Living with criticism
Six blind men went to see an elephant. Being without the sense of sight,
they had to define the experience using the sense of touch. Each one stood
around the elephant in a different place- one stood by the legs, one by the
animal’s side, one at the ears, one at the trunk, one at the tusk, and one at
the tail. When their visit was over, they were asked to describe how the
animal appeared to be. Each one had a different answer for describing the
same animal. Likewise, perception is relative to one’s connection the
There are several facets to the concept we call perception. We perceive our experiences according to how things appear to be, how things really are, and how we wish things to be. Criticism in the artistic sense is nothing more than one individual’s summation of an experience. When the artistic endeavor elevates the observer, the critique has a tendency to be favorable. If this endeavor fails to connect with the observer, the critique may be less than favorable. The point being emphasized is that the created project is more or less fixed in this moment, the variable is how the consensus world interprets it. So, as previously stated, “there is no good or bad art, only different.”
Knowing this, the artist is empowered by leaps and bounds. What others feel about our artistic output is just that- what others feel! No one can really label an artist as good or bad, they can only say how the artist appears to them. For the artist this is the key to the city, go forth and create like there is no tomorrow as the “yeas and nays” will balance themselves out. Its all about the vision the artist begets.
Lessening by comparison
“ Everyone is an individual.
I am not everyone. I am not an individual.”
~ author unknown ~
Proving the truth through art is not as empowering as knowing the truth of art. As the artist, one does not have to be loyal to the dogma of making the eternal statement. The artist is not physically placed in this dimension of time to create for the thousand generations that follow. If this should happen, great! For now, however, the best place for the artist to be is in the present moment, the current time. The artist is the bridge to the past, the art the bridge to the future. The artist exists as a part of the infinite pool of creative wisdom. From this pool of creative wisdom one develops the artistic consciousness and the sacred visions held within. All visions are sacred to the seer. To compare is to lessen. Comparing is “apples versus oranges”, totally invalid in the creative matrix of the universal web of life. This web is and shall always be composed of opposites that create balance and diversity more so than relative copies. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Trusting the mystique
||“…I am as All
||I am as None
||I am as Me
||Me as I am…”
Once the artist has a glimpse of the vision s/he wishes to produce, harnessing the creative energies that rush through the personal system seems like taming a wild bird. At first these energies fly around a lot, not wanting to be still. There may be an urgency to begin and be done. Eventually, these energies will burn down and look for a place to rest. The artist becomes the physical perch for the vision to alight and take shape-manifest.
When trusting the mystique, one embraces the vision by allowing it to come as it is. One empowers the vision by acknowledging it as a sacred gifting to share. One absorbs the vision by accommodating its needs that it may unfold in its entirety. Thus, the vision is given spiritual life to be.
The mystique may best be described as unlimited potential within the artist. It [mystique] recognizes the threads that connect all things within the uni-verse, allowing the artist to use the tools of technique to stalk the unknown- the vision. All as human beings are blessed with unlimited potential as it resides in the infinite pool of creative wisdom, but the process of becoming social creatures in a functioning consensus world moves one away gradually from unlimited existences to contrived, mundane habit-cycles. Roles are adopted and lived out as gospel. When the mystique becomes replaced with the method.
( no definition needed for this one), the pure creative spirit is weakened.
Trust the mystique.
For Personal growth relating to this dialog:
Go to an art exhibit , sports event, or local theatre production.
Attend with the attitude of being non-judgemental, you are there
to be observant. First, notice the event in as much of its entirety as
you can possibly experience. Note the social climate, the audience,
the production itself. When the event has concluded, mingle into the
crowd. Ask a cross section on attendants what they thought and experienced.
Try to touch bases with as many diverse people there as possible. Offer no
personal opinions, only ask questions. You’ll be surprised at what you hear,
see, and overlooked, being that you all experienced the same event!
Respond in Messages
~Art is relative, now go forth and relate~