A Closer Look: Tuning Out the Noise (or Staying Focused)

At Beargrass Leather, we draw inspiration and insight from the world around us (past and present). However, how our minds perceive that world creates unnecessary distractions that can pull from our artistic vision.

Hand-stitched details on this pebbled black Sadie.

Hand-stitched details on this pebbled black Sadie.

In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges to maintaining a vision is “noise.” While observing the world is great for insight, one must learn to filter out the noise. Vision in a vacuum is authentic, but it’s tough to be inspired. Vision in a world of clutter is equally challenging.

What does noise do? Oh man, the noise prays on the worst of the human instincts. It sows self-doubt or anger or competitiveness.

There are always distractions, if you allow them
— Tony LaRusa

It is simply too easy for the human mind to make assumptions. They look to be so successful… They really look like they are selling more than me today… This bag by someone who started following me three weeks ago looks just like my…. Noise is the killer of vision. Even by posting this, you probably assume that I've established a zen-like ability to block noise. I have not!

I’ve created a small list of things to do when surrounded by a world of noise.

Step 1: Turn down the volume — When I find myself surrounded by literal noise, I turn off the volume. The same goes for business noise. Put the phone down! Take in less stimuli from a world that seems determined to show that everyone is more successful than you!

Step 2: Find your strengths — Finding strengths is deserving of an entire blog page. Most artists can painfully explain each and every weakness. Great artists don’t focus on weakness. They focus on their strength. Nobody ever looks at Picasso and wishes that he was more of an impressionist. Picasso knew his strengths. In short, be you.

Step 3: Define your own goals — Don’t let other define your goals for you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t switch goals. But don’t switch simply because everyone else seems to be doing something. List out the pros and cons. Make a decision. But at the end of the day, make your own goals.

Step 4: Work to achieve your goals — It’s that simple. Put in the work. I always find that in this part of this, I am ready to get back to my work. Grab some coffee, Buttercup; there is work to do.