Big Picture Envisioning
You know what's really been revving my engine lately? This season in particular feels like one of honing perspective into even greater clarity, bringing that future reality closer and closer into the present. I recently took a workshop through Reach Studio where we learned about vision. Myriad ideas pushed the edges of my note page but one thing stood out above them all: All beings eyes are aligned based on how they need to see the environment, either through stereoscopic or binocular vision.
Anatomy of the Eye from workshop at Redline
We participated in an experiment where we held a colored pencil starting at the edge of our peripheral and moving inward, gradually revealing the shape, then the color, then the writing, then reading the writing, nearest the center being the clearest image. I realized that what this means for human eyesight follows the same principle for the mind's eye. Where we direct our continuous focus, that is where we focus our energy. We can also think of it like burning shapes into wood using a magnifying glass and the sun's rays. Holding your focus on one area is the act of giving it concentrated heat over time.
Field of Vision diagram from workshop at Redline
These last few months have challenged me to focus on visualizing what the big picture looks like...What the grand, full blossomed Quantum Keyhole looks like! When I think of what that vision holds for people in my family, for myself, for the world I seek to connect with creativity, it brings me to tears with rapturous anticipation. This should go without saying but let me be absolutely clear...It is absolutely possible to love your current life and also look forward to an even brighter future!
Anywho, enough preambling and onto the main nugget here: One of my biggest challenges has been the relationship between the present moment and future to come. This one dichotomy has side wound me into focusing too much on things that will take a long time to bloom at the expense of the urgent stuff on the table right now. I recently went through Gabe Ratliff's 12 Day Challenge to fill out his creation, the Artful Life Planner. This genius tool has space for your bucket list, 10/3/1 year goals, strengths/fears, production process, and so much more with the bulk for planning out your your months, weeks, and days.
Artful Life Planner created by Gabe Ratliff
I can't tell you just how grateful I am that a tool like this exists for someone like myself who's long struggled with breaking down the a long term vision into actionable steps. Being able to look at a single document and say "Wow, all this stuff is super achievable AND here's how I'm gonna do it" is valuable beyond words...
Now for those who may be reading this and going "That all sounds great, Matt, but what are you talking about?" Let me give you a glimpse of what I see when I close my eyes and imagine...
I work for a renaissance of storytelling in art, for artists to harness the ability to share inspiration with openly receptive audiences. The greatest reward I’ve found throughout years of creating art is the way people light up when they truly connect with a piece of art, a flame stoked by the creator’s life giving passion for the life coming through the art. The invisible effect extends far beyond the creation, as magnificent as it may appear. The point is to bring out the feeling of being alive which then makes itself known by the light coming through another’s eyes.
Let me give you a peak under the hood, starting from the very top and work my way down: My bucket list includes travel to countries like Japan, Norway, Germany and more. I seek to meet my favorite artists and indeed, aspire to be considered among them through my craft. I aim to learn multiple languages like French, Spanish and Japanese. I'll master multiple disciplines like martial arts and public speaking, complete 100's of individual paintings, all the while have the means to where money is no object towards where I seek to go with my family.
When it comes to applications, I'm currently creating an awesome graphic novel saga 'Eye-Hacker', a compilation of visual art techniques called the 'Tome of Tomes', a Guided Sketchbook, mythical tarot deck, yoga mats, physical events such as Immersive Art Meditation and mythical walkthrough 'The Way of Seven'. In short, I plan to reach as many people as deeply as I possibly can across the globe.
Imagine centers where you can express creativity in many different ways including workshops and Drawing Games. Lofty as so much of this many sound, you know what's gonna help bring it into existence? People who love the mission and have the means to give it tangible fuel. It strikes me as incredibly obvious that sharing the dream and steps to make it happen with people who are both enthusiastic and able to join, is the fastest way to actually get it done.
In a nutshell, that's what's in it for me. That's what's been floating around in my mind and in many ways being brought into action, step by step by step. My former business coach Noah Mittman put me onto creating a Dream 100 list of all the companies/individuals I'd love to work with, and I plan to reach out to each of them this year, as soon as possible. How did I come up with this list? I love them and it lights me up to think of working with them, and I don't put a cap over my self belief.
Who do I love working with? Let me make it super easy and totally unsurprising: I get energy out of working with people who are open to curiosity, a sense of beauty and enthusiastic to support the existence of art. They’re all appreciative of The Lover aspect, an aesthetic connection with the experience of life. They enjoy spending money on nice things that are precious to them specifically, as if it were made just for them.
Me in Siegfried hoodie and new fan with Freya print
They relate to traversing the Hero's Journey so the question I must ask myself to find enthusiastic collectors is "Where would future me like to hang out?". It stands to reason that these are the type of people who are very skilled at bringing their desires into the world, like people who go to Joe Dispenza's workshops, follow the Joseph Campbell Foundation, Marianne Williamson, Alex and Allyson Grey's events, galleries centered around magic/alchemy/mythology. Lastly, who shares similar psychology as myself?
Now here's where I'm gonna get a bit vulnerable and share the pitfalls that take me out of the zone and into a ditch if I'm not careful: I can get sidetracked without a structure that excites me and is sustainable. Getting side wound by things that seem like opportunities but are actually distractions (Antithesis of attraction). I can get impatient when I'd like progress to happen more quickly (There is an upside to this which drives me towards action).
I have to admit that all of this will only be able to happen through the aid of others. There's more talk now than any other previous time I've seen regarding which is more 'real' or important to focus on, personal integration or communal connection. I'm here to say with total determination that it's absolutely a 'this and that, together' game. I've been as much an individualist as they come, and I've also witnessed the essential nature of interdependence. Yes, I'm the one creating the art, writing up the plans, going out and doing the majority of hand shaking, etc. I've also been able to be on podcasts, get into shows, sell art, etc. through connection with others. It should go without saying that I'm not selling art to myself...
Collector Champion Club
This bring me to a proper segue into one of my most relevant and current projects, the 'Collector Champion Club'. For anyone who's interested in garnering a passionate base of supporters, you can hardly do finer than Pat Flynn's groundbreaking book Superfans. Each of his examples are humane acts that we can each utilize in our own ways, sort of a retooled 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' for businesses. Also see: 'The Go-Giver'.
The Go-Giver cover
How to Win Friends and Influence People cover
Anywho, this group is open to anyone who's made any sort of purchase/attended a workshop and feels compelled to engage with Quantum Keyhole in fun and rewarding ways. This entails perks, discounts, first invites to events, studio visits, etc. and most importantly make up an inner circle who's enthusiastic about promoting creativity and self awareness through mythic art. This group will make up the driving force sustaining a collective mission into the future. Imagine being on a glorious ship together, each operating through our passions, totally in the zone going towards the same place. Now consider that our reach isn't only restricted to those on the boat. We live in a glorious time when the internet exists and therefore can reach people who would've been much more difficult to contact only a short time ago.
It's long been my ambition to connect with the Joseph Campbell Foundation. At first I attempted to write through their website and got no response. However, they also have an Instagram which I've followed for some time. With equal parts anticipation and hopefulness, I wrote a DM introducing myself and expressing gratitude for the relevance that Campbell's work has had on my life. Lo and behold, within a couple days I'd gotten a welcoming response which damn near shook me out of my seat. A couple weeks later I followed up with just about my best pencil portrait sketch depicting Joseph Campbell and shared it with them, again receiving an enthusiastic response!
Joseph Campbell sketch
These exchanges taught me an important lesson that we can all gain from: We think that these people who we admire are so untouchable and out of reach. We may believe that they're so popular they'd never even see our message. Now consider how many people think that exact same way, that the larger they are the less chance we'll be able to reach them. By doing what the majority of people are afraid to do, you become one of the few to actually do it and ironically have a better chance of having your message reach the eyeballs of its intended recipient. I wish I could say that I originated this mental framework but that honor belongs to the esteemed Tim Ferriss.
So in other words, go forth and reach out to those people you wish to be connected with, and if they don't respond immediately simply keep trying. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The worst that can happen is they say no, and the best thing could be life changing. This is the mode I'm most excited to live in that will expand my craft, asking myself questions the size of my dreams. "What if Jason Momoa saw my art and absolutely loved it?", "What would it mean for my family and I to be so totally financially fulfilled through my craft that money is no object?" or "How can I show up as the greatest version of myself and fulfill all the dreams of my heart?".
Lately I've felt an incredible lightness that this vision of reality is closer than it has ever been, and the steps I'm taking align with where I know in my soul I've always been destined to go. Here's to those who feel this same thrum of walking the path of your dreams and taking action of bring your version of brilliance into reality!