Weekly Comic #4

I am sorry I have not gotten to my blog for the week. I have what some might call, “writers block”. It is not that I do not know what to write about or that I do not have anything to say (I don’t think that has ever happened to me), I just do not know how to exactly say it. I hope you enjoy the Comic though :).

Weekly Comic #4

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A Lesson From Pixar

I think we as a society can find many lessons from the Animation Studio Pixar. Pixar is a studio I have looked into, with great detail, for the past few years. They are the most successful film studio of this decade. They have come out with ten movies, all of which have been hailed both critically and publicly as great successes.

Pixar has not failed. They have pushed the boundaries of film making and dared to do the unconventional, with nothing but success to show from it.

Many have asked the question, “What is the key to Pixar’s success”? The CEO’s and Producers of Hollywood have seen the vast amounts of money Pixar has brought in, through the popularity of their films, and they want a piece of the pie.

The secret however, is something that money can not buy. When Andrew Stanton, director of Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Wall-E, was asked about the secret of Pixar Studio’s success, the answer was simple, “What is best for the film?” That is the question that Andrew says, guides the studios every move. There is one core Visionary (the director) who has an idea on a film that he wants to create, and nothing will get in the way of making that vision come to be a reality.

Unlike typical Hollywood, it is not lust for profit that guides the Pixar Studio. Nor is it popularity, safe/conventional storytelling or power from the higher ups, that directs Pixar’s path. The Pixar Studio is guided by Vision.

Pixar is successful because they are not worried about money or what critics think. They are not in the business for the popularity or even the big buck. They all want to create something great, and are willing to put the time and effort into making this Vision come to pass.

Most of the film business can not have the success Pixar has, because they are too caught up in profit and safe reliable storylines. When you put money first you are not able to take risks, you do not open yourself up to what the actual film needs. To let Vision come first you need to be willing to let go of the control.

I have seen through the years, a lot of similarities between the Church and typical Hollywood. The audience is who both Hollywood and the Church rely on for money. When you are guided by money, you tend to want to take the safe rout. A Pastor usually tries to stick to a typical yet safe message just as Hollywood tries to come out with the safe love story that will attract a broad audience. There is also a need for control.The need to have control is a typical thing you see in both Hollywood and the Church as well. This is perfectly understandable, I mean if you need to worry about, salaries, rent, and keeping an audience, you want to have a certain amount of control and know that you will survive the jump.

The problem is that the Vision sometimes asks us to jump without looking. Vision sometimes requires us to have a blind faith, and be willing to sacrifice everything to accomplish the goal.

The Pixar studio has been told many times that movies like Toy Story, Ratatouille, and Wall-E would be their undoing. Pixar dared to create unique stories and go place never gone to before, and with that came the possibility that no one would follow. But they chose to jump anyway.

They jumped because they were following something that could not be calculated, something that required dedication, the willingness to work together and follow the best ideas no matter where the source came from.

Let us learn from Pixar. Let us truly follow Vision no matter the destination or what we will have to question. The only thing that will bring on revival and freedom is a dedication to Vision that surpasses our human need to be safe and goes for the calling that God has given us.

Bambi

One of the first movies I remember ever watching was BAMBI. It was interesting, I did not really pay much attention to the masterpiece background paintings or powerful pieces of animation. At least I did not pay attention to them then, like I do now.

When I first watched BAMBI I was far too caught up in the humor of Thumper and the beauty of the forest to even have a thought to it not being real. To me, BAMBI was as real as anything else I saw in life. I was caught up in the characters, as though they were my own friends. I remember always loving the beginning, where we see young Bambi explore the woods and meet Flower the skunk and Thumper the rabbit. It was so funny too see Bambi try to skate on ice. I couldn’t believe that anyone could skate on ice with the kind of small feet Bambi had. I really felt sorry for Thumper’s efforts when, trying to make Bambi skate, turned into running for his life because Bambi did not know how to steer or stop and ended up pushing Thumper to the bank of snow. It was the simple things that pleased me about the movie BAMBI.

I also remember feeling the pain of Bambi’s loss. The pain I felt when Bambi was told that he could not be with his Mother anymore, was almost intolerable. I could not imagine not being with my mother at my young age.

I did not really understand why Bambi would fall in love with Faline and was sort of mad at him for doing so. But this did not make me less scared about the ANGRY buck Ronno, coming out of nowhere to bully Faline into going with him. No matter how many times I watched the movie, when Runno came out, I was always surprised and I could feel my heart sink. The sound I heard drew me even farther into the movie. Runno had his head bent, ready to fight Bambi to the death. He was pushing Faline away, the music got louder the more aggressive Runno became. Finally Bambi chose to fight, and I saw a hero charge into BATTLE. I couldn’t say anything but I wanted with all my heart for Bambi to win. I remember the contrast of color and the collaboration of music all pushing my emotion of fear for Bambi’s sake. Mere drawings were bringing my imagination to places never yet explored. FINALLY, Bambi threw Runno down the hill and had WON the battle. Oh the Joy I felt!!!

From there on, Bambi moved from just being a friend to being a character that I looked up to. Bambi was a hero that did many amazing things. I still remember the first feeling I had when Bambi’s father begged Bambi to “get up” just after Bambi got wounded by a hunter. This was toward the end of the movie and Bambi’s life was at risk. The fire was spreading and I knew that if Bambi did not get up, he would surly die. The persistence in the father’s voice moved me. I did not think the father truly cared for Bambi until then but seeing that the dad was not willing to leave his son behind was moving and made me realize that the father’s strict relationship was to make Bambi become stronger so when the time comes, Bambi could “Get up”. Bambi did get up and escaped the danger of the forest fire.

The picture of seeing the Great Prince of the Forest, Bambi, take his thrown at the top of the mountain, at the end, became one of my greatest symbol as a child and has stayed with me ever since.

I can say even now that movie BAMBI, is a masterpiece. It has been amazing to see all the small detail that was put into the story. Walt Disney and his artists were considered some of the best at story telling and now I can see why. Bambi is a representation of the true blood and sweat that went into a movie to further the points that most people now a days won’t even think of.

In the movie Bambi, you see drawings come to life, your see impressions and paint strokes become more real then a lot of what we interact with each day. Walt Disney made us go deep into our emotions, he made us think of the pleasures and sorrows of life, through everything working with each other. The music, the colors, and the movement complimented each other. In the scene with Runno, you feel the tension in the music, in getting more suspenseful the farther along we go, along with the extreme contrast of color to push the emotions that we are supposed to feel, combined with the dramatic movement in the drawings hitting extreme pose after extreme pose to make us think that Bambi is using all the strength he has.

Bambi to me was more then just a movie. I could see characters that actually lived and situations that ring true for me in real life. Something like, the death of Bambi’s mother, is shunned now a days out of fear of not being understood by the audience. Walt however, had confidence in even the youngest of Children, that they would see that you can draw strength from a loss and cherish life all the more, as Bambi did.

I will always remember Bambi as a symbol of persistence. I find great persistence through the story and how it was made. It was one of the first movies to give me hope, that you can push through even the hardest of events to find the beauty in life and I began to realize that a true Dreamer has no bounds.

A Waist of Time?

A passion in my soul has arisen. Why do I do what I do? Many people should ask themselves this question. I mean I would say I do art because I feel that I am gifted at it. Or, I study film because it inspires me. But those two things are done very little by me if I really think about it. I mean, I spend most of my time complaining about hyper spiritual Christians and watching mindless television that does not effect me in the least.

I can say that I don’t waist as much time as most of my friends. Or, what I do when I waist time is much more productive then some people. But I really don’t know if this is true and it will not help me in any way.

Why do we make excuses for neglect and lack of vision?

It might have to do with us being born with a “sin nature”. We might just be born with a inherent, “I don’t give a dam”. But, “I don’t give a dam”, is no fun. I mean I have seen many people who do not really care about life but none of those people I have seen who just “don’t care”, seem very happy.

A harsh thing time is. I always seem to worry about time and if I am using it wisely. I have come to the conclusion that worrying about wasting time is a waist in itself.

So what do I do? I guess I need to just not waist time. It is not about constantly checking yourself and trying to measure if you are wasting time or not. It is about going for the things you choose and not stopping. I believe everyone can find a vision and I think that should be all of our goals.

There is so much that needs to be done and so many who are just right for the job of doing these things. Life is not a right, it is a gift. A gift that we have been aloud to use as we wish.

The Wings Of His Presence

I am standing safe

I can see the beautiful landscape and marvel at the great mountains infront of me

The wind blows toward me and I am at ease with its cool feel

Then I hear a whisper

“Jump.”

I look around and can’t see anything

I hear it again as if coming from the wind itself

“Jump.”

In front of me is a ledge, I am afraid to go close

I am comfortable where I am.

I then raise my face

feel the wind’s powerful presence

My senses feel heightened with my surroundings

I close my eyes and am devoured with a warmth

truly I am at my happiest

This must be the presence of God

The earth down below begins to rumble

“Jump.”

I hear, as if coming from the mountains in front of me

I am shaken to the core

My eyes widen and I slowly walk toward the ledge

Looking down I see far below small ledges sticking out and beyond darkness

I feel a dark chill flow through my body

I step back

I bend down put one knee on the ground

I bow my head and feel my heart pump faster than ever before

“Come”

I hear as a whisper again

My head is bowed lower to the ground, now frightened by what is asked of
me

“Come, and I will make you a light of nations”

I feel the sun on my shoulders, and look up

again I am marveled by the mountains

A passion grows in my soul

I stand

I slowly walk toward the ledge

I come to the edge now more scared then ever before

My toes grip the ledge

I stop and look up into the sun

It does not hurt my eyes

The wind blows now toward me and the spirit moves through me

I hear the cries of the hungry

I hear the cries of those who are lost

I hear the bitter quietness of those who have fallen back

Into comfort

I close my eyes

Jump

And fly

The Key of a Child

I really am not big on Bible verses in my blogs. I don’t think I have quoted even one verse directly yet. But this blog calls for a (direct) scripter quote. This scripture gives a fundamental point that we must get a hold of if we do indeed want to enter into God’s kingdom.

Mark 10: starting at verse 13 “PEOPLE WERE BRINGING LITTLE CHILDREN TO JESUS TO HAVE HIM TOUCH THEM, BUT THE DISCIPLES REBUKED THEM. 14 WHEN JESUS SAW THIS, HE WAS INDIGNAT. HE SAID TO THEM, “LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME TO ME, AND DO NOT HINDER THEM, FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD BELONGS TO SUCH AS THESE. 15 I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, ANYONE WHO WILL NOT RECIEVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE A LITTLE CHILD WILL NOT ENTER IT.”

A child is often selfish wanting anything that she or he can get his or her hands on. Just from personal experience I know that my three year old sister asks for the world and then some. A child doesn’t seem to obey very well, either. Their favorite word, no doubt, is “no”. You need to watch them like a hawk so they don’t get into too much trouble. You need to pick up after them and clean them because they are so messy. Why then would Jesus tell us that we need to become like a little child to enter into the kingdom of Heaven? What qualities does a child have that I as an adult do not?

It is a really funny thing and you and I probably often wonder if Jesus was all there when He told us that we need to receive the Kingdom of Heaven like a little child if we wish to enter into it. But as frustrating it seems to be when it comes to a child’s ability to listen and obey I have found some things that only a child seems to posses now a days.

A child looks at the world with curiosity. As an adult I sometimes don’t have time for looking at new and unique stuff. I am too caught up in what I like to call “life”. But a child does not have a obligations to go to work, deal with family issues or need to talk to a friend at a curtain time. A child has time to examine a flower and even needs to be taught to stay away from a stranger because their natural instinct is to be friendly. A rubber ball or a lady bug are interesting things to a child. They have time to devote to things as simple as a pile of dirt. Yes, we can consider this a bad thing. “Billy! Get out of that dirt”, or “Sally, don’t bother that man”. But what if we as adults could get away from our common life and routine and spare some time for a stranger that might not have any friends? Or give time to things, that we have been taught don’t mean much?

A child is not afraid to show emotion. I realize that this can be frustrating at times. But what if we as adults were able to show others what we truly felt? There are many examples of my three year old sister telling me straight up to not call her a name she does not like. I never worry about her not telling me if she is hungry or wants to go to Mc. Donald’s. Too many times I see people that get made fun of, and instead of telling the person how they truly feel about what was said or done they act as though it is ok and laugh along with the crowd. So many grown ups hide there emotions so far inside themselves that they become lost and their self worth is extinguished.

As much as a child might seem to want everything so that they could be happy I do not see them as selfish beings. They aren’t just caring for themselves they grow attached to the people around them very quickly and begin to care for others. They are not worried if the person is rich or poor, strong or weak. They have not been taught who you should care about and who you should not. They see the people in need and truly feel for them without the lens that society tends to put onto us.

When I was sick with a fever above a hundred and was dizzy every time I stood up, it was my three year old sister who came to my side and asked me if I was ok and drew pictures for me so I could get better. There have been many times that I have been hurt and my sister was teary eyed because she couldn’t stand seeing me in such a condition. She was not interested in the mistakes I made that might have made me sick or the way I might have treated her badly a few days before. She cared about me getting better and was not afraid to show her love for me by the emotions she expressed and the pictures she drew.

Having a childlike approach is what counts when it comes to who enters into the Kingdom of God. Jesus does not need you to be a good student or athlete in school. He does not look at how skinny, fat, strong, or weak you are. Instead God wants you to strive for something more – to strive to become a child once again and see the world with the clear view that you were originally given and not look at it from the lens that society or even your friends have given you.

If you want to have a wonderful life, if you want to see the true value this world and the next has to give, if you want to be able to change the world you must see the world as a little child sees it–without judgment or condemnation, without the need for money or accolade.

“A Prayer?… Where? “

Prayer! What a funny thing prayer is. I mean I guess I was always taught that it was a really simple thing… Just find a place where you can get on your knees and talk to God. Just talk to God and tell him what you need and tell him “thank you” for what you have, if you have a problem you should go to Him and talk to him. He is always listening…

Why then “praying” sometimes so “un-simple”? I mean I don’t buy all of that stuff I have been told through out the years. I don’t feel like we have the whole “prayer” thing all thought out. I go to my church and see them “praying“. A lot of people might say that we have some “world class” prayer people. I mean sometimes they just shout to God telling Him what their friend’s needs are and ask Him (extremely formally) to grant their wish. I also see those guys who pray all the time, I mean they like verbally talk to God all the time and go to special rooms to do so. I am not saying all these things are bad but I just have been struggling with it recently, just thinking that there is some more to this whole picture of “prayer”.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend about a drawing I have been working on. A drawing that is made up of about a hundred portraits emphasizing all the poverty we have in the world. I was explaining to my friend that I wanted to confront Those who saw the drawing with the need for help. I was doing this by drawing portrait after portrait of people who were suffering. Weather it was a portrait of someone who doesn’t have a home or a person who was visually starving to death I wanted it to hit the audience. I commented to my friend on how hard it was for me sometimes, to draw all these people who were suffering. I told my friend that I could really feel for them and could only work on the drawing for a certain amount of time before I started feeling depressed. Well my friend told me that maybe I should pray for the guys while I draw them.

I don’t know if I had a hard time with what he said or not but I did think about that comment for a long while after he said it. To tell you the truth, being told to pray is a pretty typical answer to one‘s problem. I get into a jam and have some problems and most of my friends think the best thing to do is pray. Now I don’t quite disagree with my friends all the time when they tell me to pray but I do think my friends don’t understand something. Most all my friends and I have grown up thinking that the way you pray is verbally and a picture (as good as it might be) is most certainly not a prayer.

However I realized that I was in fact praying. When I drew those portraits I was praying to God. I didn’t start that drawing project so I could be looked at as a “Great Artist”. I for sure did not do it for the money. I wanted to show these suffering people to others, including God. I was praying for each one of the people I drew by drawing them alone. I knew I could not do anything about the problem with just me but I knew the gift my Father gave -my art was my own special prayer.

Just as a typical prayer is spoken out loud so others can hear what the person has said, my drawing was available so others could see what I was praying. I knew even when I started the drawing that it took God to do something about it. This has given me a great lesson not easily forgotten. Prayer can be more then words. Heck you don’t even need to talk. Think outside the box Prayer is communication with God. It comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes- visually, verbally even musically. As soon as it becomes repetitious words without meaning its value is diminished. The value behind the words and the art is what counts. How great is our God to whom gives us so many different ways to fellowship with Him?!