“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do”
A fellow AS friend, Chris Van Der Heyde, of South Africa asked me yesterday if I would create an apple as a tribute to Steve Jobs. He said he realized that my project was over but that it would mean something to him. I agreed immediately because I too have felt the pull to speak of Steve Jobs and his Apple.
There are some amazing tributes to Mr. Jobs and much has been written about him and his life. A commencement address he gave at Stanford University in 2005 had three key messages for the graduating class that I wanted to share.
The first is about connecting the dots. We can see why our lives have unfolded the way they have only by looking backwards. His example is about how he ended up studying calligraphy as a college drop out and how looking back he can clearly see how that seemingly odd piece of his history made the Mac a more beautiful and successful machine. It is a very large piece of his history and now part of the provenance of Apple, Inc. I have these dots in my past. They are now set off in clear relief where for years they blended in with life waiting for the time I could see them for how important they were and connect them to my present.
Where can you start to put the dots of your life together to leading to today. What very important aspect of your life from years ago do you see as an integral piece of your life puzzle that without would not have put you right where you are right now – the exact place you are supposed to be – today. What choices are you making – right now – that will continue to connect your life dots? Having AS isn’t something that I would have ever seen as being such an important piece of who I am and how my life is unfolding but now, today… I see how very important it is – so I will honor it instead of suffering it for it is who I am.
The second message in this powerful address is about love & loss. We’ve all had times and things happen in life where we lose something we love. For Steve Jobs is was the company he built with all his heart and lost at the age of 30. After a period of grief and morning, he started looking for what to do next and came to the conclusion that he had been doing what he loved so that although the circumstances forced him to adjust and find a new direction, he would continue what he loved – it was just going to look a bit different. He went on to create Next and Pixar. Those two companies wouldn’t have existed if his life didn’t land him a big blow. He found a way to move on. He didn’t settle for doing something he loved less – he just adjusted his life and became richer for it.
The third is now a Steve Jobs life dot. He speaks of death. He speaks of how close he came to it almost a decade ago with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. He was able to analyze death in a way that those of us who have never been told by a doctor to “put your affairs in order” cannot understand unless we have that experience. Mr. Jobs felt the closeness of something that we will all share one day but no one wants. With his insights he could truly live life every day wanting to not waste a moment. He is so right saying that life isn’t worth living someone else’s life or trapped by the dogma or opinions of others. Live your life, believe what you believe and have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
Thank you so much Steve Jobs for your dots and observations and uniqueness.
Today’s Apple was created in Golden’s Liquid Acrylics and I initially digitally altered it. It seemed appropriate to use photoshop to change this image as part of a tribute piece. However… I didn’t like it. I didn’t seem to hold true to me so I choose to do it the way that speaks to me. Simple and straightforward paint on paper.
*** I’d just like to mention that although my 365 daily Art Apple A Day is finished, apples do not appear to be leaving my life. In fact, I’m quite sure that they are in my future in some way or other for a long time to come. I guess I won’t know until I can look back and clearly see the dots!
*** Will be working on posts about this last month and the Apple-A-Thon while resting here in Maine. I slept until NOON today – still catching up I guess. I don’t think I’ve slept that late since college. There are some truly wonderful and amazing guest apples that I’ll be spotlighting as I share stories and memories of looking back. Remember – original 5″x5″ apples are available for $25 through the end of October as part of the fundraiser as I still have about a dozen left. If I pass the 101 pieces I did during the 24 hr event – I’ll paint more. They would make great Christmas or Hanukkah gifts. Here are a few that are still available – remember for $25 you receive one of these apples and $20 goes to the SAA and funds are matched with a challenge grant so that a total of $40 to the Spondylitis Association of America (4 star charity for three years running) will result in your purchase!