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CHECK-IN: TIMBA SMITS

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CHECK-IN: TIMBA SMITS

This year, Max Brown 7th District was the official hotel partner of Vienna Forward Festival, the destination for all things creativity in our vibrant new city. One of this year’s speakers was our friend Timba Smits, the Australian, Berlin-based graphic artist and illustrator. After 20 years working as an artist all over the world, he has a lot of unique wisdom about life to share, and he shared a bit of it with us.

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Firecracker L.A. By Timba Smits

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Music Oracles By Timba Smits

 

ON BEING SLOW & STEADY:

I’ve had a career for 20-plus years now, and throughout that time, the biggest friend to me has been this sense of taking things slowly, being really steady with my work and realizing that I have a whole lifetime to do this. That there is no rush. That good things take time and great things take a lifetime—that’s my motto. And after 20 years, I feel like I’m only just scratching the surface.

In the early stages your career, you almost need to embrace the slowness. It’s a chance for you to develop your style and your way of thinking to make yourself different. Because being different is about being yourself.

But I certainly don’t want anybody to confuse steadiness with routine. Routine is a killer of creativity. Instead, I’m talking about setting yourself a nice pace because you’ve got a long time to work at this. Often, people just jump into things too quickly and take on too much work in a very short period of time. And I think that’s where burnout lives.

ON PLAY:

People often tell me “I wish I was creative. I wish I could draw.” I believe we can all draw. That you are creative, you just buried it under all of the seriousness of becoming an adult. Just dig away and find it again; it’s there and everybody has it.

In that respect, I think very much like a kid all the time. I stop for an hour and play with Legos every day because it’s a form of meditation, it allows me to disconnect from what I’m doing and clear my mind. It’s good for problem solving too. Over the years, we bury that child-like wonder and that child connection to creativity with all these layers of worry, fear and stress.

ON HAPPINESS:

So often, we’re too focused on the big things that we want to attain or achieve that we forget to notice the small things in life, and the small things are what (ultimately) bring us happiness. I have a trick: I notice five to ten small things on a daily basis, and over time if you add these up, they are much bigger than that one BIG thing.

Left: Firecracker L.A. / Right: Music Oracles / By Timba Smits

ON BEING SLOW & STEADY:

I’ve had a career for 20-plus years now, and throughout that time, the biggest friend to me has been this sense of taking things slowly, being really steady with my work and realizing that I have a whole lifetime to do this. That there is no rush. That good things take time and great things take a lifetime—that’s my motto. And after 20 years, I feel like I’m only just scratching the surface.

In the early stages your career, you almost need to embrace the slowness. It’s a chance for you to develop your style and your way of thinking to make yourself different. Because being different is about being yourself.

But I certainly don’t want anybody to confuse steadiness with routine. Routine is a killer of creativity. Instead, I’m talking about setting yourself a nice pace because you’ve got a long time to work at this. Often, people just jump into things too quickly and take on too much work in a very short period of time. And I think that’s where burnout lives.

ON PLAY:

People often tell me “I wish I was creative. I wish I could draw.” I believe we can all draw. That you are creative, you just buried it under all of the seriousness of becoming an adult. Just dig away and find it again; it’s there and everybody has it.

In that respect, I think very much like a kid all the time. I stop for an hour and play with Legos every day because it’s a form of meditation, it allows me to disconnect from what I’m doing and clear my mind. It’s good for problem solving too. Over the years, we bury that child-like wonder and that child connection to creativity with all these layers of worry, fear and stress.

ON HAPPINESS:

So often, we’re too focused on the big things that we want to attain or achieve that we forget to notice the small things in life, and the small things are what (ultimately) bring us happiness. I have a trick: I notice five to ten small things on a daily basis, and over time if you add these up, they are much bigger than that one BIG thing.

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BE THE FIRST TO KNOW

Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about the latest news, events and best rates.

Erfahre es als erster

Melde dich für unseren Newsletter an, um über die neuesten Nachrichten, Veranstaltungen und die besten Preise immer informiert zu sein.

WEES DE EERSTE DIE HET WEET

Meld je aan voor onze nieuwsbrief en blijf op de hoogte van het laatste nieuws, evenementen en de beste prijzen.