I am friends with some amazing people. That’s not an ego trip on my part, I mean that I really look around sometimes at the people I know, the things they create and do and I am really amazed by the talent that surrounds me. I think I sort of hold my own on that level; I’m a professional photographer of various mediums, a writer, now a part of a crew that has a monthly spot on a UK radio station and that’s pretty cool too, but when a friend sends me a song, or a new video, anything really, I am simply stunned that I’ve had this connection to know that person and their creative process. The story you see on social media attached to these items is often simple, a professional version of, “I made this and I think it’s pretty cool.” The story you don’t hear is what lead to it’s creation. Those are probably the stories you should hear though.
Art is not created by simple design. Yes, there’s a structure and a category for most of it but where it comes from is much more complicated than yellow and orange streaks on a canvas, or clicking the shutter on a camera. Art is created by passion and pain, sometimes both. Even these weekly letters to you, my dear friends, aren’t a formula set to paper but rather an outpouring of an emotion. I create because I am drawn to, and these letters of mine are created for you and for me. Selflessly, I hope to be a voice that reminds you how connected we are and that you aren’t alone. A voice I once needed so desperately in my life. Selfishly, I still need these words and still need to feel connected to others. There is no form of artistic endeavor that doesn’t come from an emotion. We don’t robotically state that we see the color red and want to paint it. We see red and it reminds us of blood, danger, the lips of a lover, a dress once worn by the love of our life, or any other multiple thoughts and emotions, but we are then compelled to capture that emotion and share it. The artist selflessly pours out their heart on a canvas of their choosing, and selfishly hopes that it is understood by someone else.
There is pain in art and beauty in its application. I have always considered this to be Beautiful Madness. It is madness to color the world with your soul, to be so enraptured with your art that it keeps you up at night, unable to sleep, that it consumes your mind until it is born… and yet the beauty of it all amazes me. I have seen entire projects born of pain and loss, passion and anger. I have watched countless stories unfold and been a part of them
from the sidelines, or the direct cause of a few. I do not click a shutter button and hope for the best, relying completely on the constant mathematic equations of my trade, but rather I am using techniques I’ve learned to capture a moment in time where I feel an emotional pull. The beauty of a friend overlooking a sunset, a moment behind the scenes where the grace of a model compels me, a moment in an abandoned church that turned my thoughts to simple grace. I feel that through others as well; in their music and their writing I see the real soul of a human being who is flawed and beautiful. The courage of the storyteller to stand before the crowd, the gift of music that makes your heart soar and feel power, the lies drawn on canvas that pull you into its subject. I wonder at the story behind their art and often, when I have the ability to sit down with the person behind it, I am left amazed. A sunrise can give a momentary glimpse of connection with the universe and a voice can lend to grief. Those are the stories I wish we could all hear, but I sometimes fear that we’re deaf to.
This may seem wandering and without reason, but true to structure, this story has a meaning. You are never alone, never disconnected and never without someone in the world who understands you. We get so caught up in the day to day lives we endure – work, home, family, chores, eat, sleep, repeat, that it becomes almost robotic and alien to us. We start to remove ourselves from all but what we have right in front of us because we don’t see a reason for anything outside of our four walls. I say it’s time that we remember our connections. Revolution isn’t just a song on my playlist or a thought in the far corners of the world, it’s a way of fighting against the mundane. Find art. Consume it. Be so full of the feelings it brings you that you begin to feel your mind spin. Google exists, use it! Find music and paintings, looks at the colors, listen to the screams of metal and the soaring beauty of an opera. If it’s not for you, set it aside and look for what is, because our lives are more than work and sleep, we need our souls to cry out in exhilaration and our hearts to bleed in order to find ourselves and who we really are. Fight against the feelings inside your small bubble of the world and fill it with experiences, big and small. Step outside of it or make it grow until it bursts, then join the world outside of it.
You are so much more than one person in a sea of them. You are a soul, trapped inside of a moving vehicle that feeds on energy and light. You are a miracle and connected to everything around you. Never too old, never too young, never too much of anything if you are being your genuine self. Life is about learning and growth, so be sure that you grow in all ways. We are never alone, so find what connects with you and find your place in the world beyond the mundane… Even if only for a moment. The world needs more art, more love, and more feeling. I do not have to know you to love you, but I love you all enough to hope that you find love in yourself and passion in your soul.
Until next week,