Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy and Successful

I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be successful. And so do you. Focus on what you want to see. You have a right to be who you want to be, to live the life you want to live, to love the things you want to love. You don't have to think about anything else but this. You can do it.

Setting up a lifestyle that challenges you to be honest is the best thing you can do. Eliminating anything that doesn't have to do with this goal is the best thing you can do. Choosing to focus on this goal, with all of you intent, passion and drive and is the best thing you can do.

Be the best you can be. Do the best you can do. Believe in the best. Own it. You deserve this lifetime. How are you going to spend it? This is your time now. Go boldly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teach Our Children

“Without a talent nurtured and perfected, the finest instrument would stand silent.”
- U

There is nothing more sad than wasted talent. Artists have intense souls. When not used it can be devastatingly sad. You know it if you've got it in you. But often times you haven't had the opportunity.

If I ruled the world everyone would have paintbrushes and books.

Well, I don't rule the world. But I do rule my world. And I have a lot of paintbrushes and a lot of books.

If I could teach the world anything, it would be to find yourself in your imagination. Rather than teaching our children the pressures of success, how about teaching them the joys of our imagination?

It's a sensitive subject. As we humans, are sensitive creatures. One thing someone says to us when we are young can shape our entire lives. Perhaps though, the human spirit has a way of working things out. Somehow, the green leaves find the sun. Somehow, the plant grows tall. Somehow, the flower blossoms.

Teach our children to play, to frolic and to imagine. Teach them to be strong, disciplined and brave.

Teach them to create and to grow toward the light.

I've got paintbrushes, and I've got books. Martin Luther King, Jr, one of my heroes, said, "We must wage peace with the same intention of those who wage war." I wage peace with paintbrushes and books. I have plenty. I use them. I hope the world follows my lead.

Teach our children to paint. Teach our children to read. Teach our children to be aware of their beauty. We must set the bar high. There is too much at stake. We can not risk loosing such beauty.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I can't make cute art

I can't make cute art. Sometimes I go through phases where I tell myself to make things to sell. Do this or that because it'll be nice and marketable, it's a good lucrative idea. I can't do it. I've realized I just have to keep going with what I'm going to do. Keep going with what feels right to me. Keep going with what I'm on to. I believe that is what will carry me to my highest creative vision. That is what is in my best interest. And that is what I must do.

I believe that what is in the best interest of my higher self, is in the best interest of all.

As an artist, I don't like it when people say, "you should do.... (fill in the blank with what they think is cute)". I look at them and say, "that's a great idea...." In my head I'm thinking, "I don't foresee myself ever doing that." Then I would consider it, and try my best to fit into a mold. I'll think I shoud, I could....

I can't do it. I can't make cute art. I can only do what I'm here to do. I can only do what I'm on to. I can only do what is personal.

I am interested in the inner workings of the soul. I am interested in covering new grounds as to what human beings can potentially do. I am interested in innovation.

I am interested in self-discovery. I am interested in healing and progress and humanity. I am interested in trust and truth and compassion. I am interested in love and grace and freedom. I understand that it's all very simple. I understand that it is a matter of us all doing it the best we can with the what we have, right now. I understand that we are all capable. I am here to provide space, for myself and for others.

You're Ready Now

You're ready now. So often we think that we need more training, more experience, when I get the skills, or the nice paint or the private loft studio with huge windows pouring in natural light... then I'll be ready, then I'll make my masterpiece and my life will change.

Nope. Doesn't work like that. You are ready right now in this minute, and you are the best artist that you'll ever be. That's the truth. The best thing any artist can do is to awaken to the moment they are in, to do the best they can with their means, to work consistently and to open themselves to the possibilities of discovery.

I don't believe in the future. I don't believe in waiting for one thing to end and another to begin. I don't believe in excuses. I don't buy them. You can't entertain me with why you didn't, why you can't, and why you're not doing it now.

The answer is simple: you are as good as you're ever going to be in this moment right now. It's not about waiting to be "better". It's not about the golden moment that lies ahead. It's about digging deep. It's about finding what you already know. It's about making big mistakes so you can discover the one thing that is actually yours.

The fancy tools are just fancy tools. There's more implications that come with them. Perhaps there's more pressure and perhaps that's precisely the thing that gets in the way from making true art.

Remember: It's always going to be about awakening to the moment you are in with what you have right here and right now. It's about discovering yourself. It's about a journey that is personal. It's about freedom, freedom from attachment, to your job, your family, your friends, your past, your expectations, your anxieties, freedom from it all, all of it. Trust me. It's about losing yourself to something greater, something we can't explain, and thank God we can't. The boredom that would come from explaining is more than I can mention. Explaining is too easy. Anyone can explain themselves. I want to exalt in something uncommon, something that's never been done before, something that's mine. I want to feel alive. I want to live as deep as I can in the most authentic questions, and then I want to go deeper, further, and messier. Then I will feel like maybe I'm tapping into why I'm here. Anything less would not be a life worth living.

I want to ride the waves of passion. I want to be at the grip of discipline. I want to feel like I'm transcending deep into the raw moment of genius.

As Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart said, "Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius." He's got it. That's it. That's as simple, honest and truthful as I've ever come in my understanding. I believe it. And you can love, right here and right now.

Stop making excuses. Stop living in something that doesn't exist. It's an illusion. This notion of "a better day". This feeling that "if and when" I'm going to ride the waves of my true calling. No. You're not. You won't ever ride any wave until you loosen your grip on expectation and feel what it is you are right now. Pick up your tools, as rusty as they may be, and make something. Do it will all of your heart. Do not hesitate, and do not settle for anything less, ever. Do it with all of your heart and then do it again. Over and over and over until the momentum carries you to something great. I think only then will you understand what it means to be yourself, to be alive and to live your calling.

You're ready now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Don't ever admit to anxiety

Admitting to anxiety is like saying, "I'm going to fail and I know it!" Don't do it. Just don't.

Maybe you're scared. Act like you've got it under control. You know what you're doing. You're going to nail it. Make out like you only have one option: success.

Ditch anxiety, most importantly, don't waste your time talking about it. Do something else. Watch a movie, read a book, walk in the park, go to the bar. So what you're being lazy, so what you're having fun, so want your indulging in the power of your soul. Do it and enjoy it and ditch the rest.

Then when it's time, pull the trigger. Mean it, feel it, live the dream of you're own self in action. You deserve it.

Don't give in to the anxious whine, the delusional pout, the fearful story. Get over it. :)

Make something happen. Like it's your only option. Like you knew it all along.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Be clear with what you want

Visualize the future, to the detail. Can you picture what you want? Can you see it? Feel it? Know it? What are you wearing? How do you behave? Who do you interact with?

Most importantly, who do you say thank you to?

Count your blessings. If you choose to build a frame of mind that creates, accepts and processes miracles they will come to you. It's the mental constructs that are important. The content that you attract and how it will be processed will be determined by your current state of mind. How do you see the world?

Through the eyes of old pain?

Through the eyes of forgiveness?

Through the eyes of awareness?

Focus your vision. Clarify want you want. Get specific. Don't confuse the universe. The clearer you are with what you want, the more gracefully it will come to you. Hold the energy of what you want and let go of the rest. Know the difference between what is real and what are fancy tales, or terrible tales, your mind is spinning.

Someone recently told me after I said, "I'm confused", that "You shouldn't be. You should always make things as simple as you can."

That's the point. The universe wants to give you what you want. It's up to you to do your part. It's up to you to speak the language of the universe. Be very clear with your intention. Never underestimate this power. Imagine what you want before it happens. Say thank you before it comes. Always, count your blessings. Remember your lucky stars.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Are you willing?

How willing are you to get over your personal dramas?

This is a great question to ask yourself routinely. Are you willing to accept what is going on, what is true, and to see a greater awareness? This may mean you must see things about yourself and your life that you don't want to admit. Are you willing?

Take your hands away from your ears and hear. Take the blindfold off your eyes and see. Start walking your own path at your own pace and for the love of God quit comparing yourself, it's not doing any good. Get up and live.

Miracle or grievance? Mistake or blessing? Problem or solution? Rise or suffer? It's up to you. At any given point.

It's true we all have personal dramas. The most enlightened souls have been through it. The questions are not, are you bad, how screwed up are you, how messed up has your life been, how many problems do you have. The question is: are you willing to rise? The questions are not how wrong people were to you, how many chances you didn't have, how much time you've lost, how much of your memory has been jaded by things you don't want to admit, you can barely stand, you simply want to run from. We have it. We've all been there. Our stories are different, but in one way or another we all have reasons to cry, to run, to hide. Strength doesn't just come, it's earned. It always is.

How strong will you be today? Will you rise? Will you make something out of your time? What do you have to do to get over yourself, yes I said, get over yourself. I know it hurt, but it's as simple as that. Get. Over. Yourself.

We all have/have had personal dramas. It's not a matter of how much you've been through, how sorry we are for you, how much it sucked. It sucked for a lot of people, real bad.

It's a matter of your willingness to get through it and be something more, something powerful.

The questions are: Are you willing to get over it? Are you willing to focus on something better? Something that serves you for a change? Something that's aligned with your core interests? How willing are you to step up and feel alive and real, even if it means drastically changing your life and being someone completely new.

Do it. It's worth it.

What is great art?

Great art consists of 3 things:

1. You own your process. You have clear intention. You know what you want.
2. You do it a lot, then you do it more. You don't give up. You push through all challenges.
3. You put it on the line. You seek an audience. You get it out.

These are the 3 things that make up great art. If you have skill, wonderful, you'll do all of the above more clearly and with strength. If you have time, lovely, you really have no excuse. If you have resources, the more the better, you are well on your way. But if you don't have the right combination of the 3 things above, you will not make great art, and that's the bottom line.

Steve Jobs said, "Real artists ship". He's right. Real artists ship. What he means is, real artists know that connecting with an audience, building relationships, and taking the risk to getting your work into the world is what will support what you do, give you longevity, and essentially make you into a real artist. You need feedback, you need criticism, you need to know your on the right track, or not. How are you going to do that if you don't put your work out on the line? Simply, you're not. Shipping your art is how you know your doing something right. It's just as much of a skill as making it. It will make you stronger, bigger and more focused.

Owning your process is being in control of what you are doing. Are you a lost puppy at the easel? Or are you a brave individual ready to figure something out? It's hard for everyone. We all go through the struggle. We all have the same issues, constraints and uncertainties. The only difference between the ones who make it and the ones who don't, is your willingness to keep going, NO. MATTER. WHAT.

And you've got to do it a lot, and then do it some more, and when you're totally exhausted, and there will be plenty of times when you will be, you keep going. Period. You work hard.

These are the 3 things that make up great art. Look at artists throughout history. Look at the ones who inspire you. Look around you at the artists who are thriving. They have these 3 things. And they know they do. They are not playing around. They are on a mission. They have faith in their calling. And they make every sacrifice for it. Whether they feel like it or not.

The reward: deep inner peace, exhilaration, soul-satisfaction.

What are you here to do?

So often we’ve been taught to settle, to relinquish our power and fit into a mold. So often we’ve been taught to pursue our goals as creative artists when we have the luxury of time later in life, when we’ve done the “important” work we’re “supposed” to do.

I question that model. I am not afraid to step out into the unknown and speak from my core, create from my gut, and follow my heart.

My work explores this intent. It explores the inner workings of my own soul, my own ideas and my own dreams. It explores who I really am, what I really want, and what my ideas of happiness are.

In my doing so, I hope to encourage others to do the same. I can’t tell you it’s easy, safe or clear. That’s not what I’m here to do. I am here to rise, manifest and shape something unique to my vision. I accept the challenge, the struggle and the pain, for I have faith in my calling.

I would rather live a life of honesty and vulnerability than settle for anything less.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What is Art?

I don’t believe in labels or in limiting yourself in any regard. Genius flourishes in a free and safe environment. It is my goal to create a space where natural gifts emerge. I also believe that art is work. It doesn’t just happen nor should you ever wait for inspiration to strike. You work whether you feel like it or not because you have faith in your calling. If you’re lucky, inspiration comes, usually in the heat of the moment. The more you are willing to begin, to show up and work, the more prepared you are for the magic to unfold. Consistent disciplined work is the best ingredient for creativity. In my process I go with an impulse, I follow what strikes me. It can be anything. I usually have a vague idea, a feeling, a sense that is a point of departure for the work to begin. Often times, I realize what the piece is about after I’ve made it. Making art for me is about stepping into my emotion and intuition, processing my reality, and transforming my space. I believe great art is the mastery of intention and feeling.


This is a beautiful except from Wallace Stevens poem, "Sunday Morning". It resonated with me and I wanted to share. We are so full of a range of feeling, and I encourage you to reach inside this reservoir, both personal and universal, and explore.

“Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measure destined for her soul.”

--from Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning”