We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Danson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think that the risk is moving in the unpopular direction because it resonates with your gut to do so. You may not have a clear view of what the outcome will be. Modern gurus will tell you your gut doesn’t matter—but aim to follow the crowd instead. That is an incomplete view. Crowds are insane and they shift focus very quickly. Not a good plan for building longevity. Every example we have of successful heroes tells a story of those who went in their own direction. Sometimes it took forever (or they died before the world caught up to them) but in the meantime, they were living as true to themselves as they could. When you live that way, everything you create holds that value.
I always make the joke that my passions are solely in things that make no money. Which of course is relative. What I’ve been discovering is that while my writing isn’t easily categorized (doesn’t seem to match other poets’ sensibilities) it does resonate with certain individuals. Like-minded people have found me through Instagram and we’ve developed a kind of relationship that helps fuel me to continue what I am doing. They buy my books, paintings, music, etc. Some of them also write, they come from all walks of life, and all ages. If I was dedicated to following trends to success, I wouldn’t have found these people. I’m glad to be doing it my own way and connecting with others who see it the same way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Art is somewhat of a peculiar activity. In most businesses, the only goal is to connect a product or service to a customer which yields the result of profit. In art-work though, you have an additional primary concern: your individuality. And we all know that is the core of the effort, which cannot be traded for the dollar without losing the fire. So begins the balancing act.
I am no different this way than anyone else. I feel the pressure to do what’s expected which seems to yield a profit for others. This was a more seductive challenge before the pandemic. Having such intense isolation sort of forced me inward and I began to see the detail of who I was inside. After strengthening my relationship with myself, I could no longer live as desirous for the external. Which is helpful in some ways but weird in others.
I used to think there was an amount of “having” that would tell me I was happy or satisfied with my life’s efforts (and ironically, I used to think I didn’t think that). Now though, I really don’t own much but I feel very blessed to be here and taking my actions from my inner compass as it continues to spin and lead me into other wild parts of my mind/heart/or otherwise.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to the Sardine in San Pedro, Vine in Long Beach, and anywhere I could find an old-fashioned house party with a band to summon the cops at 3am.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I feel very grateful for the people in my life that have been supportive or have given me insights when I found myself lost. My mother has always been a fierce advocate for me following my own way regardless of what the world is doing. My friend Leobart who runs the Outlaw Poets account on IG has been an incredible support and a great writer himself. And everyone who reaches out to me, follows what I’m doing, reads my books, and enjoys my art and music. Every ounce of their support is a currency that keeps me in motion to create.