An open letter to all the sensitive artist types

  

  Hello there. I am one of you and we are legion.  Our lot is a deep one, a gutsy one for sure. We are a strange group with a yearning desire to be our unique selves in this plastic preconceived prefabricated world.  It is we who come up with the ideas that others consume.

I know most of us are compelled to do this, this whatever we do that we deem art. And this compulsion runs deep, at least for me. For so many years I deprived myself of artistic endeavors, never making the time for it… thinking it frivolous, unnecessary…calling it a stupid dream and retreating back into the doldrums.

The voice never dies completely…this need to create, to share oneself. That voice grew from a whisper to a scream. I had to listen. The floodgates opened and they haven’t closed yet.  It’s a compulsion, a need like air to breathe.  Creative people know what I mean by this.  Sometimes I think living the life of someone a bit more “typical” would be simpler and easier. Less painful perhaps? At times the thought is tempting but in the end I wouldn’t want to live without this colorfully crazy creative streak.

Endless forms most beautiful

Art comes in endless forms.  I see it in everyday life from the musician and the writer to the carpenter, computer programmer, physicist, or cook. It is the soul of the person creating it that makes it beautiful. In my mind the only requirement for art to be art is that it contains a tiny drop of essence of the artist. If it’s honest and true that is what’s important. It is the stuff of daydreams and the inner workings of the soul that makes it memorable and remarkable.

Good art entertains, it amuses. It is whimsical and fun.

Great art makes you feel. Sometimes quite deeply and your life is forever changed by it.

The Starry Night, June 1889, The Museum of Mod...

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Starry Starry Night

A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing live and in color several major works by some of my favorite Impressionists, including the great Vincent Van Gogh.  It was the brushstrokes that did it. I could see the mind of the master at work…the one who takes command of the brush and creates a universe with it.  There is a force to the artist.  The gutsy part.  Vincent had it all right, we artists need that;  the show off….the ham. The part that is compelled to share that which we have created.  Even shy ones like me have that side… but there is also the other side; the sensitive one.   Vincent had that in spades. He poured out his heart onto the canvas with wild abandon.  I believe that creativity lies in that deep soulful side. I have that side…the indigo to my strawberry. It was that side that started to cry in the middle of the exhibit. I welled up and couldn’t stop. I couldn’t even see the art at that point but the images from that day will forever be etched in my memory.

What I am trying to say

This piece is entitled: An open letter to all sensitive artist types and it is. However,  I do have one certain artist in mind when I write this and to that person I say…..

It is the artists that stick their neck out. It takes courage to put your work in front of others. Your heart is on a plate for others to dissect and chew up. Humans are natural judges and it’s a hard dose to swallow when you are on the receiving end of a disinterested audience.  What is the purpose of art if it is not shared?  And appreciated.

It takes courage to pursue a dream and awfully thick skin.  Unfortunately most of us artistic types are sensitive and all the courage in the world doesn’t stop hurt feelings.  Some people are jerks and will knock anyone down who dares to dream. But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop dreaming. Because once in a while dreams do come true.  Don’t let a few sour grapes spoil a fantastic bottle of wine.

But don’t just listen to me:

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.  Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is.  It has nothing to do with the fact that the other people want what they want.  Indeed, the moment an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist….”

**Oscar Wilde**

Have a wildly creative day

Strawberryindigo.

 

Busyness

Tanakawho - Busy busy...(by)

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 What’s the rush?

It seems most people are in a hurry these days, always on the run. A blur of activity. Many practically live out of their cars.  Ferrying themselves and their children from here to there, from work to home, to school, to activities. What’s for dinner is decided in the drive thru of a fast food joint and eaten in the backseat by sleepy children after a much too long day filled to the brim with busy.

Sleeping with no deadlines...There is literally no time. No time for this or that.  No time to talk..”gotta’ go”.  No time to eat, let alone cook a healthy meal. No time to say hello, or good-bye. No time for family or friends, no time to read a book or take a walk.  No time for improvement or creativity. Or fun?  No time for love. No time to stop and smell the roses or appreciate a beautiful sunset.

No time to think, or reason or ask why. No time to see the man behind the curtain.

Time ticks by and every moment; every second is a miracle. It is a gift and most of us, myself included, just plow right through it.  Always in a hurry.   Always a full agenda.  It can’t be helped, you know..I’ve said this to myself.  People have responsibilities.  I’m swimming in them and my life is full.   Sound familiar?

Busyness

How many times have you asked someone how they’ve been doing and your query was answered with “busy”  How many times have you said that?  I know I’ve said that.

It is the correct answer, most of us are busy. With jobs and families and everything else in this ever-changing ever evolving world.  Our society becomes faster paced and more complex.  The bar is set higher and higher and you better run faster and jump higher than the next guy because it’s a jungle out there.

BusynessEven when we are not busy, most of us say we are. Idleness is looked down upon. Busyness is related with importance.  An important man is a busy one and his time is more valuable than yours, so you wait.  The poor and insignificant spend a lot of time waiting.

Busy people are needed and wanted.  Busy people are in high demand. It is those that are the movers and the shakers in this world. It is the busy ones that get things done. The busier you are the more important you are and the more valuable your time is.

In Praise of Slowness

There is much to be said for slowness in our fast-paced society.  The fact that  the very concept of “slow” is seen in a negative light shows our need for the benefits that slowness brings.  It’s difficult to see clearly when your life in always in motion. Growth can only come with examination and reflection.

Life is not a road race or a competition. It’s the journey not the destination. Life is meant to be savored. The people in our lives are important, our children are important. You can do more for your child’s development and future success by talking and spending time with them rather than dragging them to a million activities and “enrichment” classes. Time spent together is essential.   Years from now when we are old and running out of it time will any of us look back with rue and regret about how we didn’t spend enough of it at Busyness?

 

Strawberryindigo.

Money is a harsh mistress.

Lincoln memorial cent, with the S mintmark of ...

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MONEY.  Songs are written about it.  Lives and reputations lost because of it.  Some say the love of money is the root of all evil, but is it?

 Can anyone truly love money and is that truly evil? It’s dirty, that I know. My mom wouldn’t let me put it in my mouth as a child..”It’s dirty”, she said.  Damn right, it’s dirty and it gets around. Your average quarter, or nickel or dime probably travels through quite a few pockets and grubby unwashed hands before ending up neglected sitting alone in a change jar on someone’s dresser top or in your average toddlers mouth. How can you love that? Or those colorful but mostly green pieces of paper that spew out of the ATM? Those things with the pictures of dead presidents and the like with the phrase

 In God We Trust 

I can tell you one thing for sure; no matter how I personally feel about it, money certainly does not love me…

..And can anyone truly love it? And if so, is that evil?

Money

Money (Photo credit: 401K)

Definitely money can buy things. Stuff. Mostly crap we pretend we need because we just want to buy something new…shiny.. and expensive, but  it’s difficult to have regal tastes on a paupers budget and these days more and more people are finding themselves with a cash flow problem…meaning it doesn’t…flow.

Our heads get crammed full of things they say we need.  China makes it. The media sells it.  The banks provide credit, or at least they once did. And people suck it up like crazy.  Very few invest or save.  It’s nearly impossible not to be in debt these days.

 The youth are our future

It falls heavy on the children of those with fewer resources. Too often the only way to higher education is for these young people just starting out in life, to take out  student loans on the promise and the hope, really, that a future career with a good salary will be worth the large amount of debt they will accrue.  I don’t have to tell anyone how well  many new grads are fairing. Jobs are scarce these days.  It’s  no wonder why so many younger adults are so angry and so full of extra time to express their frustrations.

Money is a great cause of worry to many, myself included.   Money buys security and so it stands to reason that a lack of money buys insecurity  Money affords safety.  A roof over one’s head, electricity and a full refrigerator.  A current income increases your likelihood of not being thrown out into the street and forced to live under the bridge.  Money means comfort and ease and nice things.  Money means your child will be able to go to a good school and you will have a nice car.  Enough money means anything you want.  Want to travel the world? Wear designer clothes and have all the bright new shiny things and big kid toys you can find?  Want to be looked up to?  Admired? Listened to? After all, money does buy influence and power. Sufficient funds can put your name on a sports stadium or hospital wing. How about public office?  Money certainly buys that.

Money can buy anything. It can buy friends or at least the semblance of them.  It can buy what some may proclaim as love or some sort of affection.   It can buy hangers-on and toadies and users.

English: Imitation paper money (issued by &quo...

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The 99%

Money can buy power and privilege. Money can insulate if one allows it  and money does buy exclusiveness. The chosen few ride first class while most of us ride in coach with the rest of the 99%.  Money makes the world go round but it can also make one lose touch with what is important. Sometimes people see money as an indicator of the worth of a person; the measure of a man so to speak. It’s a widely held misconception among the rich that poor people somehow deserve their plight and that poverty is the result of bad breeding and idleness.

 Oscar Wilde once said: “There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else.”  How true.  If the credit hounds are at your back door or the balance of your bank account doesn’t remind you, the hard edge of the sidewalk will.

People are emotional about money.  This I have seen many times in my work in the financial industry. People make rash and important money decisions based solely on emotion.  That is never good. Numbers are not emotional. Interest is not emotional. Life is not fair and you better read the fine print.

Money is a harsh mistress…

Money can change people and our perceptions of them.   People fight over it, they lie, cheat and steal.   It can ruin friendships, relationships, marriages too.  I guess one could say that some sell their very souls for money. But does it buy happiness?

Can it buy love, real love?  Or real friends? Or real anything?  Can money really buy anything but things? Can money buy appreciation? Or humbleness? Or the depth of intelligence? Can money buy good taste or good sense? Or creativity, innovation or ideas?

Can riches buy respect?  Can the possession of things make one person better than another? More worthy?

Or does a measure of a man, or a woman lie not in monetary worth but in human worth?  In decency and respect for life.  In love for one’s fellow human. That’s the love affair that should be going on and the one we should be talking about.  For it’s not the money; it’s the person behind the money.  It’s the heart and the soul of that person.

  In the right hands money is a powerful tool that can be used for the benefit of us all.

Being wealthy doesn’t automatically make one evil or an uncaring, unsympathetic selfish jerk and wallowing in poverty doesn’t make anyone a saint either. It’s easy to judge and it’s easy to expect those who can most afford to pay for those who can’t.   It is also easy to see why the rich might not see it that way. Nothing is all black and white.

So what am I trying to say with all this? I suppose it would be that perhaps we should be aware about what we teach our youth about money, about the value of money and the value of a human life and which holds the most worth. No one is born with a love for money and we as a people, I hope, can progress to a point where we can get over this bad love affair with money. There is a good reason why it goes by the alias.

Cold hard cash.


We are all connected

We humans of the planet Earth are all in this together. What affects one of us affects us all. How we treat each other and what we value shows what kind of people we are.  It’s a small world and it gets smaller everyday.  We are all connected,  rich and poor alike. And all of us will have to do our part if we are to ensure a better world for all.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

Strawberryindigo.

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