I find myself reflecting today, on what was, what is, and what may be. On this morning’s run, I passed by David and Gladys Wright’s house (built by FLW). It got me thinking what sort of legacy we are creating? How long will VI last, will it make a difference, will it be remembered long after I am gone? I began on this path as a creative outlet, and it blossomed into something much larger than myself. We now have 20 employees and are hiring for more. So I find myself thinking about their future, and what we are ultimately doing, which I’ll define as:
- Planning for expansion with no plans of stopping in the near future.
- Treating employees and clients with the utmost respect and value.
- Practicing corporate responsibility / sustainability. And hopefully being an example to other companies.
- Creating pieces not just for clients, but for their heirs, and heirs heirs.
- Creating, rather than following, new design aesthetics that are not trendy.
- Bringing manufacturing back to America.
- Practicing win win.
Not long ago I was working in the backyard with little direction or clue. I managed to luck into some interesting designs and things took off. And soon I became overwhelmed with a mountain of work. Many people called this success, but it was slowing burning me out, and driving me crazy. Part of my so called success was fueled by a racing mind. It was working 24 hours a day and couldn’t be turned off. You might call it drive, but it was utter madness. I knew this drive was responsible for my success. And so it continued until last year, when my mind and body threw in the towel. I didn’t care about anything, anymore. Not life, not the company, not myself, nothing. There was no joy anymore. All the while, I’d been on a spiritual quest for answers for some 20 years. “Why me, what is my purpose?” kind of stuff. My wife, and partner, Sim, watched and rode on this roller coaster ride which was our life. We had created this machine, with so many intricacies, it had to be watched like a hawk. So together we searched for some relief which came in the form of a yoga instructor and an intuitive therapist. And from this pain, which caused me to go completely numb, arose a new self.
With this new perspective on life, I’ve have changed, along with my designs. I’m not trying to create new designs anymore, they are presenting themselves to me. This usually happens when I have a clear & present mind. It is so opposite of how things were. I’d try so hard to design something, and never be satisfied with it. Which pushed me to make something better. That seems to be the artist’s story. He/she is driven mad while creating these works of art, which isn’t fully recognized until after death. I used to think that madness was instrumental as part of art. But that has changed. It’s not the end result, it’s the journey that should be treasured and enjoyed. Oddly enough, I went from caring about no-thing, to now, having almost nothing in my mind, which has allowed me to feel and be in every moment. Right now is all I will ever have.