My Artistic Heroes
Above my desk, I have a photo wall with these 9 photos. I use it to remind me what artists can really accomplish when they have the focus and determination to be great. I can’t say I can do anything in this life to match their accomplishments, but I can use the ideals from their success to make me a stronger and more focused artist.
The greatest physisist that will ever live. I have read his biography numerous times. He invented the Standard Model and theory of gravity (relativity), yet his biggest blunder, the cosmological constant, make turn out to be correct if Dark Energy is proved to exist. Even when Einstein was wrong, he was still correct.
The writer without adjectives. His life was as stunning as his writing. A tortured soul who kicked off the Hemingway curse. Died on the same day as Celine. I wish I could be 10% of the writer he was.
My favorite President. A Republican and committed environmentalist. Championed the preservation of everything from Mesa Verde to the Grand Canyon.
John Muir is Yosemite. John Muir is California environmentalism. He saw glaciers and ice ages that people couldn’t imagine. Restore Hetch Hetchy now. We are now 100 years overdue.
What can you really say about the greatest photographer of all time? You can only look at his images and hope you can acquire just 1% of his talent. That is enough to sustain you for a lifetime.
The artist behind Apple Inc, from a company run out of the garage, to early dominant computer maker, to the person behind the greatest comeback in the history of business. We lost Steve way too early, and his absence will always be there.
The man behind the Beat Generation. One of my favorite writers. A person destroyed by alcohol abuse. I yearn to visit the places of his novels, like Big Sur and Desolation Angels. The greatest story teller.
The man behind some of the most amazing music of my life. Equally powerful in Radiohead and a solo artist. Perfect blending of rock and electronic, without ever jumping the shark. I never knew after listening to Pablo Honey in 1993 that his band would be the most significant in my life.
The color Ansel Adams. The last truly great film photographer, whose work stands up even in today’s digital world. The great master of the Eastern Sierra. An expert photographer, climber, and athlete. We lost him way too young.
Every time I see Mountain Light in the Sierras, Galen is the first person I will ever think of.
These art my artistic heroes. I hope you will take a moment to ponder yours.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.