Practicing Uniqueness

"It has bothered me all of my life that I do not paint like everyone else."Henri Matiesse


When I read about revolutionary artists, such as Matisse, who want to be part of the mainstream despite massive success, I remember how difficult it is to "think different."

We all have a desire to belong and we are all wired for community.  That's what makes it hard to live in a world where your perspective is out of sync with the mainstream.

How should you respond if you see shadows and angles that others don't see OR don't care about?

Should you conform? Do you go along with the mainstream? Can you act as though you don't see differently?

Intuitively we know conformity is the enemy of innovation.  And yet, we long to fit in.

The temptation to ignore our unusual perspective is strong.  However, blending in rarely makes an interesting story.

Instead, lean into your uniqueness.

Install your bookshelves as "optical illusions." Set priorities that are out of step with the world at large. Be open to adventure.

Don't be afraid of looking or thinking differently from the people around you.  Even if you don't create a painting style that helps define "Modern Art," you can embrace your uniqueness by not longing to do what everyone else is doing.