5 Things Letting Go

By Nicholas Nesbitt

Glass Swan — I am not a villain

Hi! I’m Nicholas Nesbitt is a Johannesburg based creative specialising in Illustration, Digital Design and Sound Design.

This month I am doing something different. I am letting go. Here is my new Glass Swan EP — I Am Not a Villain, in article form ;)


1. Diamonds

As artists, we often wait for the perfect storm to arrive before we can unleash our progeny. The perfect storm where our work will be received and praised and shared and liked. What happens if that storm never breaks? Some might meet this drought and give up.

Why not accept that the world is a harsh, unmelodious place and that dreams and perfection are sometimes far off planets, distant, impossible and devoid of life? There is nothing wrong with seeing the world in this way, in fact it might be rather healthy in letting go of the ideal.

That being said I believe that some humans are built to defy this narrative. The ones that survive the desert drought are the ones that begin to dig in and start searching for diamonds.


2. The one I love (demo)

As creative people, we often cling to the things we have made. We care so much and become so invested in the outcomes of our process, that we try keep these creations safe by putting them in the darkest room, shielded from the potential rejections of the real world.

I know amazing and talented musicians with vast collections of albums stored on their hard drives. Albums that will never see the light of day. To be honest with you, I think I am one of those musicians.

I know what you’re thinking…what should we do with these captive ‘children’, how do we find the courage to give them some light? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to let them fend for them selves?


3. Big bunny

Fear can motivate and debilitate. It turns us into fighters or forces us to flight a situation or, even worse, it can freeze us into immovable statues.

We are like big bunnies hiding in our burrows waiting for the coast to be clear. Over the years we have not lost this visceral survival instinct; before it aided us now, it can hinder us. We fear things that are not entirely real, like rejection, in the same way that we fear a very real predator. Sticking our necks out in the wild often meant you would get taken out.

Whenever I am feeling fearful about my work, whether it’s making a brave decision to put it out into the world, or a choice to take a completely new direction I tell my old-primitive-caveman-midbrain that I have evolved to not fear anymore and I go about my day as badass as I can.


4. Care rib

Our rib cage protects our heart. In the bible it is said that Adam gave up a rib to make Eve.

Creativity is essentially taking a part of ourselves and giving it to the world to start something new. Sometimes the creative process might literally hurt us or weaken us, but the process of creating is so important because it creates new life and new meaning.

It might be a song that awakens a long-lost emotion in someone or a piece of art that inspires us to make our own work or help us understand something differently.

The things that protect us the most are also the things that stop us from being able to give our creations to the world.


5. The birds still fly

We are on this small dust speck floating in the universe for only a snapshot in time. The average person lives 27,375 days so, if this google search is correct then if you are 25 years old, you have 18,250 days to live. That’s about 50 more summers.

We have to release our grip, give things away in order to make space for the new unless we want all those summers to be the same.

It’s ok, let go.


Album Credits



Recorded in Johannesburg @ Glass Angel Studio’s JHB

All music and words by Nicholas Nesbitt

Produced by Klein Baas and Kate Dodd

Mixing Klein Baas

Mastered by Alex Hing @ Chvrch Avenue Studios NYC

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