032: Avoiding the Trap
Wherein we talk about becoming un-influenced in an influence filled world.
Welcome to week 32 of the Draw or Die Newsletter for Visual Storytellers. Quick takes:
Today is day 30 of our PROMPTOBER drawing challenge! One more day to go!!!
We launched the Draw or Die Podcast on Thursday night. Listen/watch the replay. (more on that in a second)
Last week I talked about “The Fear or Finishing”. This week I want to talk about the power of “influence”, and starting something NEW.
Amrefreshing thing I noticed this week, I was so busy working on something new that the outside world melted away. I was “in the zone”.
It wasn’t until Friday that I heard about some terrible news happening in the world.
While I think it’s definitely important to stay informed on what is happening in the world, (ahem, a reminder to vote Nov 8th in the USA!) I also feel like it’s easy to get sucked into politics or things that divide us as humans. I don’t like that feeling.
The previous weeks felt different, and I wondered why? What changed in my routine?
I woke up extra early to get some drawing in, and I would turn on the news “for background” - But then I suddenly found my thoughts drifting away from my mission or focus. Suddenly, I blinked and I was googling “what crazy thing did Kanye say?”
It can happen THAT FAST.
Sometimes you don’t even realize it’s happening at all. When you become mindful of it, mindful of what you are feeding your ears and eyes, you can sense when you’re about to be lured into the rabbit hole.
It’s a trap!
Something interesting I overheard at the Barber shop Saturday morning.
A retired Marine was in the chair getting a cut and said the smartest human he’d ever met was General James Mattis. He got to spend some some period of time him and said he was a wealth of information and insights. He wondered how he was so sharp. One day he foolishy asked him “what channels or shows do you watch on TV?”
His reply to the Marine was:
He does not watch TV.
If he does put on the news it’s only to get a glance at what is happening in the world. He said that most “news” tends to start giving opinions within minutes, and that’s when he turns it completely off. As a big wig in the military, that’s the mission. To stick to the facts, stay on target.
He reads 5-7 hours a day.
In his downtime he always had a book. And would sometimes re-read the book several times. The only apps he would allow on this phone were reading apps, a notepad and key communication. Incredibly disciplined. I mean… what would you expect of a Four-Star Marince Corps General?
Surprisingly he also feels the same way about listening to music.
He told the soldier if he’s going to listen to music while he works, do instrumental only. Because even the lyrics can have an influence over you. They even use that fact in psy-ops missions.
I never thought about it that way before.
To stay productive as artists, we need to be careful what’s influencing our mood and be mindful of what we feed our eyes and ears.
One of the reasons Draw or Die even exists is because of the amount of artists who were hitting me up for advice or to get inspired. I’m also trying to be mindful of my own words and deeds because in some way I’m an “influencer” now. I was told I have been one for years, but I’m not realizing it until right now.
Unlike politics or Hollywood, the only thing I want YOU to be influenced to do is DRAW EVERY DAMN DAY! And never quit. Occasionally, maybe you’ll buy some merch? 😂
What about you? Are you mindful of this in your creative journey? What’s influencing you?
So… this whole Podcast thing…
September through October was so busy for me, my wife began to help me keep up with messages and DMs and monitoring Promptober. A true angel. 🙏🏻
Over the past two months we’ve been getting a lot of messages and comments asking if I’d consider doing a podcast. Apparently artists want to sit and listen to me talk about these issues. And I’ve been told I have a perfect voice or podcasting. Which sounds super strange to me.
Beyond the fact anyone would want to listen to me talk for an hour, just the fact that I dislike the sound of my own voice.
Irregardless we felt this is something totally doable. And if it’s something that can keep you focused or encouraged, then I’m gonna try it.
A quick timeline of my week:
Tuesday evening my wife said “Hey, you should consider launching the podcast on Thursday night.”
Wednesday I wrote some show notes, some graphics, and tested the streaming software.
Thursday we went live at 8pm EST on the Youtube channel.
I was super disappointed that my camera stream quality was JUNK.
Friday I spent hours testing and double testing setups. Trial and error nightmare.
Finally I think we have it figured out for next time. The culprit? Too many things plugged into one adaptor and drawing too much power affected the video signal from the camera. 🤓🤓🤓
Last week was a reminder of one of my favorite sayings:
“Don’t Delay, Start Today.”
You can put off things forever. There will never be a RIGHT time. While the first episode wasn’t perfect, we’ll do better each time. The replay is up if you want to check it out.
Speaking OF next time…
We’ll do it again next Thursday at 8pm EST. I invite you to come draw along! If you have questions or topics you’d like me to cover on the show, OR if you’d like to be a guest on the show and have a chat live, feel free to email email@example.com. I’ll also monitor the live chat for the QnA round.
I’ll be working on just straight audio versions for Spotify and Apple Podcasts soon.
PROMPTOBER PRIZE DRAWING INSTRUCTIONS!
The official form link will be emailed later today. You will need to fill this out to be eligible for the random prize drawings! Deadline to enter is by noon on Saturday November 5th!
We will also post the form on promptober.com
The live drawings will be held Saturday, Nov 5th on the Draw or Die Youtube Channel at 8pm EST.
Stay tuned for that!
The DAY 30 Drawing Prompt is
“DEAL WITH THE DEVIL”
The secret member twist is… Must involve playing cards.
Don’t forget we have Daily Drawing Prompts to keep your pencil and mind moving. Try it for free! The perfect thing to keep you motivated AFTER Promptober!
Thanks for reading. See you soon! Draw something awesome today!!!
👁 Connect with me elsewhere? I’m @djcoffman on Instagram / TikTok / Twitter
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Just wanted to say, between the podcast and the Fear of Finishing post, I am diving back into, and finishing the few comics I've put on hold. AND actually scripting out the stories, so I have no excuses about getting stuck as where to go next. NO MORE EXCUSES. #Comicsarelife
Well said. Needed that today