Doubt vs. Action
We can overcome hesitation in any idea by always carrying a sketchbook
I seem to come up with ideas when I cook. The more conclusive ideas come to me when I am actively doing something unrelated to what ever project I am working on directly. If I try too hard, I loose it. It is imperative to keep my mental and physical energy balanced and tested. To remain critical, to question every move but still make a move. It is easy enough to question an idea, then push your self away from it for known or unknown reasons. It is another thing to question your idea and execute it on some level. This for me comes out in sketching, on paper and in my mind. Scenario making. Research and development. How ever you want to look at it, it is a form of discovery within a creative process.
Comfort vs. Adaptation
There is no such thing as bad, it can only be different
Alternative experiences, negative or positive, always end up being positive because I seem to learn the most from these experiences. You cannot knock that. Better to make the move than think about making the move. Discover the source and intent of expression and act accordingly. My approach is to evaluate the limiter, raise it when you feel comfortable, but keep trying to raise it. Comfort is great but if you improvise and adapt to any situation, you win. Always challenge yourself, always push a little bit harder.
Small Talk vs. Real Talk
We can't argue with time
Recently I have been getting back to three dimensional object shaping. What a relief. Our hands become the forefront of the tool shed and the light source becomes more integrated in to the process than working on a two dimensional form. Aside from that - in a non-linear way, I tend to work on projects simultaneously in a session, early in the morning to late at night. Isolation is optimal. Most creatives buy their time, as do I. Time is what you need to be able to consider decisions. That is a big part of my process. Time out to think. If things become rushed, the creative suffers.
Literal vs. Abstract
The moment I act toward a new piece, I can’t do anything else until I wrangle it in to balance (including being social)
Years of formality encouraged a self proposed shift in thinking toward the direction I wanted to explore in these recent paintings. Distancing my self from commercial work the past few years naturally led me to painting from a much more gestural and visceral source. Concentrating strictly on color and form rather than rendering figurative or representational subject matter has consumed my psyche.
More vs. Less
I do not like focusing my energy inward, toward mini, virtual, toy experiences
Un-collecting is an important tool to keep your energy and focus devoted to less overall “stuff” and more on things that matter applicable to the things you focus on. I find if I dilute my attention to too many things in one day my efforts reflect that kind of un-attentitiveness. Lower overhead = higher quality. I'd rather live with less and take advantage of my surroundings, than deal with extraneous gear I have to manage.
Online vs. Offline
Hard work fed in to various social platforms: Scroll - Tap - Move on = 1000% Bummer
The result of an expression alone should be enough to generate a persons interest. Artists are at the mercy of having to sell their lifestyle thru an array of social media hubs in order to gain exposure. We seem to have forgotten the idea of experiencing the actual work in it’s only reflection of self - in the purity of it’s own form. If we curate our expressions for these mediums (internet & phone) then I congratulate those who are able to complete their circular journey if they feel completely satisfied their core belief is being lived out. I for one do not get any satisfaction from seeing artwork de-contexualized, slapped with a statistic, reduced and re-processed in to a small percentage of its original size, let alone miss out on the texture and spatial dynamics you get by seeing things in the real. When I look to have a creative experience, the phone is my last stop in life.
Distraction vs. Focus
Practice separation and balance
Being mobile we are inherently granted separation. I don't want to live in the aftermath of an experience. Why stop for a moment to pull out a phone, frame up a little scene, waste more time and energy, so people can see what we want them to see immediately. It’s a contrived trip that has eliminated the idea of separation, of longing for something, of accepting that you cannot have everything all the time. That need is the very thing that attracts you to something in the first place. I have real and undeniable feelings that if we constantly deprive ourselves of this natural occurrence of separation by constantly and obsessively updating ourselves and others through our phones / email - we will wind up with more damage than the small amount of discomfort felt from a bit of restraint.
Alpha vs. Bet
Keep it simple with A & B let others have X Y & Z
Keys vs. Heart
I know the more I detach from these false senses of need, the better I feel
I used to leave my place in a semi-hunch, squeezing around my pockets muttering to myself, “Keys - Wallet - Cell phone”, I felt there was something fundamentally wrong with this habit. Keys = Safety, Wallet = Protection, Cell Phone = Distraction. This zombie-like search had nothing to do with human spirit, health, or love. It was that subconscious western hammer laying down some work on me, and if I started my day thinking like that, then my day would reflect that of a dull nail being driven further downward by the swollen system’s arm.
It was time for a tactical change: now I leave my house reenforcing the idea of ‘mind - body - heart’, I know if I go out into the word with these principles, my approach to anything in the day will develop from a more fulfilling and conscious rhythm.
Referee vs. Left Field
Living on the 'edge' is reality
On the topic of money, our invention, this limited resource floating and protected. Most modern social values make you feel as if you cannot have a good life if you choose to live without or do not have access to it. This is a problem - for it is the most natural thing we know, in our purest form - we are born without it. The innate ability to eat, sleep, act, think, love, etc. without the paper thing. So. Just to recap - if the money machine broke tomorrow, do you think we will not be able to live a good life? Of course we would. It’s ok to live with money, but it sure is ok to live without it as well. No system, government, teacher or role model can deny that.
...Continued thought next paragraph down here.⤵
Power of Three vs. The Unlimited
I know stress will kill me much faster than money will ever keep me alive
You can see a clear split down the middle here, from one side to another. Sadness and happiness taunting each other as they do more often than not, when you have time to think. The subject of truth seems to run though my mind in an elaborate maze but the one narrative that seems to get stuck on repeat is knowing that if I have these three essentials in life: food, water and shelter, everything else is elective stress. (The reason you see a repeat in narrative throughout my work with sequences of three.) We are rich if we have access to these three simple yet essential means of survival. We are born free, yet we enslave ourselves in many forms - even when we have the solution right in front of us at all times.
Recently I heard a friend’s observation, mentioning - at the end of the day all we want is to be noticed. Add in our modern, instant, digital perception value to that scenario, and it looks like we have quite a mess. Our decisions dictates our lifestyles. I also heard another great quote from the movie Papillon - “A true measure of one's character is one's ability to resist temptation.” I seem to compare and link both of these quotes and think - is it a more truthful existence to resist excess amounts of personal exposure at the expense of our limited resource of power? The only way I know how to deal with this very personal dilemma is to consult my natural surroundings for a closer link to the truth, not a device.
Cool vs. Pool
Two F's I don't believe in. Failure and Friday.
The weekend is an unhealthy concept, and well, failure does not exist.
Creep vs. Speed
There is no preconception of a finished result when I start a new piece
This leads to a lot of experimentation -- therefore most of the early process requires a lot of time adjusting the balance of the composition. When I find myself digging in deep, rendering forms too early in the process before sorting out the majority of the composition, I have to make much broader moves, covering the last hours, days or weeks of work to reset the piece. I have found myself having to do this in most of my pieces. This is where patience becomes imperative. Patience along with deep breathing. Breathing is everything.
Seeing vs. Looking
A good judgement criterium for the creation of any art form
Eggo vs. Ego
A golden rule in any industry
Just because someone is nice to you does not mean they like you.