byrne said...

Really nice, Paul.

froggie said...

a gorgeous watercolor, zil! really loose and lovely and well constructed. :-)

and as far as your lists, i've already cut and pasted. ty, ty! a great way to think thru 2012! "-)

zillustration said...

Thanks all for your comments! Christens and Colleen - I'm so glad I was able to pass the wisdom along. I have to constantly lean on it. As an artist, I find I'm looking at other's work and career success as a measure of my own short comings. It's a cancer on creativity. Ron has done me a great service by giving me a print-out of his speech.

Marie Alice said...

The watercolor is amazing, congrats. Thank you also for sharing this useful text. Very happy new year to you.

Pj said...

Yes, thanks for the list. It's something I need to post on my (real) wall today. : )

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

Wise and wonderful-- and a great little watercolor, too :)

Anne said...

Beautiful watercolor and great list, thank you! :)

Alex said...

excellent man, really really cool - the illustration and the words... I take a lot from that.

All the best

AHAviews said...

Thanks for posting - inspiring work, inspiring words. I'd go on, but there's stuff to be done - and the main msg. I get from those words is: get on with it.