Monday, April 10, 2006

Don't Get Comfortable

Well, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim beat the Vancouver Canucks tonight to ensure themselves a spot in the playoffs. Which reminds me of my favorite quote from an athlete:

"I never get comfortable. To get comfortable would hurt my development."

-Andy McDonald, forward for the Mighty Ducks, when asked, as a rookie, if he was starting to get comfortable with his new team.

This is so true for everyone in life, especially artists and filmmakers. To get comfortable is to get complacent. To me, the only person who deserves the title "artist" is someone who is working to get better at what they do. I think an 11-year-old who draws every night and tries to draw better deserves the title more than a 45-year-old industry veteran who relies on the same tricks day after day and thinks he doesn't need to improve. I would call a guy that scoops ice cream for a living and tries to do it better every day an artist before I would confer the title on a sellout painter who cranks out the same canvas day after day. To be alive is to grow. To be stagnant is death.



Photo of me (inside the red frame) at a recent game where the Ducks beat the Florida Panthers. Second row! Pretty sweet, huh?

Douglas MacArthur said "There is no security in this life. There is only opportunity." If you are worried about losing your job by doing something that's too daring, then you aren't being creative. Everyone remembers the pioneers who pushed the boundaries. Nobody remembers the ones who played it safe.

When Thomas Edison was trying to invent the light bulb, he tried thousands of different materials as a filament. None of them worked. Someone asked him if he was tired of failing. He said (something akin to) "I haven't failed. I've successfully identified thousands of things that WON"T work!" You can't succeed without failing. If you gave up trying to walk the first time you fell down, you'd still be crawling.

And Rob Minkoff was famous for saying "It's better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission". Don't wait and ask for permission - do the daring thing right now and see how it flies. Sometimes it works! When it doesn't, wel...then you beg.

(Just don't come looking for me if this gets you fired. You don't HAVE to take my advice! It's only worth as much as you paid for it).

More to come soon on the Line-of-Action!

17 comments:

Bobby P said...

Great Post Mark. I love stuff like this.

Benjamin De Schrijver said...

Fantastic post! It's all so true.

Ali said...

Anyone who quotes Edison is a friend of mine. Inspiring stuff, as always.

Steve said...

great post Mark, I need to be reminded of all of the stuff that you post, it so easy to get distracted but this blog always gets me back on course =]

mark kennedy said...

Glad everybody found it useful! I'll get back on the line-of-action thing soon.

Barry Johnson said...

Amen. Good entry, Mark.

(Are you in the penalty box at that hockey game?)

spock foolish said...

Rob Minkoff was also famous for saying "Uhhh...How much money do you have on you?" ; )

mark kennedy said...

Barry-no, I'm not - but I've been dying to show that picture to somebody because it was in the newspaper and all, and I'm in it! How crazy is that??? Nobody in my actual personal life cares, so I am burdening all of you people with it.

Spock-thanks for posting-I have a feeling that the "sayings of Rob" could take up a whole blog.

DanO said...

i've been quasi fired for calling people out for their inability to take risks. no regrets too.

i only regret that my team lost Scott Neidermeyer to your damn Ducks.

mark walton said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to make the pilgrimage to the temple, Mark. Talk about exceeding my already high expectations! So many great drawings and "how to" tutorials - I LOVE all the Bill Peet stuff, and all the notes on composition, line-of-action, etc., etc. and so many great anecdotes and quotes (many of them yours)!! You seriously are going to save me a bundle of time and money trying to track down a fraction of these golden nuggets myself. And you were making it sound like I needed to dig back in the archives for the good stuff (which I did), but, every entry, it's ALL totally relevant and useful (especially the photo of you at the hockey game!) Seriously, I think any of your site's visitors will learn more about drawing, storytelling, and filmmaking in general than any of the students in my short-lived class ever did - too bad for them! Keep up the good work and keep the faith, brother.

mark kennedy said...

dano-
Sorry, not my fault. If it makes you feel any better the Flames just pasted the Ducks. Frigging backup goalie!

Hey Mark! Glad you like the site! You should start your own blog and share everything you know too! I'm sure you have a lot of great stuff from your teaching days. Share!!!

Jayenti Collins said...

thank you mark! inpsiring to say the least! and thank you ducks for giving kiprusoff his 9th shutout of the season! the Vezina Trophy is as good as his. go flames!

mark kennedy said...

Jayenti-
Backup goalie! Backup goalie! If giguere woulda played it woulda been a different story. See you in the postseason........

Jorge Noujaim said...

Great post,mark!

robh said...

this is getting better than school and self help books Mark! impressive nad inspirational!

Jayenti Collins said...

now it's my turn to yell," back-up goalie!" but if last nights game was any indication of the first round between these two teams we're in for a treat!

Lee-Roy said...

"I think an 11-year-old who draws every night and tries to draw better deserves the title more than a 45-year-old industry veteran who relies on the same tricks day after day and thinks he doesn't need to improve."

Thank you!!!!!