Christopher's Open Road


    Team BNE


    Berkeley, CA


    Public Television: Season 9

  • ON DVD:



“You don't want your life to be this perfect, uptight experience. You want it to be this thing where you can make a lot of mistakes, and change your mind, and back track. You want to be able to say, 'Yeah...I lived. I really lived. I didn't live in a box.'”




Doubt Hard Work Individualism Perseverance Talent Dedication Determination Exploration Failure Experience Fulfillment Success Fear Societal Pressures Instincts Pressure


Being Creative


discipline, freedom, grad school, graduate, happiness, journalism, meditation, mistakes, monk, motivation, odd jobs, painting, perfection, routine, school, self discipline, skills, stories, unique, writing


Painter Christopher Brown structures his life on a lack of structure. We know: that might seem like an oxymoron. And this concept of not having a plan might drive the average accountant crazy, but the renowned artist thrives on the cliff-hanging feeling of the unknown. “Insecurity is important,” he says earnestly, without any of the affected pretension you might expect of an artist. In fact, with his kindhearted demeanor and disarming smile, the artist seems to defy all stereotypes of the tortured artist. He’s even humble in his analysis of personal success, professing that it’s not exceptional talent that got him to where he is, but perseverance. In fact, at one point, Christopher doubted that he should even be a painter at all. He took up writing for the UC Davis newspaper as an art critic because he didn't think he was good enough to be an artist. But his internal fire for painting couldn’t be extinguished, so he pledged to stop criticizing himself so much and just go with it. These days, he doesn't impose expectations on his work; he never knows where a painting is going to go. He just lets his brush move. Ultimately, he maintains that for him, a life without strictures and planning actually builds a strong foundation: “I have these certain things I do every day. I have certain things where I don’t know what’s gonna happen. You can build a life that’s structured on that. And out of that, your own unique life flourishes and grows like a flower.”

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