Sunday, March 04, 2012

You Are Good Enough

My dad was a hard-ass.

Is it enough to even say that, in all the time I knew him before he died, I still didn't get to know him enough or understand him?  He tucked a lot of shit away and didn't share.  As a father, he really lacked some things.  I understand; that kind of thing gets passed down.

But, as an artist, he did his best to pass on to me the secrets of the craft.  Even though he never  truly made his mark in that respect, he certainly tried to convey the importance of listening to your muse and going with that flow and surfing its waves onto the shore of the great unknown.

I've never quite known why the hell I'm bound to do what I do, but there's never been much of an argument as to why I shouldn't.  It's never a question of wanting to.  It's always a matter of simply how to make it happen and damn the consequences.

If you feel that way, then why don't you just do it?

If any kind of art is burning within you, regardless of why it's even an issue, then perhaps it's meant for you to pursue it.  And if you're coldly calculating the artistry, well - you're dead in the water, mate.  There is no heartless approach to this.

Where does this come from?  Man, I'm only cracking the egg at this point; just wanting to lay some things out from a perspective.  If you follow this blog, then you might just be a fertile bed of soil looking for a few seeds.  Here's my contribution:  go with it.  Blow up and whirl like a haystack of ideas and let those ideas sink into the soil.  Who knows?  A bloom may sprout and form something in your heart.  Wouldn't that be grand?

Who can even question why some people might find themselves possessed of the nature to expose, compose, repose and go to the ends of their abilities just to understand and comprehend the "why"?

Well, I just did - and why are you even reading this unless you want to do something about it?  Don't bother unless you have the desire to move forward.

Art isn't something you "do."  Art is something you "are."  Modern times and media will pretend to associate the concept of expression with some kind of yearning, but honestly - it's in you already.  Nurturing is the key - not some limp attempt to embrace an inner "you" that can only be expressed by the amount of pop culture knowledge that you cling to like a life preserver.

It can't be done alone.  And the Feedback Fairy is waiting in more rooms than you even care to know.

Are you ready?


Anonymous said...

Following your bliss is a wonderful idea. The question is, what is your bliss..In the world we need food and shelter. That I would consider is my priority bliss. Then there is the fantasy bliss, what I would like to do with my time to create or enjoy. In my mind I have allways wanted to do what I want to do, but had to do what I had to do. Is that true? Maybe I have always been following my bliss.

Bing Futch said...

I'm not sure that it's "bliss" of which I speak; more like "purpose" or "fulfillment of being." Though art has been commercialized to the point of seeming frivolous in many ways, it is as real and necessary a form of expression as speaking to someone. As words can be conveyed through a variety of mediums for the common good, so can art communicate ideas, concepts, emotions that can help, heal, build, inform, etc. What I'm getting at here is helping people to engage their art without minimalizing it. Seeing it as something that is essential as opposed to optional. For some people, it just may not be that important in comparison to other things (like food or shelter, for example.) There is a great stage play (and later movie) called "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" in which a sculptor loses the use of his hands in an automobile accident and, having lost his ability to create, chooses to die despite the best efforts of the hospital to keep him alive. It is a drastic and dramatic extreme but one that has more than its fair share of merit. It raises its own questions, perhaps for another time and post.

Anonymous said...

"My Bliss" is all about me. My art is to show off what I can do, so others will be impressed. I beleive all people try to please others so they will be loved. They follow trends so they will be exceped and not laughed at or rejected. I beleive are all dependent on others to raise our self esteme. If you painted a picture in the forest, and no one saw it, would it be beautyful? The comercialized art is driven by food and shelter and has taken us to greater heights of so called "Art".

Anonymous said...

Can identify with this on many levels. Part encouragement and honestly, part kick in the ass. Nurturing -is- the key. Thanks for saying the right thing(s) at the right time.

Bing Futch said...

Anon 1 - Creating your art for you (and summarily for others) is a wonderful thing! That said, there is a certain freedom that comes from creating art for art's sake and not relying upon any sort of input for success. Art is a very personal medium for lots of people and to put your heart and soul on the line can be daunting, even scary, when you're unsure if that art will be accepted or rejected or, worse, ignored in a puddle of complete ambivalence. This is the sort of thing that scares many people off of ever sharing their talents with others. Personally, if you paint a picture that no-one sees, it is still beautiful if you find it to be so. The artist imbues their work with every quality that others may find within it.

Anon 2 - Glad to have been of some help! I think the connection between my dad and I has to do with that "tough love." He sure could kick an ass, but he was not so great with the encouragement. Every creative sort needs someone to guide them once in a while, provide input or just to simply be a witness to what's developing. Challenges may be unpleasant sometimes, but it's those walls that we scale that give us better perspective of our art and the surroundings in which we create. Good luck and may the muse be with you!

Anonymous said...

Creating art for art's sake. I question my motive for my art, am I really doing it for art, or am I doing it to please others so I can be put on a pedistal like Elvis, Michael, or Whitney? Years ago I questioned my reason for sending christmas cards, Am I sending them because it is expected of me, or because I wanted to. That was the begining of questioning my motives. I found in myself doubt of what the real truth is. In the morning, when I wake, I assume my role and put on my face which I present to others. It is formed by the illusion in my mind of who I think I am. But really, Who am I? Life has become more complicated because of becoming aware of the consiquences of my thoughts.

Bing Futch said...

It's good to question your motivation; the soul is the plum line by which we measure our lives. Putting it in a different perspective; if you pursue your art for the sake of self-glorification and someone is able to appreciate that art, better themselves or get into a more positive head-space, then the effect you might have intended has gone a completely different way. That alone illustrates the disconnect between your motivation and the eventual acceptance of your actions. Now, if your intention is to greatly turn off an appreciator of art and you witness someone loudly rejecting what you do, then the intention matches the results; that happens sometimes. As much as making an effort to deeply touch the humanity in someone and bringing them to tears. It's as scattershot as probability will allow, which just comes right back to your own intentions. Of course, you can't escape those - so that is first and foremost what you must deal with and be in alignment with. If you don't agree with self about how to move forward, then it truly doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about your art, does it? You'll never be happy with your art until you are happy, at least with the process. Of course, you won't be happy at all if nothing gets produced, presented or practiced!

Anonymous said...

It seems all so complicated. I have found for my self, its simple. Just do what I do, don't question my choice, live in the moment. Be myself. When I reach a fork in my path,and I must make a choice of the direction, make that choice in the moment. its never the wrong choice, however it may have conciquences I could not predict....

Bing Futch said...

Anything analyzed becomes complex upon scrutiny. Which is why living in the moment can be so blissful. : ) Be like the reed and bend in the wind and may all of your choices yield the very best results for you and all any involved (I think that's the Buddhist way of looking at it anyway.)

Anonymous said...

Wise words, but its not just art it is what ever you decide to follow in life. It sounds like our dads came from the same mold except mine was a different kind of artist he was a mechanic. He could repair most anything and when he worked on an engine there was some kind of magic happening.

Me - I'm a mechanical designer, odds are you have owned something that I have had a say in how it works or how it looks. When I am in the midst of creating some new widget, time goes on without me, I am lost in the world of lines and arcs, static and dynamic loads, how will it be used, how should it look. Am I an artist? Not in the classical definition but I still follow a muse.

If you have a dream and are willing to expend the energy and time to attempt to become the best at your chosen field, you will survive. You may not ever be the best but there will be enough money for food and rent and life will be great.

Bing Futch said...

Amen to that!