The appeal of empowerment

toni morrison you got to give up the shit that weighs you down

I talked before about moving away from the sharing of bad juju, but sharing content that inspires, empowers, or just makes people smile. I believe it's a noble pursuit if done for the right reasons, but not always easy when you've spent the better part of a year or more prior sharing stuff that was perhaps not so inspiring.

Quick sidebar #1: For all the political postings I shared since 2016, I cannot say for certain that any one of them helped swing someone to my political point of view. If I look at that objectively, it pretty much means that I wasted my time preaching to the converted.

As I was saying, the stuff I posted before wasn't empowering, and it was far time I fixed the problem, but it's hard to just shake off the old gunk and replace it with new gunk, especially while trying to come across authentically as possible.

Part of me wants to just rip off the bandages and go full-fledged into, "You can do it," mode, making art and design work that appeals to a general population of individuals, maybe sells a ton, but feels like something you find hanging in the "art" section of your local Target store.

Another side of me wants to hit people with a velvet-wrapped hammer, giving tough love through well-meaning snark. That's probably not the best idea, but let's be honest, it will get the most laughs as people buy stuff for their frenemies.

Quick sidebar #2: I can't believe my word processing app didn't flag "frenemies' as a misspelled word.

It would be super easy for me to start making lowest common denominator art that has a broad range of appeal but only offers up the kind of lukewarm inspiration you might see hanging in your dentist's office.

The alternative of making art that most people may not get, but gives a few brave souls the permission to venture into their creativity, is much more intriguing to me even if it won't pay my bills right away.

I wonder though, is there a happy medium, or is happy medium just an optimistic way to say messy middle. Am I being non-committal if I want the best of both worlds? Perhaps I'm just delusional to think I can have both.

Still, I'm compelled to tell stories and share ideas that help other people feel better about themselves and their daily lives. If I can make a piece of art that has something powerful to share without sounding like a clich├ęd life coach, then that would be something.

Making people feel good makes me feel good, but it's got to be done right. Until I figure out what "right" is, I'm just going to keep sharing stories and making art out of them.