In 1999 when I first moved to Seattle, I started experimenting with creating computer art. I called myself a modern digital painter back then. The job I came to Seattle for was bogging me down with administrative duties I never planned on.
After I arrived home at night, I would start creating computer art. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I was armed with an iMac, a printer and all the creative passion of Picasso. The first character I completed was an abstract named William, he reminded me of Shakespeare for some reason. Then came Andre, a pudgy Spanish looking gentleman wearing a fabulous hat.
My wife Terri was convinced my work needed to be shown in public, so she went out and got me placed in a coffee shop for about six weeks. I hung ten pieces there. In just a few months I was selling in a small gallery and retail shop in downtown Seattle, then another shop out in the burbs where I live.
My artwork sold more often than I could keep up with. After all, I was the only guy doing computer art that looked like it was hand drawn. Even though it was really created with random clicks from my mouse. That was my style. I sold dozens of framed pieces at that time.
Shortly after, I dove into photography, then moved onto writing which I began in 2007. The goal was to eventually write a book from my blog posts. The end result has turned out the same as when I was doing digital art. Now what?
I work on three websites, Best Kisses which has over 21,000 visits a month, iPhone Savior that has over 7,000 visits per day and the one you’re currently reading. iPhone Savior recently surpassed 4 million views in less than three years. I'm still eyeballing that book idea, but what's holding me back is that I'm not convinced it will make a difference in this world we all call home.
You see, my digital art was for me, photography for me and penning a hugely successful blog also for me. I truly expected the end result to be more fulfilling than it has been, but that’s just not the case. Success is like that when it's focused on self gratification, even if you don't ever reach the highest pinnacles of worldly success. The end result is still the same, it's only the view that changes.
I never cared about making money, I just wanted to make a difference in someone's life through my work. Believing all along that just doing was enough, my aim did not need to be deliberate. I was wrong.
I’m considering re-purposing my art now or maybe I'll start teaching people how to use their creative gifts to leave the world a better place than how they found it. This time I'm going to be deliberate about making a difference. I want to make this life for someone else a tad better than it was before by giving away my creative talents. That journey for me is just beginning. I'll let you know how it turns out.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson