Tag Archives: The Icarus Deception

Always Seeking Resistance

Creating art requires moving outside of a comfort zone: insight from Seth Godin about the nature of being an artist.

Peace Fountain next to Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

The resistance is the confused and angry noise in our heads that shows up whenever we put our creativity on the line…The resistance is a symptom that you’re on the right track. The resistance is not something to be avoided; it’s something to seek out.
– Seth Godin [1]

At the end of a book publishing conference in New York, I met a friend for an excellent Thai lunch in Morningside Heights. She then offered to show me a neighborhood landmark and one of the largest churches in the world, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The Gothic church is enormous and its edifice is beautiful, but it was the visually interesting statue within the outdoor Peace Fountain that first caught my interest. The statue demonstrates a collage of imagery including angelic battles, animals with distorted proportions, and a sleepy Man in the Moon, interwoven together as if part of some fantastical dream. A plaque near the fountain states that the “Peace Fountain celebrates the triumph of Good over Evil, and sets before us the world’s opposing forces–violence and harmony, light and darkness, life and death–which God reconciles in his peace.”

The contrasting imagery of good and evil the artist conveys with the Peace Fountain statue pushes the observer into a confusion of perception to challenge the mind. This chaotic representation of “the world’s opposing forces” shown in the statue has become a symbol for me of what Seth Godin describes as the resistance: the anxiety born from the risk of failure when sharing something original with the world. Seth Godin explains in his book The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? that in order to create meaningful art “the artist seeks out the feeling of resistance and then tries to maximize it.” [1]

Jason Freeman is the founder of Work of Start.

1. Seth Godin. The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2012), 133-136.

Building Artisitic Connections

How creating art can give form to the abstract.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center Birth of Apollo

Creating ideas that spread and connecting the disconnected are the two pillars of our new society, and both of them require the posture of an artist.
– Seth Godin [1]

Through drawing, I try to capture readers’ interests by sharing how subject matter in my artwork has inspired some new understanding. A recent trip to Nashville, Tennessee provided an opportunity for “connecting the disconnected” with artwork when I encountered a beautiful fountain in front of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The fountain is home to a statue depicting the birth of Apollo, and this scene became a symbol in my mind of Nashville’s new development as a city around a long-established passion for country music. In the recent history of Nashville, there have been hundreds of millions of dollars invested in creating new venues to celebrate and share “Music City’s” infatuation with the performing arts. These improvements include building the Schermerhorn Symphony Center (opened in September 2006)[2], adding a museum (opened in May 2001)[3] to The Country Music Hall of Fame, and the massive Music City Center, the soon to be opened 1.2 million square foot convention center.[4] While it is easy to see the connection between country music and Nashville’s efforts to preserve this unique art, it seems remarkable to explore this link through Apollo’s fountain.

Jason Freeman is the founder of Work of Start.

1. Seth Godin. The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2012), 5.
2. Acquired from the Nashville Symphony website – NashvilleSymphony.org
3. Acquired from the Country Music Hall of Fame website – CountryMusicHallofFame.org
4. Acquired from the Nashville Music City Center website – NashvilleMusicCityCenter.com