What if real life was an art project?
I was talking with a buddy of mine over lunch on Monday about the nature of art. He told me a story of someone confronting him about a particular Instagram series that he had started which involved image manipulation to create some really cool shots. This person made the comment that his series was a manipulation of the real world. Now whether they meant it as a jab or an offhanded comment, I can't say for certain. Nonetheless, we found the comment interesting.
As we thought about what his friend had said, we realized that they were correct... it was, indeed, a manipulation of the real world, because that's what art is, isn't it? It's someone's unique, handcrafted representation of reality.
So when we talk about living life by designing rather than by default, what we're saying is that we're capturing life and molding it. We're actively creating our own representation of it — creating the life that we want to experience. In a sense, we're creating a live art piece by living a well-designed life.
As with all art, there will be flaws, negative opinions, misrepresentations and counterfeits. Some areas of your life that you purposefully design, people simply won't understand. And as they silently (or not so silently) judge you for your choices, you'll have to stand by your decisions in the face of criticism and defend your right to create.
But in the midst of the negativity, there will also be beauty, praise and respect for your original work. Younger artists will learn from you and copy you. Older artists will marvel at your new techniques and ideas as you break traditional molds. Peers will ask questions and respect you for embracing your own style.
Your life can be a work of art if you choose to make it one. Learn from others, discover your style and get to work.