Recapturing Naivete

I remember the moment clearly: It is 2002, I’m in art school studying Media Arts & Animation, interning at Crossroads Community Church, and U2 released The Best of 1990-2000¬†along with a companion DVD featuring some amazing motion graphics. My friends and co-workers were very adamant, “We cannot show Chris this video, I think he’ll lose it.” Eventually, I watched it and they were right. I lost it. I was amazed at what I was seeing and the visuals would begin to shape me into what I would later become.

I was very much into computer graphics, animation and video. I was tireless, ready to absorb everything, eager to learn and push myself towards a standard that matched what I was witnessing in the U2 DVD as well as what my colleagues in art school were producing. It was an exciting time and I was very naive. I believed that other people valued the level of artistry in video and computer graphics. I believed that video and animation could change the world. I believed a lot of things that compelled me to continually create content. But the more I created, the more aware I became of the critics. The content became harder to produce because perfection was overshadowing excellence. Eventually, my naivete died in a glorious explosion of burnout and I stopped pursuing growth and telling stories. It was late 2005, I was unemployed, burnt out and completely unsure of who I was, what I believed, and where my life was headed.

Fast forward to today. It’s late 2011, six years later, and for the most part, I have been able to learn how to create content in the midst of a continuous state of burnout. Over the last few years, I have learned a few important lessons: First, burnout takes a long time to cure; second, once your innocence is lost, it takes a lot of time and energy to regain an intentionally-naive attitude that is necessary to endure in a creative career; and third, random acts of serendipity occur to hammer a metaphorical chisel into the years of accumulated ash upon my creative soul.

Today, I had a meeting at a really cool place. I could feel the excitement of all those years ago. I could feel my inner child screaming to be let out and revel in the visual joy that I was immersed in. I tried not to be too overtly excited, but deep down inside I could feel that battle happening. My naivete was coming out of its coma and ready to get back to work.

By Chris

Curiosity builder. Creative instigator. Spiritual explorer. Filmmaker. Podcaster. Writer.