Category: Famous Artist

Enrico Caruso

Enrico Caruso: legendary operatic tenor.

Born: February 25, 1873

Died:  August 2, 1921

While Caruso never had much to say about his classroom teachers, he remembered well his voice teacher.
It was he who impressed, time and again, the necessity of singing as nature intended, and – I remember – he constantly warned, don’t let the public know that you work. So I went slowly. I never forced the voice.

An amazing tenor, Caruso loved his audience.
I know that I shall sing only a certain number of times. So I think to myself, “Tonight I will hold back my voice. I will save it a little and that will mean I may be able to sing a few more times.” But when I go before the audience, when I hear the music and begin to sing, I cannot hold back. I give the best there is in me – I give all.

He credited his difficulties with his success.

I suffer so much in this life. That is what they [the audience] are feeling when I sing, that is why they cry. People who felt nothing in this life cannot sing.

Of course, he also gave others credit where due.
A big chest, a big mouth, 90 percent memory, 10 percent intelligence, lots of hard work, and something in the heart.

Sid Meier

Sid Meier: Canadian game designer.

Born: February 24, 1954

While the other kids were reading stories in books in school, young Sid Meier was imagining them in his head.  But how could he ever tell his stories?  With his problems reading and writing, no one would have predicted that he would one day rise to fame in a world of computer games that had not yet been created.  Today, as a member of the Academy of Interactive Arts Hall of Fame, Meier is at the center of a universe of his own creation.  His Civilization games are best sellers, with fans constantly clamoring for more.

Dyslexia is a major asset in the world of video game design, as it allows the designer to see things as they might be rather than how they are.  Meier is able to imagine castles and soldiers and battles, to see them in his head long before they are ever on anyone’s screen.   He no longer has to concern himself about spelling.  He can hire less creative, more “normal” people to handle those details.  He just has to keep his gifted dyslexic mind working on new adventures for his fans.

Actually, we have lots of ideas we want to act on. Now, it’s just a matter of timing and human resources in figuring out how to make it all happen.

Scott Adams

Scott Adams: cartoonist and creator of the Dilbert comic strip and American nonfiction author.

Born: June 8, 1957

Never being held back by his dyslexia, Scott Adams was valedictory of Windham High School prior to earning his MBA at the University of California, Berkley.  Along the way he became a member of Mensa and trained as a hypnotist.  He also worked as a software developer for a decade prior to launching his incredibly successful Dilbert cartoon in 1989.  Today he is the CEO of  Scott Adams Food, Inc. and a co-owner of Stacey’s Café in Pleasanton, California.

Adams credits his huge success in life to his belief in personal affirmations and positive thinking.  His satirical work, The Dilbert Principle was originally designed to poke fun at corporate America and its hierarchy.  Today it is required reading in many business schools around the country, proving one of Adams’ observations about success.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.

To be fair, Adams does not limit his biting sarcasm to remarks about large corporations.  He has also been known to turn his sharp wit on himself.  He has even used positive humor to develop his views on his learning difficulties and those of others.  Adams has observed, “There is nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot.”

While he is obviously not an idiot, Scott Adams has certainly proved the power of resourcefulness in both his career and life.

Wolfgang Mozart

Wolfgang Mozart: musical genius.

Born:   January 27, 1756

Died:  December 5, 1791

Mozart learned at a young age to endure criticism.  And to ignore it.

I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.

Called stupid by some of his early teachers, he is now recognized as a genius.

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.

And his musical ability consistently bore this out.

Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of causing disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.

He taught us to be aware that great inspiration can come at very unusual times, and in very unusual places.

When I am traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears:  American pop star.

Born: December 2, 1981

Growing up in a small town in Mississippi, Britney Spears learned early that her success would not lie in academic achievement.

I always wanted to be a singer, it’s what I wanted to do since I was little. I’m doing it now and I couldn’t be happier.

Though she struggled with learning in a traditional setting, the one time Mouseketeer now enjoys a good book before bed.

Every night, I have to read a book, so that my mind will stop thinking about things that I stress        about.

She has found ways to work around her limitations.

I don’t really have time to sit down and write. But when I think of a melody, I call up my answering machine and sing it, so I won’t forget it.

She does not like being put on a pedestal.

I would like to be called an inspiration to people, not a role model – because I make mistakes like everybody else. When I’m offstage, I’m just like everybody else.

She is also dedicated to using her fame to help others find their inner star.

I’m so happy to be able to give kids the opportunity to learn about amazing world of dance and music that I’ve have been lucky enough to make such a big part of my own life.

John Ferrie

John Ferrie: artist

Born:  ca. 1965

We all have our journey.  Sometimes what seems like a series of damaged events can only fuel our creativity later in life.  I know that being an artist has come to define me. It has also made me my absolute self.

So wrote John Ferrie in a note of encouragement to another artist.

But when I was a boy, I was diagnosed with a “learning disability”, tough when you are only 8 and wondering what you did wrong.  I was and still am terribly dyslexic. Try as I may, classes like mathematics was like learning an alien language!  Having the last name Ferrie didn’t help and I was horribly bullied, picked on and teased.  I failed grade 3 and instead of having the chance to be good at something, I was always sent off to remedial reading or to talk to a counselor while everyone was doing arts and crafts.

For Ferrie, art was his salvation.

The trajectory of my life changed forever when in Grade 7, I discovered something called the art department.  It was like Nirvana for me and I spent a great deal of time there.  I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life and I not only sharpened my artistic skills, I grew some armour.  Suddenly, I was good at something!

Now he uses his past to encourage others to embrace their futures.

I know now, that was then and this is now.  Of course, if I knew then what I know now, life might have been easier.  Who ever knows in those formative years that we can actually grow self esteem.  But we can.

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