Feck Perfuction
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Feck Perfuction

Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life

James Victore

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  1. 160 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (adapté aux mobiles)
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eBook - ePub

Feck Perfuction

Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life

James Victore

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"James Victore is a dangerous man. His ideas on optimizing your creativity, doing wow work and building a life that inspires will devastate your limits. And show you how to win. Read this book fast."
—Robin Sharma, #1 bestselling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Begin before you're ready.Renowned designer and professional hell-raiser James Victore wants to drag you off your couch and throw you headfirst into a life of bold creativity. He'll guide you through all the twists, trials, and triumphs of starting your creative career, from finding your voice to picking the right moment to start a project (hint: It's now).Bring your biggest, craziest, most revolutionary ideas, and he will give you the kick in the pants you need to make them real. No matter what industry or medium you work in, this book will help you live, work, and create freely and fearlessly.Here are some dangerous ideas:
‱ The things that made you weird as a kid make you great today.
‱ Work is serious play.
‱ Your ego can't dance.
‱ The struggle is everything.
‱ Freedom is something you take.
‱ There ain't no rules.Take a risk. Try them out. Live dangerously.More praise for Feck Perfuction: "In James Victore's new book, he unequivocally proves why he is the master he is. In every chapter, he challenges and inspires the reader to reach for more, to try harder and to create our best selves. It is a magnificent and momentous experience. (All true)."
—Debbie Millman, Host Design Matters "James Victore got famous creating tough posters that shook me to the core. He now does the same using the written word. To you."
—Stefan Sagmeister, designer

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Chapter 1. Voice

Your voice is who you are. Maybe not the “you” you carry around every day, but the one yelling from inside, demanding to be heard. Your voice is the way you see the world and how you translate it back. When you train your voice and allow it to grow and be heard, that beautiful sound will carve a path for you to follow for life. Conversely, if you fail to use your voice, others will be in charge of it. And you. Never give in, never surrender. Your voice is your most powerful tool.

01. Your parents were wrong

Parents are amateurs. I mean no slight to parents or to amateurs; I am both. But, growing up, we are given only a few options as to our future path. Either we’re told that we can be anything we want, even president. Or that we are to follow a predestined, familial path with a title like MD, PhD, Dr., or Esq. These ideas aren’t necessarily wrong, but they are misleading. Your purpose on this planet isn’t to become a millionaire, build a 401K, or even get a good job—your purpose is to figure out who or what you are. If you can do that, everything else is frosting. The great oracle herself, Dolly Parton, tells us, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
Classically this is called “knowing thyself.” Admittedly not an easy task. Many of us are presented with a track to follow that may not be our choice. Just because you were born on a farm doesn’t mean you were born to be a farmer. In my hometown, two fields were popular (meaning you could possibly make a living at them): nurse or prison guard. I felt no attraction to either. My calling was for the arts, but I disregarded it because I was told it was something “talented” people did, and I didn’t want to grow up to be a “starving artist.” But the creative urge proved too strong—and painfully obvious—so I chose to ignore the critics, and to fight and sometimes fail in order to see my vision through. I still do.
You can’t ignore your DNA. The worst thing you can do is deny who you are, try to be someone or something you’re not, and live a life bent and molded by others. As Oscar Wilde put it, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Ouch.
You can be a musician, an accountant, or a sexy, powerful, creative beast—but you have to be yourself first. You have to follow that star. Others without the grit and guts will have to be satisfied with becoming president.

02. Have a damn opinion

There’s an American gospel song with the powerful refrain, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” We all have that little light. It’s lit by our upbringing and our childhood. It’s our history, our travels, the things we love, and the things we fear. Our little light is our opinion—and it begs to be illuminated.
Sadly, most of us don’t let our light shine, for two reasons: It’s too easy and it’s too hard.
It’s too easy because it’s “little.” It’s familiar to us. We pooh-pooh our own opinion and don’t see the value of what we have to offer. After all, “Who’d be interested in me or what I have to say or my voice?” It’s too hard because once we acknowledge it, we have to trust it and share it with the world, and we live in fear that someone may not like it. This is a completely valid fear, because the truth is, not everyone will love your voice. But this division is how you define your audience, how you find the ones who will love you for who you are. If you play it safe and choke back your real voice, you are like a rudderless ship, taking directions from the waves.
Your voice is the story you put into everything you do. It’s what sets you apart and makes you and your work memorable. It frees you from following trends or begging for ideas, asking, “What do they want?” Now your most powerful tool is asking yourself, “What do I have to say?”

03. The things that made you weird as a kid make you great today

When I was a kid, I was full of wordplay and jokes. I loved to sing loudly and poorly. My best talent was entertaining my fifth-grade friends by drawing naked ladies. They looked more like lumpy potatoes, but my audience didn’t care. Unfortunately, my level of energy and enthusiasm lacked appreciation at home or at school. I was called “creative”—and it was not a compliment.
As kids, we’re all weird. We have our interests and activities, and we like to run them full throttle. As we get older, we realize there’s a price to standing out, so we shrink from our weirdness in fear of anyone finding out who we really are. Being weird or different—even creative—should be not a source of shame or embarrassment but a torch to be held high. Weird is about the courage to be who you were born to be. Nerdy, goofy, fidgety; these are strengths. These are gifts! The things that made you weird as a kid are the source of your character and creative powers. These are the base elements of who you are. Not perfect. Not trying. Just yourself. If you hide them, you risk never knowing what you’re capable of.
Professionally, weird is a benefit. For some fields, it’s a damn prerequisite. Any “successful” actor, chef, musician, athlete, or comedian, when asked what contributed to their success, will answer, “When I was a kid . . .” Pop-culture icon and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson remembers looking up into the night sky as a child and says, “The universe called me.”
When you accept your weirdness and believe in your gifts is when things get really weird. That’s when your cause inspires others. When people see their own struggle reflected in yours, you create the potential for shared humanity. Your weirdness speaks to them. That’s when you find those people who accept you precisely because you’re weird and different. Ultimately you’ll hear that glorious refrain: “Oh, you’re weird, too? I thought I was the only one!” This is how you form relationships and businesses. This is how you find your audience.
Accept it: You’re weird.

04. In the particular lies the universal

I teach the visual arts, but I push my students to understand that what their work looks like is less important than what it says. I want them to express an opinion in their work, to divulge something personal. Their plaintive cry is usually, “If it’s personal to me, how could anyone else understand it?” My answer is, “What interests you, interests others.” What is most particular to us, even though it may seem personal in its details, can have universal meaning and value to others.
George Lucas grew up in a small, conservative California town but yearned to be a filmmaker and loved racing cars. These three themes—(1) a young man in a repressive society, (2) escape to a better world, and (3) racing hot-rod cars—all form the story line of Lucas’s first three major films.
THX 1138 (1971) takes place in a dystopian future where the young hero, THX, yearns to escape the confines of his state-run society and does so in a stolen Lola T70 race car.
American Graffiti (1973) takes place in our not-too-distant past in a small California town. It’s the story of two young men on the verge of leaving home for college and a more exciting life. One of the film’s “characters” is a yellow 1932 Ford coupe with the license plate “THX 138.” And the actor Harrison Ford plays a charming rogue driving a black hot rod 1955 Chevy.
Stars Wars: A New Hope (1977) takes place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” and features young Luke Skywalker, who yearns to escape his small farm and seek adventure. He eventually teams up with a charming rogue played by Harrison Ford, who pilots what is essentially a hot rod called the Millennium Falcon. The references to THX abound throughout the Star Wars saga, as names of droids and labels on ships. Even the ubiquitous movie theater sound system Lucas helped develop in 1983 is called THX. Lucas didn’t have to look far or invent themes to write about. He never went searching for stories to tell or vehicles to carry them; he just had to look inside and tell his own story. The themes and details he drew on were already very particular to him, but now they have meaning for us.
A less Hollywood application...

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