To All of the Learners Out There

I am a naturally curious person. It’s taken me a long time to figure out that some people, are just not hardwired the way I am. Not saying my way is the only or best way, just that there are a lot of thinking processes out there. Which is also fascinating to me.

Regardless, I went to a lecture tonight in which Anna Sui – the amazingly talented, and well known fashion designer – sat down and answered a bunch of questions about her work. It’s always inspiring to hear remarkable people talk. I’ve loved her work for years, and quite honestly never thought I’d see her in person. It’s interesting, meeting famous people.

One of the hosts tonight had mentioned the famous saying, “Don’t meet your heroes because you might be let down.” I definitely have to disagree. You should certainly meet them. And I hope that you do! What an amazing experience. Just because someone isn’t the spitting image of your wildest fantasies, doesn’t mean they are a disappointment.

I find that artists and designers usually exceed my expectations every time I hear them talk in person – no matter how much I’ve previously conjured up in my mind. Anna Sui had discussed her idea about making cake-shaped purses for a show because she “loved the way the bakery next to [her] first apartment did icing on their pastries.” There’s probably some art critic rolling over in their grave because they thought it was some homage to child-hood trauma where she didn’t get a cake at her 12th birthday. Sorry, I’m being melodramatic. If you want to see a great let’s-poke-fun-at-art film, watch Velvet Buzzsaw on Netflix.

Despite all of the interesting backstories to her endless stream of art, Sui had said something tonight that really hit home with me. In response to someone telling her she was “showing off” she responding eagerly: “I become obsessed with something new, and when I finally figure that something out, I want everyone to know about it. And my way of sharing that something with the world, is through art. I just want to share.”

@anna.sui

In an industry that is shifting almost every instant, art is amazing. I’m lacking in adjectives here because quite honestly, there’s too many to list. Lazy, I know. But I think you get the point. Sui’s art is not her creating for the sake of proving people wrong or bragging about her talents. When she said such a simple, beautiful thing, she said it like a child who wants to show their parent something they are proud of.

I go to lectures and movies, gallery openings and performances, to hear things like this. In a world overrun with social media, we see curated bits of the finest and flashiest moments of people’s lives. When you go out in to the world, immerse yourself in the cultures, talk to people, listen, and most importantly learn, wonderful things happen. I’m not saying every learning opportunity is going to make a lasting impression, because life is not an Instagram feed. Sui discussed her highs, but also some of her lows. Remarkable people don’t dismiss the learning opportunities as foolish or unimportant. Sometimes, the lowest points in your life make you into the wonderful human that you are today.

Keep learning and growing. I’m still doing that. And I hope I never stop.