Craftsmen look away now, for I am about to butcher the definitions of your Art, but please know my intentions are good… if a little ignorant.
A mold predetermines the shape, size and substance of something. Before the process of actually creating what comes out of the mold, the decisions have been made; the outcome is known.
Sculpting on the other hand is not a science. The outcome is gradually revealed through the choices of the sculptor, using his instinct, experience and vision to craft something he has in mind (if he has a plan or a subject).
Humans are a mix of both. Initially we have to be molded by our parents, “Don’t do that. Use your knife and fork. Look both ways. Put your coat on.” But then gradually, the balance shifts in favour of sculpting, as we begin to try things. Maybe the football team dad enrolled you in isn’t for you anymore, you’re more of a comic book kind of guy… maybe you chose to go vegetarian… listen to Pantera… study French not German.
There is a queue of brands and institutions ready to take over the molding process from your parents. And unlike mummy and daddy, they don’t have your best interests at heart. The adolescent anxieties over ‘fitting in’ is the plumpest cash cow in the yard and marketers will milk it dry daily.
It’s therefor vital to your authenticity as an individual and the potency of your balls that you remain a sculptor. And in order to sculpt, you need a vision, even just a vague, abstract direction. Having something to aim for helps you make the decisions now, in sculpting terms, to make the right imprints here, and the slight shaving there.
To use a cliché, imagine an astronaut. They didn’t just get popped out from a mold and
rolled into a rocket. That person had to make decisions, years (maybe decades) in advance that would ultimately lead them to today.
If you think of yourself as a sculptor, then every decision, from what you eat, to what you do with your time this evening forms part of a bigger picture (sculpture?). No one is expecting you to have made your mind up about who you plan to become, and even if you have, it will likely change along the way. But if you don’t make the decisions, someone else will.
Bosses will happily take the malleable you and put you to work for them, girlfriends love a guy they can shape into the perfect boyfriend, and which father wouldn’t want, ‘a chip of the old block’.
Men don’t let outside forces determine who they become. They maintain the fight to control their size, shape and substance.