Essays

The Experience

Posted on:  January 1, 2011
The dawn of a new year always brings hope and vitality to everyone’s spirits.  You can forget about what didn’t happen the previous year and literally start fresh.  But with this comes even more anxiety, more pressure and the feeling that life just got even faster and therefore, more energy is needed to keep pace.
Proliferation of digital media and the omnipresent nature of communications these days has made it possible for us to connect with each other at a level never before seen in human history. Yet the interesting irony in this is that the events that we encounter have become increasingly recycled, diluted and propagated.  Living vicariously has gone from novelty to mainstream.  We keep up with the world around us through social media and regurgitated information to help us bridge the time we lose running the race.
I‘m not indicting this at all.  I am both a major user and purveyor of digital stuff.  But as a story teller, there is a danger that the well from which you draw your most raw and sincere material from gets convoluted, stale and banal.  The truths from great stories comes from not only a shared experience, but from personal interaction and from being right in the middle of it all.  You can’t do that watching web clips and video chats.  This means going out of your way and taking a bit of a gamble.  It’s listening to a country record when you don’t like country music. It’s talking to someone in line at the grocery store.  It’s typing a story on a typewriter.  It’s taking a drive somewhere you’ve never been.  These are the worlds that exist in our computers that we can experience for ourselves and don’t require an abundance of time or money.  Your eyes are the best cameras in the world so go and take lots of video.
So as I add one more bit of digital minutiae to the vast digital universe, I am ever reminded of the balance that needs to be struck living in the mainstream and the need to feed the soul of the very staple it requires:  Life.

State of Independence

Posted on:  August 6, 2010

So what does it mean to be an artist? What is it’s true essence?

Art can inspire so an artist should be inspiring. An artist should be a perpetual student. An artist should nurture and cultivate creativity whenever and wherever possible. An artist can practice professionally for the commercial arts for his/her livelihood. An artist is on a constant path of growth. An artist creates from what is intrinsic within them.
All these things are true and valid, and can be summed up in one word: Independence.
I‘ve said in interviews that an artist never stops being one at 5pm. It is an endeavor that is all encompassing and constant. Some of us will work for studios, companies and the like and provide them with our expertise and experience. This fulfills the need to collaborate and perform as part of a collective. In that process we give our best effort and willingly contribute our ideas and skill. But the other half of us needs to remain true to our own set of artistic principles. That half will travel uncharted water and experiment and learn. More importantly, our inherent need to find uniqueness is what will drive us forward.
We are are the summation of all our experiences, our beliefs, our upbringing. This makes us unique as humans. Consequently, as artists it is up to us to use these factors to create our own voice. Our brand. Our identity. Being independent means we subscribe to our own principles. We march to our own cadence. We make our own decisions. It’s only then that we can get a sense of what kind of artists we are, how much of our own artistic future we will control and most of all, how we value ourselves as artists.