How Great Thou Artist

HeadshotIt is true! Art imitates life.

As I was winding down an After Effects video project at work today, something dawned on me: The implementation of special effects on any media, for the most part, is but an attempt to recapture life’s imperfections and limitations which modern technology seems to have now alleviated. SFX, in fact, puts the “mistakes” back where they belonged.

How ironic that we actually, albeit unknowingly, appreciate the inadequacies of human nature. Could it be because perfection is so far off that we’re just not able to relate? Or that our shortcomings are all that we’re familiar with? We accept the fact that we miss the mark. We miss the goal. Yes! And in that painfully honest truth is where we genuinely find real beauty.

Consider a photographer who dramatizes his perfectly looking photograph by adding a touch of sepia to it, making it look “aged.” That’s right. Because “perfect” is boring! A little rough on the edges is who we really are. All of us. And to flaunt that… is cool!

Consider a film maker trying to capture the mood of the past in his story by shooting in black and white. A musician who creates music with the aid of modern gadgets that replicate the sound of the 50’s. I could go on and on. But you get my drift.

We are poetry in motion, ya’ll. Warts and all. And with that said, the next time you marvel at a modern piece of art – be it visual, sound or otherwise – remember that life itself is the original work of art.

Oh yes… How great thou Artist!

Art? I had a boss named Art

This is torture!

I just came to the troubling perception that artists could, in fact, be cursed individuals. Cursed with a sickness. They’re not conventional, in a sense. Their talents are an incurable disease. And their work is the only known pill that’s keeping them alive, sane and worth jack!

When you think of the great artists that ever lived, there seems to be a common thread. Though, not a pleasing one. Look at Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Morrison and Cobain, to name a few. It’s a little scary, if you ask me.

So, if you consider yourself an artist but can actually survive a day without creativity being the absolute center of your universe, you ought to think twice. Being one is like a citizenship. Or a race, almost. You belong, whether you like it or not, to a world outside the usual one. Your innate sense and constant craving for creativity is the chasm that separates you from the rest of the average crowd. It’s you and them. You’re here and they’re there. There’s a distance, alright. Sometimes it’s not much, sometimes it is great. It can be a lonely and demanding place where you are a slave over your desire for accomplishment rather than your need to eat and have a warm place to stay.

Crazy! It’s torture, I’m tellin’ ya!

However, I took a test and was proven wrong. Dagnabit! My ego is bruised.

Whaddya mean I’m normal?

I am 12% Tortured Artist.
Art? I know a guy named Art.

I should be happy. I have a normal life. I have no artistic ability and I am not cursed with the realiztion that everyone is an idiot, because I am one.

Scary. I could be a walking contradiction.

But, what do I know now?

A weekend blogger no more

This isn’t a firm promise, let me tell you that right now. But I will try to repent of my weekend blogger attitude as much as I possibly can. For the past couple of years, I’ve only blogged, for the most part, during the weekends as it was the only quote convenient time unquote for me.

I realize that writing your thoughts down when you have them is not a matter of convenience. Just like any artistic statement, it’s all about inspiration. And as far as I know, inspiration doesn’t just show up on the weekends. Nonetheless, there’s always the legitimate excuse of not having the time or being busy with other things. True. But for someone who’s desperately wanting to learn to communicate better through written (typed?) words, I have to at least try to be consistent.

This past month has been very helpful. It’s helped me to focus better and to be able to articulate more on the things I’m inclined to talk about. And I have quite a few! It’s definitely comforting and at the same time, it gives me a sense of fulfillment. Like artwork always does for me.

Now, does this mean I will write everyday? I hope so. I’d like to if I can. But like I said, it’s all about inspiration for me and not being rigid for the sake of being rigid. After all, I’m an artist, not a journalist. So, it’s true that inspiration may not come just on the weekends, but it may also not come every single day. It may or may not. However, my aim is to seize the moment whenever possible. To not have to postpone the desire to write at a more convenient time.

I used to write songs everyday for years, until I ran out of juice. Then one day, I was just writing every once in a while. Hopefully, someday it’ll come back. I hope I can do the same with blogging. Because, as I’ve learned through the years, it’s also evolved into one of my accredited art forms. The art of expressing oneself in words and thoughts. It’s a beautiful thing indeed.

Brave Art

“Do not taint art with pride lest you reduce it to a science.”

I’ll probably piss some people off with this statement! But I’m an artist, so guess which fence I’m siding on? Yes, it’s a slogan I live by everyday. I came up with it after years and years of creating artwork. Be it music, poetry, photography, web & graphic design, or even cooking, I realized there is absolutely nothing to be proud of. Yep, instead they’re all there to simply humble me out. Everytime I create something new, say, a nice photograph or a song, it is like air passing through my lungs. And everytime I breathe, everytime I inhale and exhale, I feel I’ve been blessed all over again. Like I’ve been given another chance. An undeserved chance.

So, how could art be reduced to a science, you say? Actually, a more interesting question is… How could science be viewed as a reduction? Well, to begin with, I’m not trying to discredit it by any means. Coming from a limited point of view, I see that science is great, but only in this lifetime. It cannot continue on beyond that, I don’t think. But the thing is, science lives in the prison of curiosity. It thrives on hypotheses. Sure, it can enhance our short pathetic life on earth. But no more.

Not that art prevails in that department, on the other hand. In fact, it is the underdog. It does less. But what’s more important is that, at least, it expresses vulnerability. It’s an abstraction that is, in fact, more human in essence than anything else in this world. Art will give no answer. It will solve no dilemma. It has no political opinion. Like the ol’ Pinball Wizard, it is indeed deaf, dumb and blind. What it does though, and does very well, is cultivate emotions. Yes, them darn little things that pop our egotistical lids everytime! It admits its shortcomings. It is honest in both its simplicity and complexity yet appears transparent and stunningly beautiful to its beholder and to those fortunate enough to relate to it. Art is not to be thought through, but absorbed. You can sip wine and bust your brain trying to get that hint of chicory to dance on your tongue like everyone says it does, or you can simply smile and enjoy the buzz! Art is the magic formula that defies logic. One plus one equals two. Okay, but why not three? Yeah, sure, why not? Three it is then.

Try that with science.

I remember playing bass at a gig once. And since I’m primarily an electric guitar player, I’m used to playing with a pick. And so I played bass with a pick. I liked the sound of it and felt it suited the music well. You wouldn’t believe the rant I got the following day. “Good playing… but true bass players play with their fingers.” True bass players? Purists, they’re called. They tick me off! Get a grip, I thought! Nothing is pure. You know… it’s not rocket science, it is music! Okay, fine! It’s ONLY music! But if I want to pluck a bass string with a broomstick, I should! Why not? After all, in my world, at least, art is the master and science is the slave. And me? Well, I’m the heir to the throne! Ha! Funny, but true. But there, my friend, lies the awesome power of vulnerability! In this sometimes lonely kingdom, there are no stiff rules to follow. No restrictions. No Joneses to keep up with. Just you and your imperfect decisions dancing every so happily. Just you and your sole responsibilities. You and your futile conscience. You and your gut instincts. Yeah, that’s right. Just you and your dreaded art! Brave art, I’ll say.

Anyhow, sorry for letting my egotistical lid get popped there for a minute. Now, where was I?

Oh yeah… tainting art with pride. As I was saying, vulnerability is a powerful, boundless force, and art must possess it. Or, like I said, it just becomes a science. But once you become proud of your art, as well as your other abilities, or your services and products, their value is greatly reduced. When you’re able to touch other people’s lives in one way or another, the safest scenario is to not be aware of it. But since you and I know that’s wishful thinking, it would serve us well to simply be sobered by the fact that we’re blessed with a gift and that we don’t deserve it. Everyday, I struggle to always keep with me this truth… that I just work here, and that I’m only trying to do my job. Anything else is beyond me, and none of my business, really. I wake up in the morning and do my work all day. With science as my instrument and art, my song, I do what I could as I express myself in the best possible light, and then accept that I can ony go so far as to accomplish anything in a given time. That makes for an honest and productive day, I believe. And then I sit back and relax. Or something like that.

So yeah, what I said! There’s a lot more I want to expound on though… understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, letting go and all that good human stuff. I did take on gratitude a little bit on my last post. It’s all art. Brave art. However, I’m getting hungry now. Perhaps, it’s time to plate my dinner.

Hey, my best deeds are but filthy rags anyway, right? I love that though. It’s humbling. But it’s life. True life. And art just makes it all the more worthwhile. Which reminds me… I got one more quick thought for ya…

“Do not over explain art lest you’re reduced to being a cynic.”

And the dinner bell rings…