At uni I learned the following:
– if you are easily insulted, you don’t have it in you to be a model/artist/performer. you probably can’t be friends with me either. I take very well to funny-insults and constructive criticism.
– artists need to be told when their work is crap. they also need to be told what is good about their work so that they can develop.
– i threw most of my art work away, growing up. a lot of it was crap. my ideas were good but my work was often crap. a teacher told me not to throw my work away and fished it out of the bin for me but i was consumed by it being crap.
– in terms of ‘good work’ or ‘crap work’, you’ve actually no idea how you really feel about your work until it’s removed from your memory, until you come back to it. if you are an actor and there is a character in your mind that you’d like to develop, you can probably explore it using many different narratives because actors are always typecasted.
– If you’re a perfectionist you have to go through all of the stages you went through to become one to reach your level of work, every time you start a new project.
so when you were younger, you might’ve had a relative that criticised your work, or a relative that was impossible to impress, and then another relative whose opinion really mattered to you because you knew they could do better.
we might lose those influences in our lives physically but we keep the effect they had on us inside.
kanye west was verbally abused by a sports coach who gave him a terrible time. might’ve ruined his life a few times. kanye west is a gifted verbal abuser. which is good because i like rappers to be abit evil.
i’ll explain. two young boys want to be rappers.
one is a very nice boy from the fancy side of the states, who grew up with two very wealthy, very together, very stable, university educated parents who had stable jobs in the same accountancy firm and who get him to school half an hour early every day, so that he can play with his multitude of friends
the really angry/volatile boy from a trailer park in the ‘dangerous’ side of bronx reserved for prison mums, that couldnt even walk to school without being beaten up because of his ugly shoes – his mum could’ve bought him the cool $2 shoes that everyone else had, but he needed sensible shoes ($1) that could fit his special orthotics (also $1), that “provide ankle control” for his flat feet
these are two different kinds of evil, in the end.
one is the kind of evil that does tae kwon do and buys the restaurant that his competition works at. (he pays friends of friends to write his raps for him.) he also hires someone to do everything from designing the cd to designing the accompanying booklet, to taking photographs of him looking very dangerous. he has been liked by everyone he’s ever met, he was raised by parents that taught him how to be likeable.
one is the other kind of evil, he can’t afford tae kwon do lessons, but he can still beat the shit out of you (not if he’s tired from working at the restaurant) because he spent his life losing unfair fights and working out how to defend himself if he got beaten up by one of the local gangs. he spends his entire life working on his raps. he read shakespeare in private. he has to save up to buy cds to record his raps on his friends computer. he then has to save up for the plastic wrappers to make them look professional. he spends hours at his friends house learning how to download photoshop, he then spends hours learning how to use photoshop. then he has to stand on street corners trying to sell those raps.
this guy has a tough time, no one on his street likes him.
both might become successful. the prior bought his success but his raps are a facade because art requires that you live first. the latter worked fucking hard for his success, he had a lot of stuff to complain about. which is what rappers do.
if you can imagine to associate every stage of your work with one of your closest/harshest critics and consider the nature of the advice they’d give you’ll eventually get it to the standard you’d like your work to be at.
– my mother went to Italia Contis and that meant that when I was growing up, when I was learning to read, she’d have me re-read and re-read and re-read a page in a book if I didn’t speak clearly and if I didn’t project my voice. It was very annoying. I am now much more annoyed when I read something outloud and I sound muffled.
– when i spent weeks at home, because i didn’t feel well enough to go to school, i watched blackadder, frasier, that film about the skull and bones and simpsons videos on-repeat. i watched elizabeth with cate blanchett. i watched shrek a lot.
when I was in trouble/grounded I watched christian shows like ‘the lion, the witch and the wardrobe’.
i watched fawlty towers. sometimes i even watched the directors commentary.
– when you think your work is finished: it’s NOT finished, even if it seems finished, it’s not finished.
– come back to your work/your work should take years before it becomes art (that is, it’s the space of time and the act of evolving with your work that makes it art, rather than crafts.)
I’ll give an example. Lets say you are a ballet dancer. You have perfected the technique. You know the choreography. Then you work on your facial expressions. Then you work on the narrative and being able to ACT properly so that you are dancing AND acting a story. If you have a smile on your face while you are performing in a tragic love story, you’ve probably never been in love because no one who is actually in love ever smiles. I’m trying to be funny.
If you are a dancer and you can’t take criticism, you are not a dancer. A hobbyist, maybe. Dance teachers are the most evil breed of woman kind.
“she’s lucky she’s doing those three steps”
I’ve been working on small items of attempted art using very few materials and when I thought them finished, I looked again and considered what would have made me reluctant to sell them as they were, and then I tried putting them together in what would’ve seemed very mismatched combinations and I produced an entirely inconceivable style to myself. I’ve been thinking about a direction for my work for a long time but I’ve only been doing it for a few months. I’ve hidden the pieces away and I’m excited to return to the work in a year or so.
Most recently Lisa’s dad, a Hindu Brahmin conveyed in thought that “if you can look at your work and believe that someone else could’ve achieved it then it’s not finished“.
I did a ‘creativity’ meditation with Jane of Seth Speaks – for two weeks I did literally nothing but eat/sleep/meditate and I’d come up with a lot of exciting ideas and I didn’t write any of them down – I totally released them and I’ve forgotten all of them.
For most people, meditating for a few hours is a skill you develop over a very, very long time. It is boring, the way I learned is boring. There are many forms of meditation, the kind that works for me is to choose not to clear my mind at all. Actually I jump from meditative journey to meditative journey.
I don’t see a thing because I don’t use a part of my brain that I believe is attached to my optic nerve, I use the very back of my brain. I don’t use my pineal gland either.
I have a direction problem, I confuse my left and my right sides and perhaps I could laughingly suggest that my brain is positioned back to front. It’s unimportant.
What’s important is that I don’t clear my mind.
Then I arrived at a thought journey, being “what would I take with me if there was an apocalyptic flood” (if you regard her meditations and her literary work it’s all quite dark and I enjoy that about her) and I pictured myself with a net for catching food, a solar powered ipod etc.
I also thought: If I had one piece of meat – what would I do with it?
I thought that I’d leave it to accumulate maggots. Once I asked Lisa “would you ever eat an insect?” and she replied “if I needed to, to survive”. I thought of all the biblical figures who would run away to the desert to think, who probably ate insects to survive.
I had some pork in my fridge and I did a mini science experiment – I put the meat outside in a bag on my balcony. Maggots appeared at some point. If you read my blog you’ll know but I know people prefer to access me in other ways and I find you’ll only observe what you would be inclined to observe about yourself.
Then soon after that I found a baby seagull on the pavement near my home and I caught it. I fed it on all sorts of things, including my maggots. But at that point I had a very dark choice of feeding the bird to the maggots or feeding the maggots to the bird.
I chose to feed the maggots to the bird. I named the bird Killi.
The bird started dancing in front of various reflective surfaces. She flew away when she could, as birds do.
Later, after I’d removed myself from the meditation I came up with a toy collection reflecting it. If you read my post from the beginning, it’ll make more sense now.
Closing thought: Is honesty an art form?
I did a meditation today with angels. And those angels informed me that they’ve picked “their people”. I was raised in a home that I felt indoctrinated by, I felt forced to participate in a faith that I felt encouraged bullying. I learned to find it funny and I learned the rules of the faith and I attempted to navigate the World considering those rules but you wouldn’t think so if you were amongst the kind of people who are so natured as to project themselves onto me.
In my childhood I defended the angel Lucifer to staunch Christian women, I was upset when they’d blame every terrible thing that happened to them on “Lucifer” or “satan” or “the devil”.
– Consider valuing people for their talents and their background and experiences. One friend might be a talented photographer. Another might be a talented make up artist. Try praising them often. If you are a harsh critic, your friends might learn to value that about you because when you compliment them, they’ll know you mean it.
I had a friend at college who was training to build computers. He told me he’d gotten an A in Art and Design and I was in shock, because it’s not easy to get an A in Art and Design and because he didn’t look like an artist. Some years later, he is a superior artist to me, especially in terms of technique, but we complimented one another because I would introduce him to art I liked and that enriched our work and our conversations and we had lots of fun together watching films and having serious arguments about our favourite games and cartoon characters. We had a good run of friendship for several years, but that involved me pretending to be his inferior in a lot of ways. He didn’t know that I could’ve-been-an-athlete because I’m an bed-preferred-all-day person. I didn’t want to be one, but I could’ve. I had serious injuries.
If you struggle to identify your friends talents, either you avoid having talented friends because you are threatened by talented people or you have very humble friends who don’t show off about all of their talents.
– This might be a thing you learn from doing sports: don’t compete with people, do NOT compete with your friends, unless it’s appropriate to or it’s playful. If you have a competitive streak and you feel safe being that-side-of-yourself with your friends, play video games with them and then stop when you put the games away.