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You gotta Fight for the Right to be Arty

November 25, 2014

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The process of an artist is unique to all artists with a few generalities in common, what I can say of my own process is that its complicated and in one sense I feel full of doubt whilst still maintaining an absolute belief. Sometimes I feel so in the moment when I work, that all memories disappear or soften as I enjoy my moment, the moment, when existing feels wonderful. No matter how much I struggle I always find this state of relaxed mind and body and now it happens when I draw, because I’m finally able to focus all my thoughts and feelings through the pencil.

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For three years I’ve been quite extreme and intense with my approach to art, to the point where I reshaped my own body through running cycling and weight lifting, all of which was part of a more total commitment to my art. It was necessary and it worked in releasing more of my potential. However about three months ago I decided to rest my body after running every day for nine months and it unfortunately coincided with a kidney issue (perhaps kidney stones) that is causing internal infection that have to be treated with antibiotics. I’m kind of well and unwell at the same time, but it’s restricting my life, it’s impossible to make sculpture in my cold studio when my body is raging with infection, though I can happily draw in the warmth. I’m getting used to it now and I’m having lots of scans, blood tests and invasive investigations, which is a novelty and a new experience for me. At the moment I’m on antibiotics for two weeks, which will give me a little grace so that I can catch up with my sculpture orders. I do have to say that feeling unwell is making me a bit angry and frustrated, so today I did three hours of cycling and a 5k run and it feels good to be back in the swing of life.

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When I decided to rest three months ago, it was also because I realised that I had turned a corner in my life and grown up a little as an artist. I needed to consolidate my new position from a more withdrawn position, where I felt the need to work in isolation and live in a greater social isolation, so I withdrew from everything in some respects. This phase of my life is over now and I’m out of hiding, but I have to say, it’s been one of the most sobering and serious experiences of my life. So much so that I almost forgot how to have fun, apart from with my kids who perhaps struggle with my humourous outbursts. Feeling unwell hasn’t helped the serious demeanour, but as I start to feel better and get closer to discovering my kidney issues, I can feel my mood lightning. It’s quite funny when you pull the metaphorical shutters down to protect yourself, because it’s so hard to explain, it can offend people and create a big question mark? I think in hind sight that I can explain it as part of a process that offers you protection and time to find a belief in yourself, protected from reaction and the influence of other people’s work which can distract and upset the equilibrium. It is so hard to believe in yourself in such a busy world with so much imagery out there, but if you can find a belief in the singularity of your own existence, that is a great start. My current approach has been misinterpreted  here and there, but then we all think and operate in different ways and judge others based on our unique vision and attitudes. As an artist you must be fearless and unswayed by these implied pressures from others judgements and interpretations which I’m of course equally guilty of firing out myself.

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As an artist I am coming to the conclusion that feelings of emptiness are an endorsement of my art, and testimony to the fact that I am getting close to expressing all that I have to offer in the short-term. Of course new ideas will appear but I have to live, experience life and take time out to think and contemplate my existence in a broad way. You can only give so much before you have to regenerate with some exciting new ideas, its funny but sometimes I can work to the point where my work bores me and this isn’t good for art. No good because I believe that all the art I produce should feel a little bit special and move me forward in some way. An artist isn’t the holder of an indefinite number of new and interesting ideas, but a person who reacts to life by expressing themselves visually.

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I’ve worked myself into a good place all in all, it’s realistic and my understanding of art and life has become much more expansive. My nature is rebellious and I still feel the anger  that drives me to push myself so constructively, constructively because I believe in the sanctity of life and the beauty of existence that I continue to celebrate daily. I also believe in the diversity of our gift and the ability to feel and experience great depths and widths of possibility, which is why it’s pretty naive of us artists to specialise in limited practices conforming to our self engineered stereotypes. If I didn’t write “fuck it you fucking fuckers” on some of my drawings I would be censoring my truth and be guilty of formalizing my work through a dogmatic process of cleansing. You see I love to produce the work I feel and sometimes that can be awkward and embarrassing to those who view it, when they can only see a piece of rubbish, but humanity is not about perfection or convenience. I feel with passion, I express myself with passion and sometimes that may be through gritted teeth and in your face. So as an artist it is important to say what you want, do what you want and then offer it to the world. Anything less simply wont do 🙂

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Don’t forget to let that beauty shine through  ❤ ❤ ❤

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