Artistic revelations are a regular occurrence for all creative people. The opportunity for revelations to appear for an artist, as their individual creative territory is explored, is immense.
Over the years I, like most artists, have found various ways to fund the creation of my art. There have been many instances when I have managed to supplement gallery sales with contras, art auctions, gifts and myriad short-term jobs to help make ends meet.
I am intrigued by how insistent I have been over the years to maintain my identity as an artist. I am fortunate not that I stumbled across found and recycled objects and saw their artistic potential – but that I had the courage to envision an entirely new art form and risk ridicule, and my reputation as a fine artist, to create this new body of work.
Although I feel at peace in my relationship with my biological father, and his untimely death, it has still affected my ability to live a ‘normal’ life and desire ‘normal’ jobs. It’s not that I haven’t been able to take on run of the mill jobs, it’s just that I have had a constant need to do something more ‘edgy’, things that have more possibility – and greater risk – than merely mowing lawns all my life or serving drinks behind a bar.
There is no doubt that artists have an extra sensitivity towards life. In fact, it is a necessary component of the artist’s quality that enables him or her to respond creatively to life’s experiences. What initiates or develops this sensitivity is, of course, an individual thing. In my case, I believe my sensitivity, as an artist was a by-product of my biological father’s suicide when I was a toddler. This tragedy, and its impact on my mother and siblings, has fuelled this ‘extra sensitivity’ to life.
Life as an artist, or as the intimate partner of an artist, might be romantic for many people. In many ways, my partner and I have enjoyed our fair share of romance in our relationship because I am an artist.
At exhibitions, we are often the center of attention. We have been treated extraordinarily well as the result of my artistic renown, flown to exotic destinations, accommodated in superior hotels and rubbed shoulders with the elite in fabulous restaurants.
After thirty active years in the industry, I have discovered that being an artist comes with a certain territory that is anathema to most other occupations and careers. This unique territory is singular for each artist and provides its own opportunity for revelations.
The artist’s journey has many rewards, some obvious and some quite hidden, only to be miraculously revealed towards the end of a career. Through attention to core issues at the beginning of the journey and continued focus throughout a lifetime of being an artist, where clear renewed definition of yourself as a professional in your field, has provided you with the confidence needed to envision your future without fear, you will see these rewards come your way. With this necessarily precise attention, you will always see results.
To prompt yourself into action you need to have a strong enough intent. You need to make sure that your effort is mutually nourishing and is essentially beneficial to others. You need to know that you’re capable of putting in constant effort and preferably have this effort be inspired over a long period, and then you will see the results of your effort.
On a deep level, creating wealth for example, is adding value. A state of not being divided internally will automatically attract a state of prosperity, you could call this a state of ‘Oneness’, and for a creative person this state has to be paramount for success.
I found my own unique way through both my creativity and by developing an inner awareness. In order to have a form of creativity that is largely free of self-obsessive angst and tragedy, it has been necessary for me to work on my own personal growth. This has been tremendous through resolving issues that are essentially outside the creative process.
You will naturally have challenges on a career-based level with finances or with your need to go outside your comfort level when making particular decisions. You will need to take risky business decisions, which will require you to transcend fear in order to have them become successful ones. After all, what‘s the point in being an artist, a creator, if you are not willing to confront your fears? You may as well hang wallpaper.
Once you put the thought together as an idea you send it out to the universe. In some way or another you end up creating your own reality, so why not have a clear picture of what you want and why, and then afterwards, see what comes. A far better way to live than stumbling through random offerings from existence because you weren’t smart enough to create it yourself.
It’s always good to remember why you became an artist in the first place, or why you wanted to study art and to remember to have fun in the process of making your art this will help you to stay fresh. Just begin somewhere and see where it goes. Some of the problem originates with how tedious you become with the preparation of the surface upon which you are going to work.
You can stifle your creativity to the point where you can spend days – and I have, sitting in your studio in front of a series of beautifully prepared works on paper or stretched canvases, pristine with their white gesso freshly applied, while you scratch your head in complete frustration not knowing where to start
Across Europe there are artist resources in each country, probably such an exhaustive number exist in each country and each major city, that it is pointless to list them all here. Look them up on a need to know basis when you are there and reap the benefits of the insider knowledge you gain and the networking opportunities found. They are priceless.
Career challenges will be things that you begin to look forward to instead of things you dread and avoid. No longer will you undermine your success. The art revelations and insights will naturally bring success, where your own personal reflections and vision will clear obstacles & provide direction. You will most importantly remember to breathe as you have your own unique personal experience & insights and develop your central artistic concerns with the confidence you always wanted and somewhere know you always had.
This stylistic approach is best described as an offshoot of Surrealism. It was at this point that I visited the National Gallery of Victoria to see an exhibition of modern masters from Europe, which included Salvador Dali and other artists who I had never seen before. I was intending to write about this exhibition in my end of year exam.
From those early days of making these wall based assemblages, the whole process orientation took shape which was to guide me through many twists and turns in my creativity, which had me exploring many mediums in the found object genre including sculpture, installation, public art, digital printing and a return to painting.
There were of course, myriad plastics that were chipped and broken. Sometimes these found objects were unrecognizable as the consumer items they once were. There were also buoys and thongs (flip-flops) in dozens of colors.