These Feelings that Haunt

thesehauntingfeelings

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Authenticity in Life & Art

Staying authentic.
This was the important message relayed to me by an artist teaching a workshop I attended early last fall. She said it in reference to one’s own artwork.
Her message resonated much too clear in my personal strive for career success, and one way I chose to look at this idea of staying authentic was not forcing my creativity for the sake of anything.
Let me explain more thoroughly.
I see beauty everywhere and one of my goals (now) is to bring that beauty to the forefront of others that may not have it so clearly or as often as I perceive it. This bit has been a hard intention to admit, even to myself, because I felt guilty. Why? Because it didn’t feel important enough to do just that.
I’ve always felt the need to be part of the struggle against the many injustices of the world. Children going hungry, third-world countries being exploited by the developed world, the damage to our environment for the sake of profit, etc. Within this context, beauty just did not rank high enough, and I couldn’t base my artwork on this sole concept.
And so I found that my idealistic views were getting in the way of my creativity. Every time I set out to make artwork I would mentally beat myself up about how to make it transmit a message. How do I amplify these literal injustices through my work to make others more aware of them? And when I set out on these seemingly impossible tasks and fail miserably it would send me into depression mode. I thought to myself “I just have to keep focused and with more experience and effort I’ll find a way.” And the cycle would begin all over again.
At the end of the aforementioned workshop, the artist/teacher looked at the work I had produced and said to me “you have a heightened sense of beauty, so you should keep making beautiful things.” A confirmation that made me happy yet at the same time scared that this was all I could do.
Since, I have had a bit of time to reflect on these thoughts and I’m coming to terms with my own capabilities as well as my limitations. So now when I circle back to this idea of staying authentic, everything makes more sense. I believe if one stays authentic to their inclinations in life that the path to all you need will come. Nothing needs to be forced.
Therefore, if I concentrate on making beautiful art I can not only bring meaning to my own life but through that Vessel I may contribute to the struggle against those injustices I do wish to end rather than just bringing it to other people’s awareness. After all, I even find beauty in the fight for justice because it is the beauty in a just life itself which I want to preserve.
The sculpture pictured above was developed during the workshop. In the realm of my work this piece was such a freeing experience.
Are you an artist? Can you relate? Have you ever been road-blocked from the thing you do best because your intentions (as good as they may have been) were not aligned with your most authentic self? Please feel free to share or comment on my experiences laid out on this post.
Happy New Year 2017! (Since this is my first post of the year after a long hiatus).

Hustle of life

It seems I may have gotten a bit lazy about updating my page.

On the other hand, it could be  that I am getting somewhat more ambitious about my career goals and writing has been, sadly, a lesser priority.  As much as I love writing, it’s not my career choice.  This doesn’t change one of my long-term goals of writing a book….someday.

What career goals are be keeping me so busy?

Besides my two jobs, which keep me pretty busy, I am keeping my hands busy in clay.

New(er) work yet in progress
New(er) work yet in progress

Creating new bodies of work is exhausting when you find yourself always trying to buy a little time for solitude, music, and clay.  My most important goal is to develop artwork that makes sense and work which communicates what I have, for so long, been trying to say.  That in itself has been psychologically daunting because, inevitably, this incorporates some introspection.  As insightful as this process is, it is gut-wrenching when it’s not common practice.

Naturally, my next goal is to show my work, because what is the point in divulging if not to spark a conversation about it.  This takes some social skills which I am constantly trying to improve.  It includes going to galleries, meeting other artists and curators, applying for artist opportunities, and maintaining social media updated among others.

Speaking of artist opportunities brings me to other goals: find a residency (or a few) to help me grow artistically while preparing myself to find an MFA program that will take me.  This takes some research, preparation, and inspiration as well.

In the time left over for the rest of my life, I try to be with family, read a book, finally learn to play the guitar, travel, organize my kitchen, and feed myself.

It’s no wonder to myself that I can’t seem to hop on the computer to write another post.  It doesn’t mean I have stopped going to see art or even talking about it with others.  I am fascinated by the depth of learning throughout life, it’s a deep like the ocean floor and as detailed as marine life.

Still, I want to take readers on a journey of my life immersed in the arts.  One of the reasons I started this blog.  It might get a bit redesigned but its core will remain the same.  In the meanwhile, I will attempt to post more often which means more post will be simply photos of my interesting daily events.  There are so many good things happening and worry not, I will keep anyone reading updated!!

[Oh, and thanks for reading!]