The Wisdom Project

Finding stories of wisdom from everyday people around the U.S., and filling a sketchbook with those illustrations.

About the Project | Kickstarter page

"Hard work and skill will be noticed, even in the least suspecting places"
"I joined the 9th airborne in 1945 as an eager 18 year old, and parachuted into Nagasaki 2 weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped with a detachment to bring medical aid and assist with recovery. I was folded into the Marine group that was stationed there, and with my past experience working on cars, I was put in charge of the small motor pool at the base. 
One day, while I was out driving on a delivery from the base, I came up on a Japanese man standing in the middle of the road in a full formal western suit. He flagged me down to help him, and pointed over to the side of the road where his car had run off into a rice paddy and his chauffeur was trying to get it out. Incredibly, the man spoke flawless english and asked if I could go get help. I looked at the situation, laid out some stakes I had in my jeep behind his car, hooked up a tow strap, and pulled him out. 
He was amazed and thankful, and asked to ride with me in the jeep back into town. He explained that he was Wananabe Mitsubishi, the head of the Mitsubishi motor company at the time. He asked if I was an officer, and how old I was. when I explained I was only a noncommissioned 18 year old, he remarked “My God! No wonder we lost the war.”
A few weeks later, a phone call came from occupation headquarters in Tokyo that a plane was flying down to pick me up and bring me back to work in the motor pool there. Apparently, Mr Mitsubishi had got to know one of the US generals, and highly recommended a young man he had met down in Nagasaki.”
 - Bill - Lincoln, CA

"Hard work and skill will be noticed, even in the least suspecting places"

"I joined the 9th airborne in 1945 as an eager 18 year old, and parachuted into Nagasaki 2 weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped with a detachment to bring medical aid and assist with recovery. I was folded into the Marine group that was stationed there, and with my past experience working on cars, I was put in charge of the small motor pool at the base. 

One day, while I was out driving on a delivery from the base, I came up on a Japanese man standing in the middle of the road in a full formal western suit. He flagged me down to help him, and pointed over to the side of the road where his car had run off into a rice paddy and his chauffeur was trying to get it out. Incredibly, the man spoke flawless english and asked if I could go get help. I looked at the situation, laid out some stakes I had in my jeep behind his car, hooked up a tow strap, and pulled him out. 

He was amazed and thankful, and asked to ride with me in the jeep back into town. He explained that he was Wananabe Mitsubishi, the head of the Mitsubishi motor company at the time. He asked if I was an officer, and how old I was. when I explained I was only a noncommissioned 18 year old, he remarked “My God! No wonder we lost the war.”

A few weeks later, a phone call came from occupation headquarters in Tokyo that a plane was flying down to pick me up and bring me back to work in the motor pool there. Apparently, Mr Mitsubishi had got to know one of the US generals, and highly recommended a young man he had met down in Nagasaki.”

 - Bill - Lincoln, CA

"Life is what you make it. There is so much negativity in the world today that you must everyday either seek to escape that negativity, or find something greater to face it with."
"There is too much negativity in the world bringing people down. If you let yourself be around it, it can bring you down too. I’ve found I either have to get myself away from it (that’s why I moved back to savannah) or I have to find something positive greater than the negativity around me to overcome what is negative. I found that in God, in reading the Bible and seeing the love, hope, and joy there."
"I’m not a perfect person, I mess up, and do stupid things. But I try to share some of the love, hope, and joy I find from God with others. I try to be a positive influence to others, and help others become positive influences themselves. I don’t try to just escape negativity anymore, I have something positive so much greater, and can try to overcome the negativity."
- Bryson - Savannah, GA

"Life is what you make it. There is so much negativity in the world today that you must everyday either seek to escape that negativity, or find something greater to face it with."

"There is too much negativity in the world bringing people down. If you let yourself be around it, it can bring you down too. I’ve found I either have to get myself away from it (that’s why I moved back to savannah) or I have to find something positive greater than the negativity around me to overcome what is negative. I found that in God, in reading the Bible and seeing the love, hope, and joy there."

"I’m not a perfect person, I mess up, and do stupid things. But I try to share some of the love, hope, and joy I find from God with others. I try to be a positive influence to others, and help others become positive influences themselves. I don’t try to just escape negativity anymore, I have something positive so much greater, and can try to overcome the negativity."

- Bryson - Savannah, GA

Lessons Learned

After far too long between posts, I’m back at compiling the stories from the trip. In lieu of an excuse, I will share some of the wisdom learned over the  trip and realized the last 3 months. 

DO travel/adventure/go off on an art project alone to meet new people, and bond over museums and crazy adventures.
DON’T travel/adventure/go off on an art project alone if you are trying to document/process/record the trip. It is far too easy to be overwhelmed and lost in the immensity of the experience, and be unable to keep recording everything in real time. 

Also, don’t start working a 48 hour a week job right when you get back. That definitely puts a damper on creativity. With all that said, look forward to much-delayed updates from the project.

-Nathan

Washington, DC.

Its late coming, but here is a quick glimpse of some of what I saw in Washington, DC. One piece of wisdom shared with me while I was there from a man named Milton was “no matter the circumstance, never lose sight of how blessed you are to have the things you do have”. 

This entire trip I have been struck with an abundance of blessings: the opportunity to do a trip like this, the awesome people met through hostels and couch surfing, meeting random people and hearing their stories and incredible nuggets of wisdom and insight. The trip has flown by, and I’ll be sad to see it end, but I’m looking forward to reflecting back on the last couple weeks, and compiling the stories and illustrations together. 

Until then, get wisdom.

Washington, DC.

Its late coming, but here is a quick glimpse of some of what I saw in Washington, DC. One piece of wisdom shared with me while I was there from a man named Milton was “no matter the circumstance, never lose sight of how blessed you are to have the things you do have”.

This entire trip I have been struck with an abundance of blessings: the opportunity to do a trip like this, the awesome people met through hostels and couch surfing, meeting random people and hearing their stories and incredible nuggets of wisdom and insight. The trip has flown by, and I’ll be sad to see it end, but I’m looking forward to reflecting back on the last couple weeks, and compiling the stories and illustrations together.

Until then, get wisdom.

Some more of the sights around Savannah, and some kudos.

Some more of the sights around Savannah, and some kudos.

Savannah, GA.

Today I’m wrapping things up in Savannah, getting ready to move along the trip up to Richmond. The time here has been incredible, with beautiful scenery, extremely courteous people, and to top the week off, I get to watch my cousin’s baseball game at Armstrong Atlantic.

A piece of wisdom learned here in Savannah, from a man I met named Bryson: “Life is what you make of it. You every moment choose positive or negative, and to overcome the negative in the world around you, you must either remove yourself from it, or find a greater positive to hold onto.”

Savannah, GA.

Today I’m wrapping things up in Savannah, getting ready to move along the trip up to Richmond. The time here has been incredible, with beautiful scenery, extremely courteous people, and to top the week off, I get to watch my cousin’s baseball game at Armstrong Atlantic.

A piece of wisdom learned here in Savannah, from a man I met named Bryson: “Life is what you make of it. You every moment choose positive or negative, and to overcome the negative in the world around you, you must either remove yourself from it, or find a greater positive to hold onto.”

Happy Halloween from SFO! Got to carve this pumpkin for some friends last night, and waiting to head back east and begin this adventure!

Happy Halloween from SFO! Got to carve this pumpkin for some friends last night, and waiting to head back east and begin this adventure!

The Noesis Sketchbook

The Wisdom Project has always been a big idea. Even through planning out the kickstarter project, planning a trip that fit within time and budget limits, I had dreams and visions of something much bigger. The idea and heart behind the Wisdom Project will definitely  be driving me to create for quite a while.

However, the endless canvas of time is marked by finite events, and the first step for this project is filling a Sketchbook Project sketchbook. I have decided to give the sketchbook I will be doing the title "The Noesis Sketchbook", from the Greek word meaning wisdom or insight.

Also, for this leg of the journey, I will be documenting as I go with Instagram, and the trail of photos will be viewable on my website [hghmn.com/noesis]. I want to invite you and other artists to collaborate on this project as well. When you tag location-enabled photos of your art with #noesisproject on Instagram, they will appear on the map. For those not yet hooked on Instagram, you can submit art on my website as well to have it featured on the map. 

I hope the Noesis Sketchbook provides some inspiration to your art, and until then, get wisdom.

Guthrie - 11x16 pen&ink on wood.

Let me be known as just the man who told you something you already knew.

Guthrie - 11x16 pen&ink on wood.

Let me be known as just the man who told you something you already knew.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty

George Washington

In light of the presidential debates, wisdom from the one who shaped the office.

(Source: davarianrousseau)