When you get trained to be an artist, you get downloaded with a lot of information about what a serious artist should be. There is a lot of judgment, a lot of jealousy, and a lot of critical analysis that in the end, doesn't amount to a whole lot. The work I have been doing lately is a definite departure from what I have been taught because I realize in the end, I just want people to love themselves.
This doesn't come from a flowery desire for world peace, (though frankly I wouldn't mind it) or a great need to fix everything. What I really want is to live in a world where I can be myself. It is a selfish wish, I know, but I want it.
This stems from growing up and watching my mother slowly kill herself with cigarettes and food and alcohol, mostly because she couldn't be completely honest about who she was. Yes, she was a lesbian, but also, she was a woman who defied stereotype, and for that, she was punished. Punished first by her parents, then by society. I watched her stuff herself with crap just so she wouldn't come out. She was miserable. And I have seen this with other people throughout my life.
My desire is that everyone, no matter who they are, be accepted, and most importantly, accept themselves. There is so much against this happening. There is so much in the media, in stories, in our culture that tells us we have to be a certain way to be right.. We have to believe in a certain god, love certain types of people, and above all else, value money as the most important thing.
I have watched friends, lovers and relatives struggle with who they are, look externally for answers, live their lives according to some other person's rules in order to maybe find happiness, but it doesn't ever stick. This is because on some level we all know that it is much easier to look outside ourselves for the answer than to look within. Need love? Read this book by this dude who says he is an expert. Want a job? Follow this woman's advice who hires people. Want to lose weight? Follow this plan by this doctor-type-dude who says you should eat like a caveman. It is crazy, but completely logical. Because we don't know what we will find if we look inside. We might find that we are indeed unworthy. We might find that we are the monsters that everyone tells us we are.
I believe that people are basically good, that some people are just in pain, and use that as the guiding factor in life. I believe that we all have different special gifts, and that if we could just see our way through to accepting and loving ourselves, the world would change. I just think we need reminders. There are so many messages in the world telling us that we are worthless, or in need of change, or in some way wrong. I want to make shit that does the opposite. I want to fight the power that would tell you that you are not indeed amazing. I want to crush those motherfuckers into the ground.
So, in essence, Fuck art school. I know it is super awesome to be a tortured crazy artist like Van Gogh or Pollock, but I would much rather be happy and make art that people want to look at, make art that makes people smile and maybe even inspires them to give themselves a chance. I make art that seeks to change the world by starting with me. And maybe, you.
Do you know what is epic in every way? SHARING.
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