James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

18: Stew and Develop

Hey all, the letter two weeks ago on validation brought about a big mix of responses, which is great! Some agreements, disagreements, and personal stories—the first time ever this happened. Very exciting. Here are some of my favorites below.

Deanna Mingo took the approach of validation as a black woman in a space that is usually not occupied by similar parties in their profession.
    
“I feel like I am always battling with validation, especially as a black female business owner and leader at church. I wonder how seriously people take me and if my ideas would go over better if I was a guy. I also wonder what role race plays in all of that and if people are disconnecting or judging me because of my race.”

Rhonda Mitchell had a slight disagreement, defending the need to be validated at times. Some great points given.

“There aren't many times I can count needing validation from people I don't know, but I do find myself feeling the need of approval from certain people in my life. Even if it's just a simple 'I like that idea' that goes a long way with me...

...I do feel as though all of us need some type of validation with something we are thinking, feeling, doing some people just need it more than others.”

Kole Hainz flipped the whole idea on its head, stating that it’s not only about if you are sharing your ideas or not, but how you are sharing those ideas.

“Are you not sharing because you're afraid of rejection—being sealed Tupperwear—or because you're not sure your thoughts yet? 

And when you do share them is it to receive feedback, criticism, etc.? Or just to impress everyone and then move on?

There's an episode of The Stack from Monocle that featured designer Neville Brody that touched on this idea of not letting your thoughts 'be transformed by your environment.'

He briefly talked about how our fast, disposable culture doesn't let things stew and develop. We fleetingly throw out ideas and don't take the time to refine them based on deeper thinking or others' feedback. Instead of developing our convictions over time we throw out a tweet and move on.”

Thanks to everyone that responded back to that very opinionated newsletter. Hope it gets your brain churning for the start of this week!

Thanks for reading and see you next week.

-James

P.S.: In regards to last week’s letter, I unfortunately lost my best friend that Monday due to a long battle with cancer. It’s been a long week but I know he heard all of your prayers love and support. Thank you and I love you dearly.

What did I find interesting this week?

1) Neville Brody on The Stack: As mentioned by Kole earlier on in this letter, this podcast episode really digs into disposable culture and the importance of slowing down during idea development.

2) Why Selfies Sometimes Look Weird to Their Subjects: An interesting look on why the flipped images of your self portrait on a screen throw you off, and why your mirror reflection looks completely different than how others see you.

3) How Sleep Deprivation Drives The High Failure Rates of Tech Startups: Going against the grain of the “hustle hard, hustle long” mentality, this take discusses why long hours and always working late actually leads to worse work.

4) Tools Don’t Matter:  Too much importance is placed on tools rather than what is made. I’m in full support of this piece.

5) This Is A Generic Brand Video: A “brand video” made completely of stock video footage. So spot on and hilarious.

James T. Green