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To the friend who asked what my greatest dream was

The oldest among my greatest dreams is to become an artist. It evolved from being a traditional canvas-oil-paint type of painter to a street visual artist. On the side I also dream of becoming a street and still life photographer and an illustrator for fictional books.

My father has always been one of my greatest believers. Lately he began on pushing me again to have an art exhibit of my own. There were more than a couple of times in the past decade in which I’ve attempted and planned to actually have a solo exhibit. However, it would always stop at the conceptualization stage. I used to wonder why, but perhaps now I know.

I don’t intend to sound proud but I don’t think it’s because I am not talented enough. It’s not because I don’t have enough “decent” and original works worthy of an exhibit. It’s also not because I don’t have the time and the money to produce one. If I really want to do it nothing and no one could stop me. Besides, I have all the hands and the hearts willing to help me out.

Maybe the reason is, it’s not the right time yet.

A genuine artist does not put up an exhibit to show off. It must be organic. It must be an accumulation and a celebration of the lives, the years, and all the love that gave birth to the art works themselves. An art exhibit should be a testament to the triumph of the interconnectedness of life.

While it’s true that an exhibit is a priceless gift to society, an artist must create, destroy and recreate continuously even without the goal nor the promise of this kind of culmination for the artist thrives on creation and not on exhibition (though they complement each other).

Many brilliant artists never had their own exhibits during their lifetimes. Many have only been known decades after their deaths. There are those who the public won’t even know about ever.

This is the time to realize that I shouldn’t be striving to hold an exhibit in the first place. I should focus my thoughts, feelings and energy in living, learning, creating and sharing what is authentic about me instead. I should continue to keep on maximizing whatever medium I feel is right to use as a means of expression. I could keep on using the media I have been using for years; pens and paper, Microsoft Paint, textile paint and canvas cloth, photography, film, and poetry. I am also free to explore new ways of expression (like dancing! and pottery, among many, many others).

I don’t create art for the sake of creation. I create because I simply can’t help it. It’s so basic for a human being that it couldn’t be separated from breathing, eating, sleeping, laughing, crying and dreaming. I just need to do it to survive. Maybe I’m the kind of artist the public won’t know about in my lifetime – or maybe ever. Who knows? But for now I am alive and there’s no better way of spending this life but by living, loving and learning!

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