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Art is a Rebellion

February 1, 2015

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Through drawing I’m finding that sense of freedom that has up till now eluded me as an artist and in the process I feel that my aesthetic sensibility is broadening. It’s not only feeling free to draw what the hell you want but it’s also about realising what it is that you have to offer.  I find that life has a habit of putting me in my place, overwhelmed by the enormity of it all and lost in the insignificance of being. It’s these societal pressures that have always held me back and restrained my creativity, through fear, but now I no longer give a fuck. Because to live a life crippled by fear and doubt is not living and having the desire or compulsion to create can be wasted if you don’t push it all the way. It is often through my mistakes and adversity that I truly learn even though these are hard lessons.
I had a chat the other day with someone and he said “I sometimes judge artists by what they have given up and sacrificed for their art”, which I think is quite interesting. It made me think just what I’ve given up and how at times it even seriously compromises my health too. I think that art is demanding on the whole of your life and being, because anything less feels like a compromise or settling for less than you’re capable of. It is also a journey of evolution in which you have to let go of your past and move forward embracing the new, always faced with the insecurity of not being able to take anything for granted. There is no constant or easy path and at time you have to bumble along until necessity forces your hand and in the end your only stability is the constant instability of life. Because there are no cast iron guarantees, one day you may stumble on a significant train of thought, but there is nothing to say you can touch on such profundity again, when you do take your creativity for granted, the rot has already set in. This is why so many artists are constantly on the edge of the precipice, occupying the land of uncertainty.
As an artist you can’t live a so-called normal life because art doesn’t just happen between 9 and 5 and yet people often seem to expect this adherence to convention. I guess you become inconvenient and while there is great romance surrounding artists lives, the actuality is quite sobering. In fact art is inconvenient in every way, even to the artists themselves as they struggle and juggle their often ungainly bag of tricks. Though I guess the act of creativity and freedom of expression is romance enough for the tormented souls.

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As for right here and right now, I’m reaching a point where my art is becoming fun again and full of the joys of freedom, which is getting close to what I think art may all be about. I no longer make it to extract reactions from others, but instead I pursue what I feel is relevant to my own existence. My own mythology constructed round my own fables, instead of reaching into the grandiose territories of global significance (lol) and the pomposity of conceit. My art is simply about my own lifes experience, my individual contribution to the whole, which is a fulfillment of my potential and purpose.
For me the beauty of art is the individual truths that we all have, all unique and all vital to the dynamic reality of existence and in finally realising this my life is a whole lot better. Now I live in my own moment and create freely regardless of outcome, both artistically and to the reactions it creates.

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What I have found and still witness constantly is that art made from insecurity in search of positive strokes and reactions is really a distraction from true expression. And that the corporate art industry encourages this ani-art so that it can play with it safely in the so-called art market with predicted outcomes. However I feel that true art is risky and unpredictable, rebellious and new and should be encouraged at all levels. If not art becomes a slick exercise, a soulless repetition of technicality. I believe this negative approach comes down to the prevailing smug corporate ways that are sanitizing our earthy realities and homogenizing our souls. As we are forced to perform like seals to the judgmental guardians of  so-called good taste.
As an artist it’s really quite simple, you have a chance to offer your truth through your creativity or you can pretend and play a game in an attempt to impress people and flatter your ego. However there is a heavy price to pay for authenticity, originality and integrity, a trade-off in which true satisfaction comes at the expense of the physical comforts and spoils of our decadent times.
What I discovered in my own life is that self-deception is a big player in the confusion of existence and that finding the courage to be free, seems huge in the face of what you could lose. But without courage you may never discover who you are or what you are capable of.

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