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All Art Involves Risk– And We’re All Called To Be Artists

March 7, 2018

In his book The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin says that art– to really qualify as art– has to be transformative, generous, and involve risk.

He goes on to say that an artist is “someone who does something human, something that touches another.”

I really like that definition. It’s an important reminder: we’re all artists whenever we try to make a difference, act generously, and are willing to take a risk.

The above ideas are expressed in a short passage in the book. I decided to turn it into an infographic of sorts, using emoji.

Art is transformative generous risky Seth Godin Icarus Deception expressed with emoji

blank vertical space, 24 pixels highI thought Mr. Godin deserved his own emoji, so I doctored one up and added a pair of clip-art glasses.blank vertical space, 24 pixels highSeth Godin face as emoji with big eyeglasses

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highRe the title, The Icarus Deception: in Greek mythology, Icarus flies too close to the sun with wings made of feathers and wax. The sun melts the wax, and he falls into the sea and drowns.

The “lesson” we learn from this is usually: Pride goeth before a fall, and/or don’t get above yourself, play it safe, too much ambition leads to ruin, etc.

Mr. Godin says this lesson is a deception. For starters: Icarus’ father Daedalus (who made the wings) not only told him not to fly too high (lest the sun melt the wax), but also not to fly too low (lest the moisture wafting up from the sea make the feathers wet and heavy).

Mr. G’s main point: today’s economy rewards art (vision), rather than compliance (just doing what you’re told). The old safety nets (job security, pensions) are gone.

Getting ahead by keeping your head down is no longer a career strategy. You have to take the initiative. Hence the book’s subtitle: How high will you fly?

Here’s another question: When was the last time you acted artistically and took a risk?blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. I create images that get content seen and shared.

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Questions? Send me an email.

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