Adios, Term 1 – By @oliverdfinel

By Oliver Finel


Adios, Term 1


As we reach the end of Term 1, I reflect on the lessons I’ve learned over those past three months. I certainly feel like my brain is starting to rewire itself – in the best possible way. I’m starting to let go of self-detrimental patterns of thinking that have so often slowed down or abruptly stopped my creative flow. The negative chatter in my head is slowly, but surely, starting to decrease. I’m much more willing to entertain thoughts and ideas that I wouldn’t have hesitated to kill instantly, a few month prior.

Graham Fink told us to ‘Eat our Heads’ and ‘Stop Thinking’. While he didn’t elaborate on the subject, the concept resonated with me. It brought me back to a bunch of moments where my head got in the way. When self-doubt came creeping in, won me over and left me in a state of paralysis. I realized how much I repressed things that originated from the gut or heart.

I was also extremely prone to doing things that could be ‘liked’ by everyone. I constantly looked for this one idea that would please everyone and could find no detractors. I applied to this frame of thought to most things in my life. I did my best to make everyone happy as much as I could (and mostly failed btw). I tried to choose a path that wouldn’t cause too much discord (failed at that too). I was obsessed with trying to make everyone happy all the time. I knew no such thing was possible, but it remained my modus operandi. At SCA, I quickly learned this way of thinking had to be crushed and destroyed as quickly as possible. For it would lead me down a path of absolute blandness.

We are often told by mentors to make new, divisive and polarizing work. It’s the only way to stand out, get talked about and drive the conversation. I honestly believe I’ve never adopted and applied a philosophy so quickly in my entire life. It’s been extremely liberating and sometimes exhilarating. Shutting down the chatter (or ‘eating my head’) along with the understanding that trying to please everyone is a surefire way to lose, have been central in leading me down the way to produce better work.

The whole Cole Coleman idea crystallized how SCA helped me be more in tune with my gut feeling and accept that you can’t please everyone all the time. I was terrified the idea would get shot down at every turn and that Tommy and I would look like absolute fools. Yet, I still kept going and shot down my self-doubt at every turn. Eventually, the concept divided the mentors. Some loved it. Some hated it. I was quite pleased that it was received that way. We had made work that maybe wasn’t ‘the best’, but it was most definitely polarizing.

Now I’m starting to wonder wether I’ll be able to apply these newfound philosophies to the work I produce in the future. Self-doubt creeps backs in.  


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