It’s been one long week after another for me, but I’m working on some of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. Recovering this morning, I was laying in bed watching “Alien”.
But as I was laying there, watching it move suspenseful and slow, my mind began to race, and I couldn’t help but get up to go into my studio to work and write.
Rubbing my eyes and digging around broken books and envelopes of bits of future collages I found my RISD application portfolio from 2003. A white envelope acting as a time capsule. Slides of my photography and paintings foretell the story of an artist being introduced to a new form of language. Even then I was exploring abstraction, memory, surrealism and graphic design.
I am encouraged now to have found it. Not that it was lost, but that on a tired day like today I could see that I have been making art since before I really knew why I needed to. You see, I went to school when I was in my mid 20s after having discovered that there was a place for someone like me: an image maker, a dreamer of dreams. Although I have been taking photographs since I was 14, it took moving to Rhode Island to learn that I was an artist. Now I am reminded that I made art before I had any way to share it with people.
I don’t want to dilute the work I make with the motivation of sharing it. It doesn’t have to be beautiful or even make sense, but I do think that sharing can motivate decisions I make, and I’m not comfortable with that. I do not take photos because of Flickr or Instagram. I do not write because of Twitter or this blog. I don’t paint and collage to fill books. I do these things, and have been doing them long before we were all connected across digital networks, to learn about myself and the world we live in. To be an artist is to speak without words, to turn ideas into images, and I want to be the best at it .
Now I look across at who I once was. Not necessarily satisfied, but pleased to see themes which I still can’t seem to perfect. Struggling to press an idea to the table with one thumb, while the other hand translates it. I reach for understanding, and I look to the past for to learn. I am an artist. I take and I give. Take. Give.
The next thing I make will probably be a lot like other things I’ve made, as everything I’ve made is a prototype for what’s to come. I hope it’s better this time, though.