I’ve decided to start a new tradition in my classes, akin to the salutation, Namaste, that is used in many yoga cultures. Namaste, in Sanskrit means, the Divinity in me bows to the Divinity in you. Wassup? Heyyy, in my newly made up lingo means, the Artist in me salutes the Artist in you! (artistic side note: it should be said in a fun and melodic way to keep the energy light) Also, I think it’s a fun experiment to see if I could really start a new movement through made up lingo, to acknowledge the Artist within each of us. Because WE REALLY ARE ALL ARTISTS! We have each just had different experiences of art and art experience. hmmm, just like life.
I am really feeling like an artist as I write this at four in the morning on a cold, stormy night. On a night, I might add, where I actually have a rare opportunity to sleep, uninterrupted, because my nine month old is at his grandparents for the night, but I can’t because I keep thinking about the incredibly, beautiful images my students are creating and the notion that most of them and most of the population for that matter, has about not being artistic. Or more specifically, most adults in our population would have a hard time saying with conviction “I AM AN ARTIST.” Trust me I get it, because I think, I just started saying it today, in the circle, our human mandala, as I’m teaching an Art workshop. Crazy, I know. But more importantly, mostly, I think because they may not have natural talent to draw life like images. Which is quite different than not being artistic. Isn’t being artistic, just being willing to create something you don’t like. Or if you create something you like, doesn’t that then obligate you to create more. Why is it that, as the story goes, that you can ask a group of five year olds if they consider themselves artists and all of them will raise their hands, but as we age, people no longer will claim their artistry. What an interesting and popular , perhaps modern neurosis we’ve all seem to adopt, about “not really being an artist.” I mean what is art. We’ve all been to museums, galleries and arts shows, where you”re thinking “huh?” I don’t get it? Or, I could do that? Or, I could, never do that? But, how does one know unless, they dive into the mystery. One of my teachers told me, “An artists job is to get to the final place.” I love that thought. It means all one has to do is begin. Another teacher told me, “You have to be willing to make ugly art.” I agree. My approach to art, thus far, and of course, is also a metaphor for my life…the job is to turn the stuff I don’t like into stuff I like… and to have fun doing it… trying as many different mediums and methods as possible… in order to determine my style and preferences. In order to live the artistic life of my dreams. There, that’s my current recipe.