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Tim Burton Exhibit

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Originality

One night at about 1:30am I went to a special exhibit of Tim Burton’s collection of work. There, shoulder to shoulder, I stood in awe with hundreds of others at the sheer volume of the filmmaker’s work. And its continuity. He had since the 1960’s had been creating the same story, redefining the same images that he so definitely held clear in his head. Almost defiantly. It is as if he had some amazing trippy dream one day, and has been aiming to capture it ever since.

I heard a loud and clear message from this artist’s body of work. Do you! Do you while the rest of the world doesn’t get it. Do you while they are figuring it out. And do you while they will eventually understand it. Even if they don’t, at that point it won’t matter because you would have been true to yourself. There’s a confidence and calm inside of staying authentic to our interests– and an originality.

Anything that will cause riotous success, will at first alienate or confuse spectators– it has to, its original, it hasn’t ever been done quite that way before (because you haven’t done it). If its safe, if its accepted by all — then it’s been seen, it’s been done before. In order to be memorable and to stand apart, you have to honor that weird little place in you that not everybody gets. That you might have even been chastised for, or given a failing grade. It’s that part mixed with your experience and journey that creates resounding success. That part will give you your signature, and give permission for others to do the same.

We live in a world where not everyone is taught to honor their originality– to honor their difference. In a school system of sanitizing, uniform, standardization, right/wrong, comparative tests–in a sit down, shut up, get in line world, where A+s are the prize, ranking determine our value, and fear of social ostracism keeps us at bay– in this world, in the face of this, we have to choose to be brave. To do and be true to our own individuality. Watch our decisions and constantly put ourselves in the hot seat. Make it vulnerable, make it true, and give it up.

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