Monday, June 10, 2013

Everything Happens for a Reason...

Everything Happens For A Reason.....a birthday reflection - 6/10/2013

This is something I grew up with, this saying, "Everything happens for a reason...." definitely easier said than swallowed. Especially, when traumatic situations occur that turn your life upside down and inside out; suddenly placing you face to face with life choices you never thought possible.

"Everything happens for a reason...." A saying you want to punch in the face if it had one. Until one day you don't. Until one day, after wandering through the seemingly endless cold dark forest of gloom, you suddenly feel a certain warmth on your shoulders. You lift your head and realize the sunshine has broken through. Was it there all along? Does it matter? It's there now.....and you soak it in and breathe as though you have never taken a breath in your life. It is sublime. It is freedom. It is truth...

"Everything happens for a reason..." Does not come easily. IT DOES NOT COME EASILY...but it does come. It is something that can start out as the harshest pill you will ever swallow in your life to becoming a beautiful truth you never knew could exist.

"Everything happens for a reason..." Tragedy happens. Death. Loss. Betrayal. It's inevitable. It's part of the human experience. You can either spend years denying it, forming excuses and feeling an anger that can swallow you whole....or you can work on accepting it. I know, easier said than done; but still, very doable. I speak from experience. Acceptance and being truly honest with yourself, as was the case in my life. Doing what I had to do to see the truth in the situation. To know and realize what I did and did not in fact do. Me, myself and I...

"Everything happens for a reason..." My work was extremely different little more than a year ago. I was floundering with my art; because I realize now, that I was making it for someone else....not for myself. Funny I know, but it's the truth....a concept I have always been very fond of. When tragedy threw my life into a hurricane of pain, betrayal and drove me into my art with a force I didn't even know I had in me. If not for certain cruelties, I would not be creating the sculptures that I am now.....and I love LOVE what I am doing now, more than I ever have before. Truth.

"Everything happens for a reason..." I realize that I've been extremely lucky to have my art during this time in my life. I've use it as my therapy and my confidante. I use it to mark my very personal experiences through life now. Something I had never done before. It's been an incredible journey and something (I am now) extremely excited about. Of course, I had many wonderful people to help me along the way. Family and friends....I thank you all with a fever of love and gratitude.

"Everything happens for a reason..." Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with creating art and it's a shame. However, everyone has something in their life that they relish. Something they can lose themselves in, something they are passionate about, something that can love them back when the world suddenly turns dark and grey. So perhaps the next time the universe decides to serve up a side dish of crap in your general direction; try to remember to use your passion as a strength. Use it to pull yourself through the slug of pain. Let it guide you to a happier place. You never know, you may discover something about yourself along the way.

"Everything happens for a reason..." Sculpting was my salvation. It's not what I do, it's who I am; but it does not define me, I define it. My art is not the end-all, be-all of my existence, but I can't live without it. There is always, or course, balance to be had in life. The most important ingredient to creating work is, of course, by simply living life. A lesson learned and warmly accepted now.

"Everything happens for a reason..." This saying can either be your hindrance or your salvation. I encourage the latter. I'm no expert on anyone's life except my own (and sometimes not even that, lol). I just encourage you to think about and embrace this simply phrase. I promise , if you do, you will learn and see much through this journey of life....and what a beautiful life it is; because of course "Everything happens for a reason" :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Freedom in Destruction

Freedom in Destruction

As artists, we must keep moving. We must keep a constant flow of input and output of creativity and production. It's the way most of us work. Although, as a result of high output, not everything we produce is going to be worthy of existence. Oh yes, so out comes the tools of mass destruction!

Destruction is an extremely important part of growth for artists. If you cannot destroy something that is not 'speaking to you' or meeting your standards as a creator, you are in for some major problems. Moreover, you should have the willpower to destroy any of your work at will…even the 'good stuff'.…Why? I'll tell you.

It's a very dangerous game when your work becomes 'too precious'. This idea of 'preciousness' plays with the very impending assumption that you will never again create anything like 'this' again; and by thinking this way you can start convincing yourself that you, indeed, never will. That suddenly you've reached some kind of pinnacle in your work or something. That nothing else will measure up……which is, of course, ridiculous.

As a result, this particular line of thinking will lead you down the dark road to fear; and fear can spread like a plague through the mind. Fear is powerful and extremely dangerous for an artist or for anyone really. Fear is the devil. It will scare you shitless and paralyze you. Block your creativity and, if not banished back to hell, will eventually kill it…or put it into very deep hibernation that no one can afford.

Within destruction there is freedom. Within freedom there is strength. Within strength there is power and within power there is solace. Within this awareness is knowledge that you, and you alone, are the master and commander of your work, it does not control control it. You give it life or death.

Now, why have the strength to destroy 'good' work, beyond what I have already stated; for the simple fact that 'shit happens'. Things blowup, crack, break and inadvertently get destroyed…life happens. However, if and when this untimely event occurs…you take a moment, mourn the death and then just go make another one; because you know have the strength to do so. This is the power behind destruction.

However, bear in mind, in this type of wreckage, nothing is ever wasted. For instances, in the last 3 months I have destroyed 3 pieces. Sculptures that I spent a good number of days on: from concept, to drawing, to sculpting. However, as much as I tried 'reworking things' and even taking time off to get perspective…it just wasn't happening. Sometimes I knew why and others I didn't. So, out came the tools of mass destruction. However, now here's the trick, right before I destroyed my sculpture, I made a mental note about what I did like and sometimes even kept a portion of what was 'working' as a reminder.

In every instance I did this, this 'positive' attribute inspired a new piece. Sometimes within days, sometimes within weeks; but still, ending things on a positive note was beneficial and nothing was wasted. Truthfully though, nothing is ever 'wasted' as long as you learn something from it.

Don't think of destruction as impending doom and gloom. Try to embrace it. It is a part of all life after all. Change is the only constant. Creativity is never destroyed only transformed and the Phoenix rises from its own ashes.