On Silence and Validation

Given the endless number of articles titled
15 Reasons Why…
Introverts
Hipsters
Extroverts
Southerners
Californians
Men
Women
*insert any group of people*
…Are The Best, 

it seems we’re all searching for validation that it’s okay to be the person we are. This feeling of being too this or too that is everywhere. Consequently, in an attempt to negate that, are the statements on the other end of the spectrum purporting some shallow list that outlines all the reasons why a certain group defined by certain characteristics is awesome, is the best, is the coolest, is the most this or the most that.
So on one end we have “too” and on the other we have “the most” and I want to take this time to point out that while I’m referring to some general aspects of our current social media and online culture, these polarized thoughts of too this or the most that are not limited to our online scrolling. They inform the work we make and our ability to speak with the voice we were given and the voice we have cultivated. How often have you heard or thought the work is: too classical, too modern, too commercial, too risky, not risky enough, too pretty, too ugly, too expected, too safe, etc. Critically examining and questioning one’s work is part of the process of making and is important and by the nature of sharing your work others will do this too, but it shouldn’t be at the detriment of our voice and certainly not to the extent that we silence ourselves.

So that brings us to Iteration 54, “silence is the residue of fear” both in our work and in our lives. I urge you to watch Clint Smith’s TED talk, I urge you to use your voice, I urge you to make the work that expresses who you are, I urge you to listen closely and speak loudly, and make work because it is just another expression of that voice.

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