My good friend Miguel Edwards is my current hero.
He (along with a team of awesome humans— including his dad) designed and built a three and a half story kinetic sculpture in Seattle called Pursues II that looks like a cross between a sci-fi photon torpedo and a galactic beacon to the gods. This is Not F’ing Around. Big. Time.
I met Miguel twenty some years ago when we shot photographs of kiwi slices on my window (true story).
We were young, creative, idealistic and spinning through a city that brought the world grunge music (and would soon birth some serious internet tech). In the past decades we’ve both experienced many waves of triumph and tragedy. Days when we were kings of our worlds. Nights when our hearts were crashed, dreams shattered by the brutality of it all. You know what I’m talking about.
How the hell did Miguel build a 3600 pound sculpture and park it on the corner of a city block? He knows and acts on at least one of the major points in my book, Not F*ing Around— The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground.
Start Before You’re Ready
Miguel has built plenty of sculptures before Pursues II. But this thing was at least twice as big and about fifty times as complicated as anything he’d ever done before. Did that stop him? No f’ing way. In fact, it inspired him. Challenged him. And at times, scared the living sh*t out of him.
“At times, building this thing scared the living sh*t out of me.” Miguel said.
“Purseus pushed me way out of my comfort zone, into stuff that I’d never done before. But we pulled it off. There was sweat. And blood. And several near-meltdowns. But at the end of the day I’m super psyched that this thing is going to live here in Seattle for a long, long time. It’s my gift to this amazing city.”
Miguel has started many things before he was ready. Dragging a structure to Burning Man on a flat bed truck. Stepping up to be president of COCA— The Center on Contemporary Art. In some cases he’s crashed and burned. Total fails. Hospital visits. Money pits. Energy sucks. But for Miguel every fail is part of the process. And a quick step to the win. Like when he built a time machine for an award winning feature film. Or secured representation at galleries across the country.
“If you don’t start before you’re ready, you’re certainly not going to finish any time soon.” Miguel grins.
His next project is twice as big as Perseus II and will have video screens embedded in its surfaces.
Kick in. Crank on. Sketch it on a napkin. Then fire up and build something big and beautiful.
What have you started before you’re ready?
How did it turn out?
What did you learn?
Guess what? There’s a chapter called Start Before You’re Ready in my book Not F*ing Around— The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground. Download a complementary copy of the eBook here.