Journal Entry: Mon Apr 14, 2014, 11:59 AM
"I wouldn't have thought of doing that. Why did you?"
A classmate asks, looking at my work. She points to some hair I've colored, indicating the blues I'd added to the brown. I look at the hair, pondering this. Why did I choose to add that blue into the hair? Why did I even choose blue at all?
"Because she (being my art) told me so." I answered.
Of course my classmate was confused, so I had to elaborate.
This scene, me using weird 'one with the paint' explanations to tell inexperienced artists how I work, is fairly common. Their confused looks are equally frequent and often amusing.
Art for me isn't just the act of putting a pencil to paper and making something people ooh and ahh at. It's an act of creation. When I paint or draw, I feel that I'm reaching out beyond the borders of reality and channeling some of what's out there back into reality. Sometimes, when I'm particularly in tune, I don't feel like I'm the one working. I can take a backseat and let...Art drive for a bit. Some (if not all) of my best pieces are created this way.
Inversely, the pieces I hate the most art the ones where I fail to communicate with the great beyond properly. Or when something gets lost in translation.
Is this outlook strange? Probably. But only to those who don't understand.
The act of creation, be it giving birth, creating worlds or just assembling legos, is divine. What other animal on earth can look at the world and say 'I am going to make something of this'? I believe that, when we create, we reach out into the great beyond and bring a mere fragment back with us. Then, when our work is viewed, that fragment touches those who can see. Or those who need to see. Art is, for lack of a better word, alive.
Because of this life, this will, I find it difficult to force art to be anything other than what it chooses to be.
So I have to listen. I have to set aside what I want to have happen and let Art just be.
More often than not, thankfully, Art is willing to work with me to make what I want happen. Often, Art lets me see bits of myself that I've previously ignored or forgotten about. It can remind me of long forgotten dreams, revive long abandoned wishes and offer alternatives that I couldn't see.
Now, some will look at this and tell me that I'm just unconsciously digging up these things, that I'm not touching some 'great beyond'. But I'd rather think otherwise. There's not enough magic for me if one thinks like that.
But my classmate is new to art. She's only taken one other art class and has little experience with the 'great beyond'. She won't understand me when I talk about how I commune with the universe and talking like that won't help her get any better. So I look at my work critically and find a logical reason to why I chose blue instead of a lighter brown.
The mundane explanation for my inspiration is easy for her to understand. And helps me see why I was drawn to using blue. But, just because something can be explained rationally, it doesn't have to lose its magic.
I hope that, someday, she'll be able to look at her work and feel that she was channeling something bigger than herself. That she'll be able to understand when someone says 'the piece told me what it needed'.