Thursday, March 13, 2008

From Dust Thou Art…

Let’s face it, much of life is drudgery, mundane, and annoying. I’m not talking about the real struggles or hardships, I’m just talking about the gnats in your ears all day long. These are things that bug you, but don’t really shut you down.

We’ve all got them. I think that a large part of success in life is being able to take those things and transform them into something beautiful, something useful, something positive. Can you see beauty in the daily grind?

A long time ago, I was working at a one-hour photo lab. One of my co-workers and I, on a day off, took our cameras to a park and each shot a couple of rolls. We came back and developed our rolls of film. One of the other co-workers was looking at my shots as they came out of the printing machine. He said, “I don’t get this one. Why would anyone want to take a picture of a rusty old tin can?”

He held it up. It was, in fact, a photo of a rusty tin can, with the label peeled half off, nestled into some mud and grass. I just shrugged. I said that I was intrigued by the colors and lines that I saw in the composition. He looked at it again. “I guess I never thought of it that way…”

And then we went on with our day.

But that stuck with me. I hadn’t thought of it as an ugly can, but rather intriguing and beautiful lines and colors.

The other day, I got an email forwarded to me of a man who is getting a significant amount of notoriety on the web because of his own efforts in this very thing. Look at this picture:

The image is, of course, famous, and the sketch of it is very well-rendered by someone with some real artistic skill.

Here’s one of my favorites by this same artist:

What makes these pictures even more stunning is the realization that the “canvas” and medium this artist is using is the dust that accumulates on the back window of his car as he drives down his unpaved country road to his Texas home. Here, the artist Scott Wade, stands in his “studio” and contemplates his next masterpiece.

To really enjoy this experience, go to his website and explore the gallery.

How many of us would be complaining about how the county never paves the roads, or how often you have to hose off the car? How many of us would see the opportunity in something so otherwise troublesome or mundane?

Scott has been written up all over the place. He’s appeared on television and in print numerous times. As an artist, he’s getting quite a name for himself, simply because he looked at the normal and saw the potential for beauty.

So, think of the mundane and annoying in your life. What can you do to turn those pesky challenges into opportunities?

Mark is the co-director of, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome ( Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment