068: Finding Your Sweet Spot
Wherein we discuss the concept and framework of IKIGAI
Why don’t we try to tackle something light this week, like… the meaning of life? 😂
And read to the end for a super one-of-a-kind offer….
The feeling of ikigai as described in Japanese usually means the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment that follows when people pursue their passions.
Activities that generate the feeling of ikigai are not forced on an individual; they are perceived as being spontaneous and undertaken willingly, and thus are personal and depend on a person's inner self.
I’ve known about the concept of IKIGAI since high school, but never really understood it or felt it until I’ve been in my late 40’s now.
Before you go spouting this stuff off, understand that the version I’m showing here has basically been bastardized by western influence. You know, adding in that MONEY/GREED aspect basically… was never their idea.
My old Japanese friend, Alvin from the desert, described it to me as simply finding your sweet spot in the world. When you can feel it deep down. And the world around you notices as well.
That feeling eluded me for years.
I think my entire “career” in art, up until these very recent years, was just internally fighting against the current. I was really driven to “prove them wrong” - By “them”, I mean pretty much everyone in my life.
All of the people who told me I couldn’t make a living from your art. From my dysfunctional family very early on, to my high school art teacher who criticized me for having “cartoon tunnel vision”, to my really bad friends I surrounded myself with.
I had never felt IKIGAI. I only ever felt… DRIVE.
And yeah, while I did prove them all wrong, I had some success? Mission accomplished. Now what?
Now fucking what?
This week I pose the question to you… what is YOUR Ikigai?
And it’s okay if you’re not there yet. It can take years, decades, a lifetime. But you’ll never get there unless you at least think about the concept.
So let’s examine and break the sections… especially pertaining to YOU as an artist.
If you find yourself stuck on a section, thinking “Man, I don’t know what my mission is!” - Just make a note of it. Make a note of what is “missing”. We’ll come back to that later.
BREAKING DOWN IKIGAI
I always noticed in the other IKIGAI graphs online that there were missing sections with nothing written in. So I decided to just make it the CORE ICONS…. THE HEART, THE SOUL (YOU), THE WORLD, THE CASH.
❤️ WHAT YOU LOVE
WHAT YOU LOVE - For me, I just generally love creating things.
YOUR PASSION - I used to think my passion was “comics”, but as it turns out when I really broke it down, I just enjoyed the drawing process. And tapping into the “flow”
YOUR MISSION - This is a tough one that usually only comes when you fill up a lot of the other sections. My mission has become encouraging as many creatives as possible. Instead of “I’ll show them!” or trying to prove haters wrong… now it’s more like “I’ll show them HOW!” Meaning I’ll document my process and keep my self accessible so that other artists out there know it’s possible.
💜 WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT
Passion - is the main overlap here. Everyone is passionate about something when you really think about it.
Profession - You’ve heard people say “find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day again in your life.” -
In essence for me, my profession right now doesn’t match up with my passion (drawing). This is a sign to me that I should look at least consider what that could look like in the future.
💙 WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS
Interesting concept here is what “WORLD” means. Yes it can mean the global sphere we are all on. Or it can simply mean YOUR WORLD. Your little niche of the world you are in.
Mission - is the main overlap here….
Vocation - A vocation is usually a trade, or a teacher type role. There can be a gray area between what people consider a profession vs a vocation. For example, some people think teaching is a profession, when really it’s a vocation.
Again I can see the pattern. My mission is pretty clear. But what is my vocation? Is it this? This newsletter, this brand, the videos and content I put out there to help encourage other artists.
💚 WHAT YOU CAN BE PAID FOR
I would rather people NOT think about the money aspect at all, especially since it was injected into the original meaning of IKIGAI…. but in modern society, money indeed does complete the circle in some way, to achieve the ultimate satisfaction in life.
Thinking about these when in pertains to the creative paths….Let’s simplify the line between profession ad vocation even more….
PROFESSION = ACTIVE DOING / and being paid for it. You’re actively being paid to produce your work. Examples: Tattoo Artist, Commercial Illustrators, Animators on staff….
VOCATION = ACTIVE SHOWING / You’re teaching, showing or encouraging others in art. Examples: A Youtuber. ME, this brand,
You could clearly be doing both. I guess I sort of am. I’m not only making money with my art, but also sharing what I know with others.
Getting Creative with YOUR IKIGAI
Think creatively about all of these and you may discover that your passion helps drive the other sections of your IKIGAI chart. For example you may clearly be good at art, but your true passion may be PLANTS or COOKING. What if you had a comic showing others recipes and how to cook? Or a collection of paintings all about plants you could market to others like you who love plants.
If you haven’t explored THE PERSONAL PILLARS exercise, I highly suggest you try this:
🔥This Week’s Drawing CHALLENGE!
This week’s drawing prompt is…
Be sure to tag #drawordieclub on the platform of your choice so we can all find each other (we’re mostly on instagram) Maybe we’ll feature your art in future livestreams and content!
✏️☠️♣️WANNA SNAG THIS SETUP??? ⬇️
✏️☠️♣️JOIN THE DAILY DRAWING CLUB!
This one-of-a-kind leather sketchbook cover was handmade and stitched by my son Dillon, and branded out by me. This packages includes:
One-Handmade two-toned Leather Sketchbook cover (fits our standard Draw Every Day & Field Notes sizes) - With the Draw or Die branded inside and on the front.
A Special Edition Third Man Records Blackwing Pencil
A Special Edition Pencil Point Guard (dice version!)
A Standard Draw Every Day Notebook
A Draw Small notebook WITH a secret set of prompts inside just for you.
All active members are eligible for this drawing which will happen the first week of August!
That’s all for this week, I hope you’re drawing every damn day!!!