An artist’s Epiphany: Silent all these years

My artistic voice has been silent for so long. Maybe it has always been silenced. My psychic told me my past lives on this earth are filled with my silence. People keeping me quiet and punishing me. I am constantly being burned at the stake. This is the lifetime where my voice gets heard. At least becomes vocal, in the right ways. So far in this life it has been a process, stripping away the chains, the tape, the fear of being reprimanded. The fear of being silenced has kept me silent.

And now I am ready.

And now I know the anxiety of not being able to do art. Of not having that focus and internal connection to the divine energy. Of my energy being used and abused by another and myself. And me in turn abusing his energy. We should make it, he and I. Our artistic process simply needs to be actualized. Like the Kundalini slithering and winding up the spine, through the Chakras, shedding the old to embrace the new.

We need to shed our old habits so we can embrace the new beauty of art and understanding in our lives. And let that artistic energy be our fusion.

This is my goal for my last years in my 20’s. He may not be able to endure that long. He has waited for me to have this epiphany for years now. Is it wrong of me to ask him for longer? This is a journey I have to make for myself. In order to like/love myself and life again. This journey will happen. But will he remain by my side? Will he be there in the end of the transition, joining in the artistic glory and basking in the sunlight of divine creative energy and relishing in the rewards his patience has afforded him. Rewards like stability, balance, beauty, creation, understanding, love, partnership, joy. An explosive and beautiful svadhistana chakra. Maybe even mind-blowing sex. And, materialistically speaking, a successful art career. Being able to live off the income of his talents and all that Minaxus has to offer.

I just need to do art.
Not fearing the results.
Even if the art isn’t good, it will feel good making it.
And then maybe some day it will be good. And maybe someone will wan to buy a piece.

Until then. I just need to do it.
Or I will explode.
And probably get my heartbroken by the love of my life.
The man who should have no doubts or mistrusts with me. But he does b/c I am only just coming to the desperateness of this need to create. I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist (since I was 10 according to my psychic). No one in my family was surprised when I declared an art major. Just me apparently. And now it’s time for me to accept it and do something with all that pent up energy. Haha, accept that I am a freak that doesn’t belong here, as again, my psychic said. I may be misunderstood by some of those around me. He understands me though. And art understands. Maybe there is hope for this freak. Maybe there will be a happy ending. A beautiful partnership with my love in art, business, music and life.

Wild Donkey idea via @GoddessLeonie

i just came across this blog and thought it had an amazing end point I wanted to share.
I mainly wanted to share it b/c I need to internalize it. So many wonderful points/ideas that can help move me along creatively.
I thought maybe you would like this kind of inspiration as well:

The Wild Donkey wants you to:

FINISH IT.
Don’t hold it up.
Don’t wait for the perfect creative time.
Don’t wait for anyone else.
Don’t wait for a publishing deal.
Don’t wait for outside validation.
Create it until it’s done, then RELEASE IT.
Jump on the wave of inspiration, and surf it out it until the wave is done.
You don’t need to be properly prepared.
You just need to do your job.
RIDE ZE WILD DONKEY!
Do it. Create it. Have faith in it. Finish it. Release it.

Here is the full post: I highly recommend you read it.

Office Art Progression

Here is this mornings look at my “office art” project. My attempt to artistically deal with office politics and stresses. In a way, it is a Rasa Sadhana, an attempt to remove emotion from the workplace as well as leave the work place stresses at work. This is done with the supplies I have at my desk, random paper, highlighters, .etc.

New canvas for a new painting

I’m excited. Thrilled really.

I finally went to Home Depot for another piece of wood. I like to paint on wood.
It’s a bit less intimidating.

Last year I walked to Home Depot and bought some wood. This painting was the result:

Vishudha paintingI chose to do the Vishuda Chakra first in hopes that it would open up my creative voice.
That it would help give it strength.

I love this painting.

It is one of seven Chakra’s; I just bought a canvas for the Muladhara Chakra, the root. It’s color is red.
I think I’ll wear red out tonight in honor of starting this new painting.

I am excited for this new exploration. With my creative voice, perhaps I can find myself rooted in my art.

That would be beautiful.

First attempt @ Vector Art & 6 things I learned

One of the things I am guilty of is looking at other people’s work so much that I neglect my own. I get sucked into perusing all of twitters inspiration collections, especially those from Abduzeedo.com. I look and review and start to feel inadequate as a designer since I am not producing work as beautiful as everyone featured.

And then I realized, it’s not that I am inadequate, it’s that I am not producing.

If I were to track my time, the time spent on perusing other people’s work/blogs/etc. would drastically overshadow the time I spend working on my own art. I had originally chalked the perusing up to research and my attempts to stay with the trends. But at some point, the research needs to stop so that I can contribute my own artistic perspective to the world. And maybe someday land in that inspiration list.

In lieu of that, I decided to try out my own vector art. It’s a technique that definitely has its place and can be used in dynamite designs. I had never really tried this before in Illustrator, and it’s one of those techniques I bookmark tutorials on, thinking that I need to try it. So, I decided to try it and see if it was something I could work on and add to my list of skills.

Ironically enough, I didn’t even sift through my Delicious account to find a tutorial. I just went for it, in hopes of utilizing the knowledge I had seen, and integrating my own personal style.

Because I also want to work on my sketching skills, I decided to sketch an image from J. Michael Straczynski’s “Midnight Nation” (a brilliant graphic novel, I must say). I grabbed my pencil and my Harry Potter sketchbook (yes, that’s right, a near empty sketchbook I had received as a gift after the first one came out, years ago).  And I did just a line drawing. This in itself was odd for me, as I love to shade. But because I wanted to do vector art, I was forced out of my safe zone into line drawing. Here is the initial sketch:

My line sketch for my vector graphic

I scanned the image in and opened it in Illustrator. I locked the layer it was on, made it 10% opacity, and started to color on the layers below it. Because I had seen so many examples of vector art, I knew that the gradual shade technique I love wasn’t an appropriate approach for the result I wanted. I tried to imagine the lighting and where my lights and darks would be, adjusting the shapes of the lines in hopes of making it actually look like the sketch I began with. And honestly, I just went for it. I hoped that my heuristic approach would work, and that my intuition would kick in and I would come up with something successful.

I don’t think I did too badly:

My First Vector Art

My next step is to try to put this vector art within a context, or just do some really cool design-y stuff around it that I see in my perusing. I don’t want this process to stop here.  I am intrigued by so many different styles, it’s time to put them together and develop my own.

Here is a list of things to remember if you are a new designer, or really any designer that may be stuck.

  1. Inspiration is good, but know when to stop
  2. Know what the end result you want is, and just go for it
  3. Produce
  4. Produce
  5. Trust your intuition…tutorials are there to teach you techniques, you need to apply them as yourself
  6. The process is on-going, always keep learning and trying

I’m sure there are a ton of ideas that can be added to the list, but these are the ones that struck me as I was trying new vector art.

There’s a quote from Nickelodeons series, “Avatar, the Last Airbender” that seems appropriate to end with. This is not verbatim, but it goes something like this:
“You are going to fail a lot before things work out…even though you will probably fail over and over and over again…you still have to try every time. You can’t quit because you might fail.”

Warhol as a Designer: an Experience

“He became an artist for people who knew very little about art.” Arthur C Danton

I recently went to the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Myhner gallery at the University of Denver. I had seen a larger portion of his work in Colorado Springs a few years ago, but my experience then wasn’t what I experienced today.

I’m surprised that I suddenly think Andy Warhol was more influential in my career field than I thought. I thought of him as an eccentric entity of society that exploited the common household item, portraits, sexuality…he brought prints to life in a way that was unique. A new form of expression that changed the ideas of society. And he was all of this. But in terms of me considering today’s society and looking back on Andy Warhol, was he able to see society in terms of graphic design without today’s technology?

[cincopa AkLAlc6gM5Ds]

“This is so universal. I’ve seen it a million times in magazines and the such. But this is he first time I’ve been to an exhibit and seen it for real. It’s about time.” My Dad

Andy Warhol designed for the masses. His designs are pop art. We all learned this in Art History class. What I didn’t consider then though, was that his work seems to be a style of graphic design today. He explores the same image with a variety of different applications/effects applied to them. Or he takes a product and markets it in a way that is art. It seems to me, that’s what we do today. It’s like an early form of vector graphics and marketing.

“…every room here at the motel [has] cans with flowers in them, and I mean, I’m so tired of the Campbell’s Soup Can I could throw up.” Monday, Aug 31, 1981 Colorado.

Today, we study trends. We tweet and blog about “the top minimalistic designs”  or “top flourish photoshop brushes.” We see a variation on a theme in our magazine ads, websites, brochures, annual reports, email marketing campaigns…Andy first brought this idea of mass design in terms of Campbell Soup and Mick Jagger. He made an artform out of album covers with the Velvet Underground at the forefront (something I personally love and hit the record stores just to peruse the amazing art on CD covers. Makes me sad to think that the art of album cover print design may be fading. Anyway.) and did movies of ordinary people. People like us.

“Not everybody in my movies are degenerates. Just 99.9% of them.”

No, I’m not calling us, our clients or our target audience degenerates. But I am calling us the masses. The masses that Andy Warhol first started designing for. He went for simple, basic and yet strong, making a statement. It was influential and changed the way people thought about products, life and ideas. He did what we designers try to do everyday. And yet at the same time it was robotic and conforming. The same image over and over, the same thing over and over. The redundancy may be a contributor to his success. Maybe in an effort to organize society in a singular pattern, he exploded the creativity and minds of the masses.

I don’t know if any of this is valid, and some of it is quite obvious. However, it was a unique experience to me to view Andy Warhol as a designer, and not just an artist. When it comes down to it though, maybe what inspired me the most about Andy Warhol, was his courage.

I strive to have that kind of courage.

In any event, the only way to end an Andy Warhol exhibit is at Stogies and Bogeys, a cigar shop that had great music, great ambiance, good drinks and great cigars.

[cincopa AQEAUc6aMVbv]

Peace first, then art.

I really don”t do enough art. I”m ashamed to admit that I look at so many other artists that I become paralyzed. The fear of not being as good stifles me.

And the irony is that I would rather sit here and type, again, about how I want to do more art, than actually do art. My to-do list is miles long, and I have yet to cross anything off. I keep getting resolved to do more, to actually develop my artistic style to live my art and yoga life, but I don”t follow through. I go to the bars, watch football, watch Extreme Midget Wrestling, watch a movie, hang out with friends…everything else.

It”s depressing.

I am getting better about developing my home yoga practice. So that”s positive. And I definitely meditate more. I guess that”s just my learning curve. I am finding peace through yoga and meditation first, it seems, to hopefully explore art without stress and angst.

For being an artist and a yogi…I”m crazily stressed-out.

Putting art back into my routine

I really must get into an art routine. I feel so panicked and stressed and I keep thinking it’s due to work and relationships. But all of a sudden, tonight I don’t think that is the reason. I now think it’s because I don’t do enough art.

I spend so much of my time knee deep in social media that I forget that inspiration is pointless if you don’t produce. In fact, it is counterproductive. I look at so many styles and at so many wonderful and gifted artists out there that I forget to develop my own personal style. And I get intimidated thinking I will never be that good. And I won’t unless I put art back into my routine.

Once art is part of my routine again, I will feel good. I will feel on the path to my authentic self and will grow into the life I want.

New technique

I’m trying a new painting technique. It makes me nervous. I have never really worked with water colors before. But I am trying them as a background for my acrylic pieces. I’m hoping it helps with a focal point.

Right now it just looks like chaos. K says “unrefined” but he has, of course, a unique control of the medium. This one will be a failure most likely. I am okay with that. If I don’t try I immediately fail anyway.

I have no idea what I am doing but I am going to accept that and just try to have fun and listen to my instincts. Haven’t listened to them in a while. This art piece will be a reawakening of rusty intuition. And the piece itself may reflect that trepidation.

I am okay with that.