Whether it be by grace, by a muse, or by divine inspiration, etc. in this is the story of every artist and our goal is to develop a controlled accident. Our mind is a vessel, our goal is self awareness, and our process is a balance of creative-destructive skill.
I often wondered, how it is that, I, the crafter, can be surprised by the very art I manifested before me. I mean, its obvious I put in the hours of work, I nurtured the concepts, I fantasized for days, and with every stroke of my pen brought it to life. So how then is it possible to surprise myself so (-albeit slowly)? I had a couple of ideas as to how I might answer this! I have long been a fan of Zen Teachings, Depth psychology, and story telling which would serve as a decent platform. My first inclination was an old Zen Tale I had committed to memory of a drunken Zen Master. This master loved to paint and his method was rather humorous but it was said he had incredibly modest yet lively life. On Occasion, he would go out drinking with his disciples, and during these cheerful events, he’d love to paint. His disciples would always ready a canvas for the master. Then he would take his long, sleek hair and dip it in a bucket of paint. Freely, he’d wick and whip his hair onto the canvas until he had a anamorphic-like shape. After, he’d take a step back, look at the markings, and pondered what it could be. Finally, he’d grab a brush and add its finishing touches revealing a portrait, an animal, or at times a landscape. The tale is a unique one, because it conveys, entertainingly, my particular view as to what a creative professional does. Whether it be by grace, by a muse, or by divine inspiration, etc. in this is the story of every artist but our goal is to develop a controlled accident. Our mind is a vessel, our goal is self awareness, and our process is a balance of creative-destructive skill.
My biggest mistake at the start of my artistic journey was believing that I-am, or was-my-art when I more like a vessel. In regards to the tale, it seemed like meta art -plus it’s tons of fun to share at parties! Technique and tools serve only to refract the imagination, like light through a prism, and onto the canvas. My goal now is to become well versed in redirection of psychic energy thus creating and in turn, be created. Bruce Lee famously said, “Empty your mind ... be like water. Water flows and water crashes.” I implore you to flow and crash on your canvas whole heartedly. You will Flow, and you will Crash. The only way to learn is through building up skill and manage psychic fluctuations as you go along. There will be very difficult times, but when it is a burden, it’s likely our soul or heart is not in accordingly. A change in purpose, in goal setting, or, perhaps persistence is needed for a breakthrough is nearing! I have found that many visions come and go, and very seldom does one completely blow me away and sustain me for months before I am unable to refract the imagination’s flow. Yet, this is Flow at its best, but crashing IS necessary. During those periods, there is little ‘to do’ and you are again the mosquito biting an iron bull. I have grown accustomed to simply practice, pick up a couple of new techniques, discipline myself as needed, or maybe wait it out completely and take care of other parts of my life. Next time I flow, I aim to express myself once more from where, with what I have, and as who I am.
One particularly surprising aspect of my journey I did not foresee was learning the life principle of creation and destruction. I found that every art is not mutually exclusive to either side. To create something is to renew a previously destroyed concept . At the start, when I new no-thing of sketching, I was instructed to “break” the world down into its most simple shapes and forms. As I practiced drawing landscapes, I broke it down into the most elegant bite-sized, conceptualizations I can conceive. From the vanishing point, to outlines, the main source of light, etc. and divided them into background, mid-ground, and foreground. Later, I was soon able to apply these techniques freely across passions and the reverse is most often true.
Our true individuality, in our work, comes from the amalgamation of our unique combination of passions.
My hopes is to inspire you to manifest your own workflow because it structures your pursuits, expression, and, through constraints and limitations, facilitates creativity by narrowing down the channels of flow. Like an irrigation channel, the water as our creative force, and each channel an aspect of ones life, with techniques, skill, etc being the smaller, finer channels. My flow goes: drafting, revisions, feedback, refinements, details, and completion. Each step taking the water from the canal, to the main channel, and to the next. In basketball, form, timing, and switching paces are crucial attributes. They infer the quality of your game’s potential. Masters of the craft don’t typically have to think through every next step, they’ve already made thousands upon thousands of shots. Art, like basketball, is a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional venture in which one set of moves may not be enough to win a game yet, with good form, makes for a great foundation. It is best to have multiple sets of moves to counter, attack, and keep the opponent guessing. There is a mindset for every project, and a unique set skills suited for each project. What is your art? What are your strengths and weaknesses there?
At last, there is an evident feminine quality in the very act of creation. I am still learning to nurture this consciously since my ego, at times, would short circuit, veering too masculine, where I would act without true inspiration nor beauty. Or, at other times, inflate, causing an influx of fantasy without any desirability to execute or take action on. Here the divine feminine, the void, or infinity itself is also something I take as a welcomed challenge of balance. My art is more than a skill to simply monetize and make a living but I would certainly have it no other way. It is a journey into our collective unconscious and it is the pursuit of mastery that allows me to truly express myself, know myself, and in turn know you all.
“Go Find Yourself First, So You Can Also Find Me”
Andrew Elias Ocampos
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