Jesse in the forest

Words, Jesse Jackson IV |
Photography, Lewis Fertita

It is common wisdom that the best way to improve is to do. There is only so much to learn through osmosis and observation - at a certain point, one has to enter the arena. It’s a recurring theme in my work, this idea. I’ve experienced the naivety of youth, boundless creative confidence propelling me forward with no fear of failure. I’ve experienced quiet, personal failures, setbacks that alter perception and add caution, a more critical eye looking inward.

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Life has a funny way of making you your own worst critic, convincing you that there is no point in trying, or that you’ll go for it when you’re ready. The irony, of course, is that you’re never ready until you’re moving forward, adjusting and readjusting with each passing moment, adapting to change as you experience it. I am certain that apprehension about public failure has kept a great many people from fulfilling their purpose, from starting to move, from entering the arena. I think about the contrast between those who never start, and those who start and aren’t appreciated until well after their time.

Artists who create an entire oeuvre in obscurity, driven by a singular, unshakable belief that their vision is worthy of existence, bolstered not by an adoring public or legions of fans, but compelled instead by the beauty within the work - beauty later appreciated by those with whom it resonates beyond individual spheres of influence.

Looking off

I remain convinced that this is the noblest of pursuits. I strive to one day realize a community of people for whom this inner anima is a shared, uniting force amplified by connection. A community that celebrates the many forms this obsession with creation takes. That is what you, dear reader, are now a part of. A step forwards the realization of this dream that enables dreamers.

That is my point in trying.