Linchpin is one heck of a self motivator for artists, or anyone for that fact, since he describes everyone who thinks and lives as themselves, as an artist. I found myself enjoying it a lot more than most required reading I’ve been forced to read in the past. What I got from this book is that the message to not fear being different; to be yourself and to embrace your freedom outside of the system of the world even though it feels safe. Being a linchpen is to be irreplaceable. To be irreplaceable is to be different from everyone else; to have qualities that no one else has and to do that we all must be ourselves. Anyone can draw a picture, but if that picture isn’t made from someplace inside yourself it isn’t art. Art no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it is, if it comes from the soul it is art. Art isn’t the ability to be able draw, paint, write something, make money or to do it because it is popular but to do it because you want to.
This style of thinking gave me a sense of relief. Throughout my college career I felt like I was being dragged along by my neck. To me, animation is beyond a short gag or funny; animation to me is powerful. It is something that can move a person in a profound way. I’ve always been into full length features over cartoon shorts. I went into animation knowing those movies aren’t made anymore and that is what I loved about animation. I have come to feel that the limitations of these shorts have caused me to become stagnant because I’m being torn between the stories and appearances I love and what is popular.
While it isn’t safe and in Seth’s book he makes it clear that being a Linchpin is to not be safe because that is what our lizard mind craves, I feel more confident in my choice in graduating and going off on my own. To draw the way I want to draw and to tell the stories I want to draw.
I am in no way saying that my time her wasn’t worth it. I’ve learned a great deal that I might have not learned other wise but I feel after college I will be free to learn and grow in the way that I see fit.
The Lizard is the conformist side of our personality. It is the fear in our hearts that get in the way of an individual being great and sabotages creativity because even if that 9 to 5 job sucks, at the very least it is a job. A steady paying job one that is much different from being an artist. Being an artist is never safe. Artist go from job to job without knowing where the next one is coming from. This insecurity drives the lizard insane. Putting yourself out there is the first step to concurring this fear, a simple post on a blog is the first step to being great.
Seth spent a good deal of time talking about how each and every artist has a gift that they wish to share with the world. The gift is free and any payment is at best a far second to the satisfaction of sharing that gift. That very notion seems to follow very closely to real artists. Just the other day I attended CCAD at the Hills: Geek Out: Comics & Columbus and they knew from the very beginning what they wanted to do, any attempts to be someone else and do something different ended in failure and dissatisfaction in the careers and their art. They wanted to make comics and they wanted to do it the way they wanted. After going off and doing their own thing they gained a following of people who loved the thing they put their own heart and soul into. It was of course a risk and they only make enough to get by and their art takes all their time and energy. There is no stopping to think anything else but their goals but they are still full of life and happy not having to work like a machine cog.
In such a case there is no boss. There is no one to cut them off whenever there is someone else who is better or cheaper. They are their own boss, no one else can do what they do. There is no one out there who could ever replace them because what they are creating is there own. That is a Linchpin and that is what I want to be. I want to be my own boss, creating the stories I want to create and have people love them because they are mine and no one else’s.