I’d be such a mess without art in my life. Outside of the obvious being able to earn a living with it, the creative birthing process is a really kind of a unique thing. It’s a cleansing, safe place where quiet concentration allows for this deep inner focus that I don’t get through any other activity. It’s both a profession, and also a healing meditative act that I’d argue to it’s faithful is a way of life.
I think a lot of people turn to art as a form of escape. I know that’s what I did. It was a way out of a sometimes stressful childhood, a reliable coping mechanism I could turn to whenever I needed to dig deep and process the whatever fucked up thing was happening in my life at the time.
When drawing or painting, sure, I’m thinking about the picture, but after a while, it splits off and I’m also thinking of whatever it is thats on my mind, but instead of being overwhelmed by it like I might be if I was just laying in bed thinking about it, I am able to process it differently. I can slow it down and break the problems down in a way I can’t otherwise. It’s therapy and meditation at the same time.
I have sorted through every major situation both good and bad in my life through making pictures. Slowly crunching the math and attempting to figure things out in the background while quietly rendering on something completely unrelated.
I can look at almost any picture I’ve made and I can remember exactly what was happening in my life at that exact time. Almost like strange diary of sorts, composed of random images that contain metadata to which only I have access.
I have to assume most artists have a similar bond to the work they make. Its kind of wild to think that almost every creative effort probably has some personal back story tied to it by whoever created it. It’s a testament to why we create as humans.
It’s amusing to think that if Da Vinci were to look at the Mona Lisa, he might also be reminded of a fight he had with his mother, or what clothing he was planning on packing to take with him on holiday, or how maybe he was dealing with a terrible bunion on his foot at the time and he’s reminded of the routine he had to adopt to tend to it.
On that note, I went to the museum with my buddy Pete today, and man, what a nice little recharge it was. The Seattle art museum has a pretty impressive collection. I took a few pictures of paintings that i liked. I’m not especially intellectual when it comes to speaking intelligently about paintings, so I’m just going to post them because I thought they looked cool. Pretty pictures that had presence. Makes you wonder what they were thinking about when they made them.
What do you think about when you’re making pictures?
This encapsulates so much of what I’ve been thinking about with my own art. With all the AI stuff going around, I’ve become more thoughtful about my own humanity as it relates to what I create.
That line about metadata only the artist has access to is so apt! I can often remember what I was listening to, or worried about, or planning. Drawing is such a good tool for processing thought.
Whether doing traditional or digital work I find that once all the decisions are made and I’ve come down to the mechanical execution of the piece, my thoughts will float away while I work. They often hover over a landscape that I’m familiar with, such as the backyard of one of my childhood homes. Or something as plain as a local street intersection. I don’t seem to stay in these places for a long time and they don’t come in any particular order. It’s like one of those temporary screens you see when a program you’re watching gets interrupted, with the words “We’ll be right back!” scrolling along the bottom. Thanks for the posts you share Justin.