“Draw Your Soul,” said my fourth-grade teacher, Sister Mary Lucy. I recognize now that drawing my soul has been a lifelong ambition. This was the first one-man show I mused about. The painting came quickly once I embraced the inspiration. Now, I learned that drawing your soul is a lifelong endeavor.
“At ten years old, this was my first one-man show.“
I am 10 years old. This is my first art exhibit. In a way, it became my first one-man show. As a result, it brought me recognition as an artist. What is more important, it was a catalyst that created an insatiable desire to draw my soul.
Pivotal markers provide direction to our spiritual journey. The recognition I received at ten was one of the markers. Mountaintop experiences are meaningful. Being chosen as the best representation of a soul was a mountaintop experience. Those experiences nourish the soul and provide deep inspiration.
Mountaintops and Valleys
It is safe to say that we love the mountaintop experience. However, the valley is where we live our lives. The valley is where we do the essential and critical work that leads us to the mountain. As a visual artist, it is time spent in the studio creating the story [art] that lives within us—at times, working a grueling schedule preparing for the art exhibit and always hoping that the next show will be a mountaintop experience.
Metaphorically, literature, poetry, and proverbs often use mountaintops and valleys to depict our journey into a new stage of life. We are all looking for the garden of Eden, that magical place that provides a sense of accomplishment and value for our work. We invent what looks like success; for many, the reward of “likes” may be the mountaintop experience. For others who rely on sales, this becomes a viable objective measure of success.
“Explain Your Art.”
That can be a difficult and daunting task for many artists. It asks to answer the most challenging question many artists do not know how to answer. The question is why. Producing the work is only one aspect for today’s creatives to achieve. Explaining your art to an audience may be the most critical job of a creative.
Obscurity is not a strategy to adapt as a creative. Your music, poetry, cooking, film work, dance, or what other art you practice needs an audience. “What is the sound of one hand clapping” is a koan that best describes the obscurity of an artist without an audience.
The chances of becoming the next Bansky, Black Hand, or Jeffrey Koons are slim. The chances of selling your work expand when you are exhibiting the work in the right place and the proper preparation for a mountaintop experience. The success of a chef/owner is tied to numerous reasons. Being obscure is not one of them. A favorite article of mine describes the fictional character of the “artist”.
“Pronounce the word artist, to conjure up the image of a solitary genius. A sacred aura still attaches to the word, a sense of one in contact with the numinous. “He’s an artist,” we’ll say in tones of reverence about an actor or musician or director. “A true artist,” we’ll solemnly proclaim our favorite singer or photographer, meaning someone who appears to dwell upon a higher plane. Vision, inspiration, mysterious gifts as from above: such are some of the associations that continue to adorn the word”. WILLIAM DERESIEWICZ
In closing, “Drawing My Soul” has triggered memories from a distant past. Sister Mary Lucy, a long-gone admirer of mine set me on my artist course.
What is your journey? I hope this was meaningful to you. If so, shoot me a note about drawing your own soul. Much thanks.