Last week, on Friday, we had a few errands to run. Those errands took us past an art installation made of mirror-squares. (Mylar, I believe?)
The nice folks at the gallery let us know that we could write our own reflections on the artwork with Sharpie.
Here were the resulting cogitations the art inspired:
“Reflect on your chosen path and learn from it.” –Alexander
“Don’t promote violence! Promote art!” — Dorian
Cats. Lots of cats made by Nicole
A scribble by Charlie
“Dream like a child. Love always. Smile more. And don’t forget the art of being alive.” — Me
This was probably horribly cliche rather than poetic or philosophical. At least the message was not a gang sign or an obscenity (two things you can expect to find whenever you find the words “public” and “Sharpie” in the same sentence). If I am lucky this will be useful to someone, and if I’m not, so it goes. Not everyone can be as quotable as Oscar Wilde. I would pick a quote to illustrate his quotability, but there were too many quotes to choose from so I will leave you with the task of picking the best.
Post YOUR personal favorite in the comment box. I would love to see it!
Reflecting is something we do often. Sometimes this is a good thing, other times, not so much. There are moments when you must actively do, rather than reflect. There are days when your verbs need to be taking place in motion, rather than in the nebulous world inside one’s own skull.
Too many reflections can lead to a nasty case of hesitation. There are moments to look before you jump, and there are others meant for flinging yourself blindly in the direction you want to go with a firm trust that God will either bless your journey to safety or greet you fondly at the Pearly Gates.
Of course, I’m not sure if dying of humiliation is possible. Recently, this is the only kind of risk I have experienced, but as threats go, it is frightening.
Self-promotion and extreme introversion are not a natural fit. Trying to find opportunities to do and share artwork puts me in the position of a cat taking a long hot shower. And I emerge from the experience feeling alien with my hair sticking out at odd angles, just as one might expect.
To connect this to the reflections listed earlier, I have a chosen path: the path of a creative person. There is no other option than to create. As my son said, this is something to learn from and I’m trying to learn: Learn to conquer fear of failure. Learn to accept rejection. Learn to throw away the bad mistakes and keep the good ones. Learn new techniques. Learn to prioritize and complete tasks. Learn. Learn. Learn.
This was my latest attempt to reach out and art someone while trying to help promote the local comicon at the Phoenix Film Festival. Quite a few people stopped and said they liked the work which was a direct result of a combined effort between myself and the comicon street team leader, Bry, to avoid offending any living person’s finer sensibilities with regard intellectual property. He said try doing that scene from Casablanca and the logo. This was the result.
I am learning the art of accepting compliments while, in my head, my inner critic is having a hissy fit about all the things I want to do better in the long run: proportions, shading, technique, composition, etc. My inner critic is hitting the insides of my mind with a sledgehammer and screaming, “What are you doing here next to those other people who are sketching that actually have books and make a living at art? You look like an idiot!” To some extent, I probably do, but, this gives me time to work, helps me relate in one of the few ways that an introvert can at a naturally social function, and promotes something artsy, creative and fun for the community. I’m genuinely thankful for the people who stop and enjoy what I’m doing at the moment. I appreciate their time, and hope never to waste it. In the end, the people who enjoy something are the whole point of any creative adventure or misadventure. Their positive words of encouragement help along the journey and balance my screaming inner-critic.
Art is a journey. Creativity is a journey. We need the evil inner-critic that isn’t satisfied with the work and pushes us forward, but we also need those kind-spirited on-lookers who enjoy everything as-is for the moment.
One of the people who took the time to speak with me was another talented and creative person–a photographer, Tasha McEntire, with Geekssociated Press, who alerted me to the really awesome pictures she took of our mural at Geeks Night Out.
I had fun looking through the pictures. I started recognizing more people. The fellow and his son that created an amazing, working, remote R2D2 from scratch, the Arizona Avengers, my comrades in street team arms, and many more.
This is the art of being alive. Moving forward even when it’s terrifying, meeting new people, and having a lot of fun along the way.
Speaking of art as a journey, this was the name of another installation in Chandler, this time involving my sons. Their work is up in the light boxes in a couple of bus shelters along Arizona Ave.
So, that is my post for this week.
Now, go out there and throw yourself in the direction you want to go. Good luck. Godspeed. And may you have a happy landing with only a few bumps along the way to your masterpiece.