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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Thanked 16,681 Times in 5,021 Posts

    Words of Wisdom from Jason Manley

    There's an otherwise useless thread in the Lounge that's been closed, but it contained this post from Jason that I thought shouldn't slip into obscurity. So here it is:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    first, you are not trapped in your situation. You can get out of any situation you want if you are willing to take the pain of doing all the things you dont want to do..the long hard way. The fruitful way.

    At seventeen I was homeless and orphaned, taking care of my fourteen year old brother who I somehow managed to keep in school. I had dropped out of school. I did two years of wasting time eventually trying to get my head on straight. At nineteen I was homeless again. Scraped together enough money to get my ass to arizona to study art. Got a temp apt to get me through to the end of the month and took a job at subway (applied all over til I found something). The subway job paid enough money to sometimes eat and pay my small studio rental. I went back to school to get my graduation and was working full time (thought I needed to graduate from HS to get into a good college). Trust was fucking painful. I transferred to a community college the following year and slowly got better and better jobs. Worked telemarketing fundraising to afford a 1977 datsun and art supplies. Shittiest job ever but paid double what subway did. Worked three jobs during the summer to get caught up including going to alaska to work the salmon docks across the country. I did not give a shit what it was, if it paid for my goals to be met and didnt involve anything illegal, I did it.

    As time went on I realized I needed to arrange my priorities again. I took a night time job so I could exhaust all my energies in my art and studies. Eventually got a job at AT&T...Att this is Jason how may I help you?...I was still far behind those who had life handed to them their whole life. However, I was catching up. In time I realized it was not a chase against others but to only my own race to my goals. Kept the nose down. Chose friends who worked on art or learning always. Ignored the time wasting folk who never will amount to anything other than regular. Grew up around enough of those to realize the difference. After three and a half years I took my first art job and quit my shit job...have lived with and from art ever since.

    By the time I was 29 I had achieved every goal I had reached for when I first set out. That is when I realized it was time to set new goals...each time this happens it feels like starting over...get something done..start time your life becomes what you want it to be. Even those of money have to do this if their life involves learning, skill, and growth. It is not money that holds people just their own mind.

    The hard part about certain situations is not everyone is told they can do and reach their goals if they just work their ass off starting RIGHT NOW. Some know it and wont work for whatever reason. They listen to that voice that says I want to chill and watch tv or i dont feel like it. Others have addictions or mental issues keeping them from growing and learning. I didnt want to be any of that. I wanted to do cool have an interesting life...and to work in a creative way.

    Hard manual labor growing up taught me that my mind would rot if I chose that kind of path. I wanted something to use my mind. Bored if not...and with boredom comes making trouble or distraction. Gotta turn that into work choice. Carl Dobsky was telling me this about the atelier every day. It has to be just uncomfortable enough to make the coolest thing to do be art. If there is a blaring tv or anything else, than there are other options. Options that keep one from not working to reach their goals.

    Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. You clearly are not complacent. So do something about it in every free second of your day. All this wandering around doing not a whole lot but thinking isn't getting you much done. It is however, giving you a taste of life many others would never have the guts to explore. Just dont stay down there too long without coming up for air.

    Good luck,


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Thanked 708 Times in 426 Posts
    Some of the most humbling advice I got to read.

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Los Angeles
    Thanked 645 Times in 233 Posts
    SO inspiring. Thank you Jason and thank you Elwell for reposting.

    This needs to be stickied and sent to everyone who posts on how bored or unmotivated or uninspired they are. I know I needed this. So easy to wallow in self pity and laziness, we forget how blessed and privileged we actually are, and how much potential all of us have.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Iridyse; December 11th, 2008 at 11:12 PM.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 463 Times in 225 Posts
    wow i love hearing the back stories of artist, it gives you hope that someday you can make it to because they started from pretty much the same place most of us are now.
    -Sketch Book Updated Sporadically-
    My Blog
    Tumbler & Wookmark (finished pieces and Cool stuff I find)
    -Facebook(always on but never post)-

    If you see me on FB, or CA Talk to me, never to busy to talk and love to hear from you, chat me up about anything (Music, Games, art, ect)
    If anyone is interested in streams or hangouts let me know!

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Thanked 3,153 Times in 1,066 Posts
    Humbling indeed. I definately need to re assess my priorities.
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

  8. #6
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    Mar 2007
    Thanked 202 Times in 81 Posts
    I have this sudden urge to just shake Jason's hand.

  9. #7
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    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Canada
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  11. #8
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    Aug 2003
    Virginia, USA
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  13. #9
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    Jan 2007
    Thanked 75 Times in 47 Posts
    Very humbling read, thanks for posting this for all the read Elwell.

  14. #10
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    Feb 2006
    dilli, India
    Thanked 1,441 Times in 766 Posts
    that a a major kick in my nuts.... woahhhh
    thank ye sirs.

  15. #11
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    Apr 2008
    Thanked 709 Times in 207 Posts
    A fine example of the possibilities that come with tenacity
    Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die

    My Sketchbook

  16. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanked 48 Times in 28 Posts
    In a recent Interview with SiDEBAR (that i've listened to a million time) Jason mentioned something about being independent and on his own and i always wondered what he meant and wished he would've elaborated on it more. Thanks for the repost Elwell.
    Just think people, this was before the internet REALLY kicked off an we became able to grab information and gather resources in an instant. There's no excuse not to be able to teach yourself and grow as an artist independently. Everything and everyone is virtually at your fingertips.

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  18. #13
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    Sep 2008
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Thanked 171 Times in 105 Posts
    Thanks (Elwell and Jason), that was epic, glad I didn't miss it. So who's directing the movie?

  19. #14
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    Jan 2006
    Thanked 3,345 Times in 1,120 Posts
    Oh man, where did my balls go

    Hehe, reading such a thing is both disheartening and inspiring at the same time... to look back and realize how much time was wasted, and to look forward and pledge to not waste any more.

  20. #15
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    May 2005
    Gdansk, Poland
    Thanked 1,568 Times in 754 Posts
    Geez. I'm 25 now and I haven't been through even half of that life experience. Makes me feel totally unproductive even though I do my best. Thanks for inspiration.
    Last edited by Farvus; December 12th, 2008 at 12:50 PM.

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