Oh man. I've waited frighteningly close to the deadline to even start this letter to you. So please, dear reader, don't expect a masterpiece. My apologies.
I'm not a writer, anyway- I draw. My art's compared to Keith Haring.
Would mean a lot to me if you took a look it, actually. "Fluidtoons". Instagram's best.
Started drawing when I was little. This thrilled my mom- she was an artist too, but she gave up on it. I haven't quite yet.
But I do procrastinate badly. I don't draw or animate nearly enough. Why don't we do the things we love? Or that are good for us? E.g., everyone should meditate.
One of my first days living in NYC, I stumbled out sleepily into the afternoon, planning only to get some juice, and found the park encircled with white billboard vinyl, divided up for artists.
I wanted to be a part of this so bad! Found the registration table and asked if there were free slots- yes, but I needed to have my supplies with me.
"Where's the nearest hardware store?"
I was back soon and fell in love with painting big.
Few years later, I was considering leaving NYC- can be harsh here for a gentle Southerner like myself. But Living Gallery said yes to a Fluidtoons mural. More than one, actually. I decided to stay. I still miss Atlanta though.
When I draw, my emotions spill out onto the page. Yum, delicious flow state.
What makes us happy besides flow?
Research says that we have a genetic setpoint of happiness that we tend to return to, even if we win the lottery or become paraplegic. But we can work at it. Tal Ben-Shahar's Harvard lectures explain better than me.
Check this out, though:
George Vaillant, director of a 72-year study of the lives of 268 men, said: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”
I'm lucky to have a talented girlfriend. "Chandra Free". Hire her.
I wish I were better at staying in touch with friends, though. And that I'd relaxed and gotten closer to my co-workers.
There's too much I want to write about here. Running out of words. And time. I'm just going to start listing things that are important to me:
- The gifted program (ARC in Tallahassee) changed my life. Mr. Berkeley introduced us to HTML (pico!) and Linux.
- One reason I moved to NYC is the animation scene here, and because of that, I met John Dilworth. So glad my out-of-control beard (gone now) didn't scare him off because our friendship's meant a lot to me. Dilworth encourages me to keep drawing. He's working on a pretty amazing new animated short, coming soon to a festival near you.
- I loved Dr. Frank Johnson's class at FSU. He teaches about brains and is marvelous at it.
- Dr. Ted Baker let me take his computer science courses when I was still in high school. That meant a lot. I was way into W. Richard Stevens' books back then.
- Universal Basic Income
- Mental health
- Dating's learn-able! Don't think it's entirely hopeless.
- Funding for the arts. Philip Glass drove a taxi and worked as a plumber. Heard it's easier being an artist in other countries. Why do we have to do so many things we don't want to? Breaks my heart to see my artist friends struggle so.
- My dear friend Alex is my first Patreon patron
- WFMU, WVFS
- Savor time with your pet. Sadly, they don't live forever.
Out of words. Would love to hear from you.
Brett W. Thompson