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Eero Hagen

Illustrator of the Real and the Make Believe

12

1

With Ease

I make it a habit to do a few self portraits a year as a introspective self-check. But so far, I have not strayed from likeness in order to tell a story about myself. After watching Bob's video, I started asking myself the right questions. What is it about myself that is not immediately apparent and intriguing? What is statement that I hadn't already visited? 

Luckily for me, this has been a rough year. I say that with optimism because the roughest times inspire the most work. 

After considering a few avenues of self-descriptors, I found the the simplest and yet most fundamental aspect of who I've been until now. And then I painted it immediately. 

So here's the funny thing about the "be the duck" metaphor. If you watch a duck, they really don't have to paddle as much as the adage would suggest (mental health professionals ted to use it correctly as "thing to avoid" while lofty ambition sectors try to use it as a mascot). Nevertheless, the saying has been used for quite a while to excuse our struggles, our expectations, our fears, our neuroses, our distractedness, our multi-tasking because as long as we project calm, we are actually calm, right? It's the universal split-personailty. 

Recently my calm act caught up with me in a big way. I realized that I was living embodiment of a faulty ideal. I was paddling too hard for all the wrong reasons. The good news is once you realize this, it's very liberating. When you focus on what's going on below the surface, you find true ease. 

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