Art can be anything we want it to be
When approaching the making of new piece of art, we want to be in tune with our higher selves as much as possible, to be conscious of what we are about to do. Feel the love resonating in our hearts and open our minds and keep them open to the infinite possibilities that await us, think about what it is we really want to put our energy into, keep it simple with achievable goals. We are aiming to integrate original thought and intuition to become part of our decision making processes. We invite in divine energy to flow through us. All our experiences, formative years, conditioning, and emotions will come into play with the way this energy is effected, to bring about our unique perspective of the world and the way we perceive all the things in it. We free ourselves from all our negative social stereo types about art or artists, (e.g. art is dead, art is for the rich, suffering for your art, tortured soul, paint on our shoes, identifying with certain political groups or fashions, to prove to ourselves that we are what we think an artist or art should be), and instead encourage self empowerment and individuality through our discovery and adventure of what art really is to us. With a positive approach to life and art we can thus push the boundaries into new territories or languages with our distinctive personal styles. What comes out of us can be a pure reflection of god, filtered through our souls. However, realistically, most of us are still trying to find the pathway that leads to the road towards perfection and so we must enjoy the journey as much as the final out come.
Spiritually, to help ourselves prepare, we can meditate, pray, chant, ask for guidance, ground ourselves and be in the present moment or whatever other techniques we are used to using, that work for us. Also we might need to turn off our ego´s or root beliefs, especially if its like mine and says things to me like, “you´re rubbish, why bother? everything you do is rubbish.”
Mentally we can prepare ourselves by being toxin free and free from all the emotional crutches we use to help us cope with the hardships of life, (thats stopping self medicating with poisons, eg, booze, fags, crack etc.) to achieve clarity of thought. Also let go of any negative or evil thoughts or depressive tendencies as soon as they occur.
Physically we can prepare ourselves by being fit and clean, especially our hair, as this can act as an antenna to the information we are about to receive from the psychic super high ways or global consciousness! Ideas, visions, inspiration and messages are transmitted for all to access at will, so lets decide carefully which projects we want to invest our personal energy into and bring to fruition. Also we can clear the dedicated art space that we are going to work in, a little feng shui never hurt or as i call it, “the sacred art of tidying up”. There are also outside factors we need to consider like, shop opening times for buying the right materials, sods law, forgetfulness, untimely visits from friends, phone calls, the internet and all the other day to day tasks. We deal with these distractions as they occur and do not let them become a problem. Say after me “I have more than enough time to suit my needs perfectly.” Light, warmth, food, exercise, shelter are all things we can take into account when catering for our needs.
Lets make ourselves as comfortable as possible before we start, go to the toilet, brush our teeth, wear clothes we don´t have to think about once they are on us. Eat regularly and take breaks. Have a glass of water, take a deep breath and relax.
Creative self expression can cause our emotions to rise up before us, we can look at them, feel them, get to know them and let them flow right through us and away, in a safe and directed manner. Emotions are reflected back to us, in what we make. I can always see myself and how i´m feeling deep inside, in what i make, just as i am now. Some of these emotions or feelings may not be able to be accessed in any other way. Once fluid in our self expression our emotions can be acknowledged regularly by observing our art as therapy or our art can be evidence of us clearing stuck energy, both of which are perfectly valid and an interesting content for art. Once clear of old trapped emotions our hearts can sing with the golden light of the sun and thus our art will reflect this new found freedom of expression.
Play is one of the secrets of art, it shows in the final product if the artist has had a nice time and is good at playing. Loosing all sense of ourselves and time and being absorbed into the process is an excellent example of play. Being totally free, with the feeling that nothing else matters. The more we practice playing, the better we get at it.
Be guided by the materials we have to hand, using our intellect and hearts to decide which materials suit our needs best, what we enjoy using and doing, and what is suitable for embodying our ideas. Look around your immediate environment to see what is there.
The kitchen cupboards can reveal exciting textures, shapes or products with graphics and colours on for instance, reflecting societies fashions and needs on the packaging. Also the bin is a good source for recycling rubbish into papier maché, sculpture, assemblage, collage or montage.
Domestic technology in use for home entertainment can be turned around from its original use and looked at differently, a t.v. and dvd player can be used to present your photos or films, camcorders can be used to create feed back effects, (by filming the screen it´s playing on) or to capture audio from a noise that interests you. Simply used, in other ways from their primary intention, these machines can record things like poetry, or a strange light play when the sun hits a glass at a certain angle. Don´t worry about anything in our early sketches, because it´s the content and technique thats important, to communicate our ideas.
Materials can be a starting point, if they stare back at you begging to be placed next to each other for a painting or photograph, obey them, just to see! If we choose to listen to them closely the materials themselves can actually guide us where and what they want to be, like when we get the feel or the knack of using them, e.g. when choosing rocks to build a dry stone wall, or film clips to edit a sequence together. You can actually hear things go ping and become seamless when they find their right place. Listen to your intuition and act upon it, in the energy of the moment.
Another starting point is a vision or idea, embodying ideas, making them come to life.
We can stick obsessively to an ideal or we can observe that it is just a starting point to lead us onwards in developing our train of thought. Knowing when to go with the flow or keep on the track, is all part of the creative decision making process. If things are not happening as easily as we predicted, we can take a step back and look from a distance to get a bigger picture, look at it through a mirror to create more distance or even leave it for a bit of time and come back later and look at it again. When we see with fresh eyes what we have in front of us, we can decide whether to persevere with it or develop the new tangents that have appeared. We can call a mistake we like a “happy accident” “research” or “experimentation”. I find that sometimes its good to explore further into a method to discover what else is possible, finding results that couldn’t have come into existence, without going down that road. Other times I find that with determination and will, I can achieve exactly what it is i set out to make in the first place. If i think its possible, i always go that extra mile. I find that both options happen, sometimes i am guiding the materials to form, just following the next step i can see in front of me, other times i re-work and go back to the beginning until i am satisfied i have perfected the outcome to match that of my vision.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, a thought crosses my mind when i´m half way up a ladder working on something else entirely and i climb down and write a note to myself in my sketch book, or i watch the best circus performance in the world and wish to emulate something just a beautiful. One quote, of which I don’t know the origin, says, “talent borrows, shit copies and genius steals”. If we use this quote in relation to our inspiration and how we act upon it, even if we do try to copy, borrow or steal an idea, it would never come out the same because of the individual framework and the constraints each of us is working with, so always have a go. On the other hand its quite polite to acknowledge our sources.
We are all capable of original thought, if we allow ourselves to access it, by accepting that our route through life is worthy of rendering. See how an idea arrives, through our personal history, the people we´ve met, places we´ve been, things we have experienced, everything in our worlds that lead us to this point, be brutally honest to yourself, confess all, get it off your chest, what we love best, what is the greatest thing we can think of…that´s it, lets use it all.
Lets start with the exercise of drawing a line, with practice it can help eye hand coordination. You´ll need a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. I like to start off using good quality tools, just in case i want to use it later on if its any good, which often they are, even at this early stage. I use a black water resistant, size 0.4 drawing pen and 100g white cartridge paper, size A6 or A5. Place the pen on the page and swiftly either push the pen along or let the pen lead and just follow it where ever it wants to go. Don´t worry what it looks like for now, just feel the line flow out. Know when to stop and look at the drawing in all its abstract nature, turn it around and listen what it says to you, what it reminds you of. Draw another line on a new clean piece of paper, faster and more fluid. Then another. Our confidence will improve when practicing this small piece of freedom. This is called “Doodling”. It is a very valid starting point. If there is anything that comes through to you from these doodles you can work into them, to bring out a descriptive edge, cut it out or frame it just as it is, if you like it. Look patiently and think about each drawing what it means to you. We can paint and draw what is inside our minds and what we see outside of ourselves, we only need to accept what it is that we make. There are no rules, only the ones we make up ourselves.