Board Game Artwork

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You Never Know Who’s Watching

When I started posting my artwork online at Behance, I didn’t get much response over it. A few friends looked it over, some had some nice comments for me, and it garnered a few appreciations from the community. But for the most part, nobody encouraged me to keep going. People aren’t generally wired for that. Most of us go about our daily lives looking for ways to encourage ourselves and enrich our lives. This isn’t selfishness. It just is how we keep ourselves going in life. If you were to only focus on others, you’d neglect yourself.

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Our World Now

So we filled our cups to the brim with hatred. And we cast ignorance upon you if you didn’t agree. And with any misstep we wouldn’t bury you, but you felt six feet under. We’d take your job, your reputation, and – if an apology was granted – your soul as well. And you would be the cautionary tale that we would spin cycle in our 24 hour news coverage. And the pundits would bemoan your mistake, and assassinate your character, and impugn your very existence. Because we were right, and we always would be. And you would be wrong, and you would be evil, a relic of an ancient past full of pagan ritual and superstition.

Assuming

I make assumptions. I connect things together, regardless of the validity of such connection. Like when I was a boy, I try to put the circle peg in the round hole. But sometimes, I try to put the square peg in the round hole; just to see. Really, that’s how I learn.

I used to make assumptions in my mind, and that would be it. But I’m bolder now. I’m bolder now because I found that when I speak my assumptions into the air, someone inevitably comes to contradict me.

People like to contradict. Correction: people like to be right. I like to be correct too, but I also like to learn. And when someone is contradicting me, they may feel better about being correct, but I feel even better than them. Because I learned something.

Writing is an exercise in assumption. When I write characters that differ from myself, I’m making assumptions. I’m guessing about how a character will make decisions, love others, talk to his boss, etc.

I also learn when people around me correct my writing. I learn something new about humanity, and – as an added benefit – something new about my characters and story. When I allow someone to make an observation, my view of the bigger picture gets just a little bit clearer, and I’m thankful for it.

But sometimes you’re wrong, and it’s painful to listen to your drivel.