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).

WPC: Humanity

Since yesterday was a busy day for me I did not get to post my weekly challenge photo.  Sometimes life gets in the way of writing or making art, but those two always pull me back quickly to do so.

The challenge for this week is humanity, something which we should all be familiar with, was a hard one for me.  Since I usually look through my archives of photographs for these challenges, unless I have time to go shoot new frames, I am realizing that I have not delved into portraiture enough.  For this challenge I found it necessary to choose a picture of family/friends because those are the only people I actually photograph.

So a little bulb in my head lit up.  I MUST go out there and start photographing strangers!

Yes, I must say that scares me a little.  But we are all just humans and so we all have similar feelings, thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams.  If, only, we could get past our differences, we could make magical progress.

Now, I could go on and on about my own hopes and dreams for humanity, but I am ready to post my photo representing an instance of humanity.

I hope you like it.  Comments welcome.

Meeting for the First Time
Meeting for the First Time

On Passion

The other day somebody asked me “why are you so passionate about everything?” I didn’t know how to respond. Partially because I didn’t know I came across so intense and passionate as he so told me.

Thinking back, I suppose I can sometimes be a bit over-spirited and emotional about some topics, not everything. Of course I am passionate about art. Other things I’m passionate about? Music, politics, healthy clean (green) living, and of course my friends and family. This is what comprises my world and I have yet to integrate all of that in to my work. It’s also the toughest part which only comes with lots of practice and experience.  Sometimes, as I have experienced it, your passions come to be your inspiration.

It is an inevitability that an artist’s reality and perspective come to play a major role in his artwork. Having an artist show his personality and the conflicts of his mind within his artwork, and showing how that individual relates to the world is what makes a composition meaningful. This is, I believe, why art is so important and part of the human condition, it’s an expression of our own individual reality which becomes part of the whole human experience.

I suppose I am at an age at which I am becoming aware of so much and I am still deciding what is really important in life, and that has been a hard road to travel.

Of course I cherish my friends and family, each and everyone of them has made my life much more fun and interesting, and I could not have made it to where I am today without their support, their time and advice, or their love. But when it comes to living a fulfilling life, each person has a different goal, and my romantic side shows when I say ‘I want to change the world.’ Yes, that may sound a bit idealistic, but by thinking big I can hope to achieve some sort of change for the better. It’s like that quote that gets thrown around a lot by the motivational speaker Les Brown, “aim for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars.”  I believe that change is good, for example, one must change to achieve progress and keep moving forward.

As an artist I am still in a period of discovery, with my ceramic art I am exploring the sculptural and non-objective forms in which my ideas and perspective may find a home. When it comes to my photography, I shoot much more instinctively, and my subject varies from nature to instances, and even inspirational textures/materials/colors.  I am an artist still in the beginnings of exploration as I have concentrated mostly on technique and aesthetics.

What is your passion?  What drives you to keep going?  Do you have crazy/hopeful goals like mine?  I would be interested to hear from other creative people out there on what inspires them most in life?

By the way, I have been keeping up with sketching more often, something that comes hard to do because I am 2 dimensionally challenged.   But I keep at it.  I know that practice will pay off.  Since I joined the group CT Sketchers I have made it a point to sketch often, though I need to look at some other sketchers’ techniques.  I am a very visual learner, I know that I can pick up a few tricks if I find some tutorial type videos.  Check out my latest sketches (from the past 2 weeks) below.

#urbansketchers #CTsketchers
Walking Buddy
#urbansketchers #CTsketchers
Rt. 66, Connecticut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Figures
Jazz Figures
#urbansketchers #CTsketchers
Jazz in Hartford