He is one of a kind! Fearless and unstoppable and relentlessly pursuing his dream, he refused to allow anything to stand in his way even at the risk of losing his own life.
After the fall of Saigon hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese desperately tried to get out of the country, running away from the madness and chaos that took over. Unfortunately countless people were shot and killed on their very first attempt. Numerous more lives were taken by the sea or by heartless fishermen turned into pirates.
Jimmy Thai did not attempt to leave until a decade later. But once he set his mind to it there was no turning back. His escape journey was horrific and heartbreaking. It took 15 attempts before he made it out alive and the cost was unimaginable. His brother was shot and killed. He was hunted like an animal and was captured, tortured and sent to labour camp.
Decades later Jimmy returns to the very country that almost took his life to build schools and serve the underprivileged. He is an amazing individual, one of a kind!
I’m borrowing today’s episode title from Gordon MacKenzie, an American artist. He used to talk to school kids from kindergarten to year 6, asking the same question: “Anybody an artist?”. And while everyone in kindergarten was enthusiastically raising their hands, as he progressed from one year to the next, the number of hands raised dropped. By year 6 hardly any kids put their hand up.
So Gordon Mackenzie asked the sixth graders: “Hey! What happened to all the artists in this school? Did all the artists transfer out? Did all the artists go to art school? I don’t think so. I think something much worse. I think someone or something has told you it’s not OK to be an artist. If you don’t remember anything else I say today I want you to go home and remember it’s OK to be an artist.”
I am so glad that my guest today – Brian Robinson – was not afraid to remain an artist even though some of his loved ones advised against it. At times it was a lonely road, working long hours, not knowing what the future holds, but that was the sacrifice he was willing to make.
Brian is the 2013 Recipient of the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, the nation’s richest Indigenous arts prize for exceptional achievements by an Australian Indigenous artist. His works are displayed across Australia, at the Monaco Palace and at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. He spent more than two decades perfecting his craft and never once wavered in his pursuit.
Brian constantly challenges himself to create unique and amazing masterpieces. He uses a variety of methods from printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation and design. His work embodies the customs and traditions of the Torres Strait Islander people whilst also referencing mythological narratives from global cultures.
In this interview Brian gives us a glimpse into his life as an artist, the work involved, the unusual materials and tools he uses for his art work. He also shares a bit about his life journey.
Before you listen to our conversation I highly recommend you follow this link to see his talent on display.
I’ll end with another quote from Gordon Mackenzie’s amazing book on creativity Orbiting the Giant Hairball: “If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.”
“When you can put other people’s aspirations and goals a little bit higher on the priority list, then you allow yourself to give more of yourself. And when you can give more of yourself, it’s just a good feeling,” Eric Bailey
Eric was born with a bone disease in his knees. The doctors told him that he would never be able to play sports and would never be normal like other kids. His biological parents didn’t want to take on the responsibility to raise him so they gave him up for adoption. Yet, he defied the odds and became an elite basketball player and NBL legend.
Eric grew up in poverty, in a rough neighbourhood in South Central Los Angeles. His young life was surrounded by crime, drugs and struggle. Today he is a successful entrepreneur, a renown inspirational speaker and world class coach. He was voted as the Top 22 Motivational Speaker in the world.
Today I’m interviewing an exceptional young entrepreneur who started his first business at the age of 15.
He’s full of dreams, enthusiasm and big ideas and works unbelievably hard towards his goals. He also has great mentors and peers to support his journey. Keep an eye on him, I have no doubt he will become successful.
I love talking to young and ambitious people. They give me that incredible feeling and urge to go out there and chase my dreams. I can’t wait to see this young man achieving all his dreams and set a great example for all of us to follow.
The clock is ticking Reiss :)
As always I welcome your feedback. Please post your comments online or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you are interested in Reiss’ book follow this link and use the UGLY1 code to get a 50% discount.