drafts/excerpts/notes from a book i’m working on, which includes writings and reflections on the creative process, on struggling with being a modern artist, on creative identity, and on understanding a corrupted relationship with expression
Possible Sections (unordered):
➤ Modern Interference
➤ Critique of Process
➤ Principles of Practice
➤ Creative Block
➤ Ideologies of Interface
▻ The Silent Poet (fear of sharing)
▻ The Wanderer (against specialization)
▻ The Gardener (alternative approach)
they fall down the rabbit holes of their thinking, one after another, until they find themselves in some conclusion their itinerary did not plan for. such rabbit holes only open up to those who are profoundly dissatisfied with the present conditions of their existence; as those who are content do not go searching, and those who remain fixed do not go falling. the fall is for the frustrated. and i am frustrated.
the desire to express can be so overwhelming, so overpowering, that it becomes easy to cross the line from intimacy to vulnerability. and the misguided artist finds it difficult to distinguish between the two, because they believe all they must do is listen to what the painting asks of them, to what the poem asks of them.
but a blank canvas will not hesitate to carry all your burdens, and paper will gladly tempt you to spill all your secrets—paint and pen have no moral obligation to protect you from vulnerability. pictures and words are merely a medium between relationships, and if they are mediating the relationship between you and your heart, then is it not what your heart asks of you that ultimately matters?
because just as you have boundaries that you ask others to respect, your heart too has its own boundaries that you must respect. and it is the boundaries of your heart that will tell you where the line between intimacy and vulnerability lies. establishing the extent of this boundary is not something that can be rushed, and it is not something you can learn from others—every heart needs a different radius. you must take the time to recognize yours.
this process will require negotiation, and patience, but most importantly, forgiveness. because although intuition will warn you when you have arrived at the edge of a boundary, you will fail to listen from time to time, and you will cross boundaries for the sake of expression; in those moments, not only will you have to carry the guilt of transgression, but also the pain of having been transgressed upon.
i am incapable of accommodating for the many faces that i wish to wear, so i wear none. i am incapable of reconciling the many subjects i have learned into one cohesive identity, so i am none.
i have no sense of direction, no end destination. there is no degree, no label, no title, that is willing to take on the task of defining a wanderer. still, the world nags me on and on towards specialization, towards definition, towards boundary. the world is begging to know which box to put me in, which part of the system to delegate me to.
but i refuse. i refuse to define myself, and i refuse to be defined. i walk on a path that isn't limited to one direction; a path that goes north, east, south, and west, all at the same time.
when you breathe, do you keep an eye on the air you exhale, wondering if it’s perfect, wondering if it will be noticed? no. you breathe simply because you must.
& is your art not the breath of your soul? so why do you attach yourself to every creation, to every little puff?
too many paintings i’ve
started but never finished;
emotions i’ve abandoned,
heard but never listened