I never heard of Vincent Serritella until I stumbled upon his article What Art Has Taught Me About Life. Vincent is an artist who works for Pixar Animation Studios, but his article chronicles a journey that began with art school.
In the 1990’s he was fascinated by the special effects in the movies Toy Story and Jurassic Park. So he immersed himself in software manuals and learned computer graphics.
“Self-education is, I believe, the only kind of education there is.” -Isaac Asimov
One position led to another and he eventually landed at Pixar. But it’s what he did next that should be of interest to anyone who hopes to make a difference with their work.
The power of Project 365
Vincent noticed that Sotheby’s and Christie’s routinely sold original art for vast sums. He felt art was more and more inaccessible to the average person.
Vincent also believed galleries and the art world stifled artistic freedom. Successful artists were discouraged from experimentation. They were expected to stick with what sold.
These two concepts, the inaccessibility of art for the common man and aversion to creative boredom, spawned Vincent’s “Project 365.”
Vincent decided to draw or paint a small piece of art every day for a year. He uploaded the works to Facebook and gave them away to whoever asked.
Admirers provided a mailing address and Vincent sent each piece off in a small cardboard envelope.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill
Before long word got out and different media outlets picked up on the story. Vincent received thankful letters and pictures from people all over the world.
He was invited to speak at various venues about his Project 365. In short, he garnered a lot of attention, made people happy, and gained exposure for his art.
You are the needle in the haystack
Author and blogger Seth Godin wrote a book titled Purple Cow-Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable. The gist of it is that the key to success is finding a way to stand out. Sounds easy, but often it takes determination and hard work to separate yourself from the pack.
Vincent had this to say:
“Everyone kept telling me that being a professionally successful artist is like finding a needle in a haystack. But the truth is, if you know there’s a needle in that haystack and you pick through it one piece at a time, you’re eventually going to find that needle. It’s going to take a very long time, but with persistence, patience, and perseverance, you will find it.”
I’ll go one step further and propose that YOU are the needle in the haystack. Because there’s only one you, and it’s your job to crawl out of the haystack and let the sun glint off your needle. It will shine, people will squint and say “Hey, look at that. I haven’t seen that before.”
Generosity is a force multiplier
Part of the reason Vincent started Project 365 was to avoid artistic boredom. He wanted to open himself “to everything, all styles.” As a result, he worked in various mediums, drawing and painting all kinds of subjects.
Some cool stuff happened as a result. For instance, his Drawing #293 was of a bat and the person who got it was a bat biologist.
“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” -Albert Einstein
It gets better. Vincent began a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds and make a book out of his Project 365 artwork. Then he donated all the proceeds from the book to the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, so that kids could be inspired to crawl out of their own haystacks and show off their shining needles.
As Marta Malachowska, a collector of Vincent’s work said:
“Vincent reminds us of what is really important in art and it is, in my opinion, not what the artist gains, but what the artist gives to people.”
Believe in your passion
The inimitable Mark Twain observed:
“The two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.”
Vincent tells us that he knew early on he was meant to be an artist. Whatever your passion, don’t stop believing in it. Our creative passions bring meaning and pleasure into our lives, and often the lives of others.
In a short video about Project 365, Vincent tells us that if you aim for money alone, you’ll fail. Watch the video below.
Embrace your passion. Believe in it. Hone it. Share it with others.
Money may be nice, but the gift of a creative passion is the satisfaction and joy it brings you and others.
Be that needle in the haystack. Through your uniqueness, you have the power to improve the lives of others and find artistic fulfillment. It sounds to me like a fine way to live one’s life.
Before you go
I’m John P. Weiss. I draw cartoons, paint, and write about life. Get on my free email list here for the latest writing and artwork.
This post was previously published on Medium.
You Might Also Like These From The Good Men Project
|Compliments Men Want to Hear More Often||Relationships Aren’t Easy, But They’re Worth It||The One Thing Men Want More Than Sex||..A Man’s Kiss Tells You Everything|
Join The Good Men Project as a Premium Member today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Cartoon illustrations by John P. Weiss