Archives for posts with tag: Artist

Silent Scream

When a creative dry-spell becomes a drought, I sometimes have to reach beyond the image to recover the fire. I sometimes have to delve into the clutter of a collective creative consciousness, into the minds of artists who inspire me, to find a flicker of my own creative light.

There, in uninhabited space, outside the boundaries of our supposed 10%, we are all relatives. And, as I navigate through clusters of coruscated thought, which appear like stars within a galaxy, it is often the whisper of a word, printed on quiet paper, that resonates. It is often a whisper… that rekindles the flame.

I hear you… You, whom I would also call myself. And I am moved.

I am an artist. And like many artists, my life remains in a constant state of flux, always transitioning from one iteration of myself to another in a meditative state that is expressed in my work. It is how I encounter this lifetime, though I could never explain what that encounter means. How could I, when Life (in general) is transient and variably perceived, always corresponding to even the most passive of interpretations as part of a shared human experience? So, as I begin to rummage through the wreckage of a scarcely-remembered past, attempting to excavate a story… My Story… I’ll readily admit that I haven’t the slightest clue where to begin (except perhaps, at my opening statement).

What I have discovered so far is that the resourcefulness I’ve enjoyed as an artist can be easily modified and incorporated into other (more neglected) areas of my personal and business life to create a complete picture (of past, present, and future). It is a strength I can build on in The Now, as long as I am actively versatile instead of purely reactive, and I am optimistic that the pieces of this  “Who is Michael Torres?” puzzle will soon fit together.

Until now, I hadn’t truly engaged in Conquering the Course (pursuing my art as a career) but have only played the game, perhaps because I’ve always just enjoyed the journey. So despite the determined will that propels me forward, I have really only trusted my instincts to pave my path, to provide opportunity, expecting that a foundation for the changes undergone await me on the other side while knowing full-well that nothing in life is guaranteed. And my instincts have served me well. But I now realize that a passive flexibility doesn’t necessarily equate to “progress” in an evolutionary sense. Adaptability alone is not enough, because the ability to adapt is only an instrument if not directed, but not the work itself, which is a more determined and purposefully coordinated commitment toward “Becoming” (whether becoming something more, or simply becoming one’s Self more clearly).

I regularly immerse myself in research and development as a way of honing and expanding my intellectual tools. But I am also inspired by the success stories of others. And I also appreciate self-help books that effectively provide benchmarks for measuring my own progress. I think it’s simply foolish to believe that any one us has all the answers. Therefore, I actively participate in the shaping of my own life, and although I may be a dreamer, seen by some as naive or unambitious (as the stigma of the artist goes)… I am living proof of that dream, not as an idea, but as a “work in progress” that speaks for itself with each new accomplishment. And I finally understand what that means (applicably) because of The Start-up of You, written by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.

The Start-up of You is an insightful and practical book that is filled with navigational advice, intended to inspire and guide the entrepreneurial spirit in all of us. Though the central concept alone is compelling enough to provide a birds-eye view of the landscape that is your life (your current position, your pursuit, and your destination). It’s about achieving “Permanent Beta,” which means, “to always be starting, and to forever be a work in progress” as a way of navigating through an ever changing world. It’s about recognizing and defining an already existing Self while simultaneously discovering your genuine interests, as compliments, that are capable of coexisting in a persistent stage of development (as progress/evolution requires of everyone). That means, not only pursuing what you love, but also, recognizing and building on existing “Assets”, weighing them against your “Aspirations” and core “Values”, and finally, determining the “Market Reality” (what is possible) of your ambitions.

Want more insight? Check it out: thestartupofyou.com

Although I am always learning, I’ll readily admit that I am not always actively utilizing that new-found knowledge. Though I certainly should. “Each day presents an opportunity to learn more, do more, be more…” and in a state of Permanent Beta we allow ourselves to acknowledge that there is room for improvement. “It’s a mind-set that is brimming with optimism, because it celebrates the fact that we” actually “posses the power to improve.”

“Success is fragile.” But, with active participation and a willingness to rediscover yourself everyday, you can confidently count on a fruitful tomorrow, as the result of an attentive today. Even though “your aspirations shape what you do… your aspirations are themselves shaped by your actions and experiences. You remake yourself as you grow and as the world changes. Your identity doesn’t get found. It Emerges.”

That is my mission, both creatively and spiritually. And that is the mission of this blog – to finally Emerge from the depths of obscurity. It won’t always be lollipops and roses. But, oh! What a beautiful and exciting journey!

~ ’til next time!

I started planning my upcoming exhibition in 2014, knowing that countless variables (some determinable, others unknown) would ultimately decide the scope and scale of the project. Orchestration, as it pertains to a career, is a multi-layered process that requires patience and finesse. So, while I must remain wholeheartedly engaged with the business at hand (day in and day out), each consideration and effort must also remain simultaneously focused on the future. And I must say, “What a glorious view it is, amid the vastness of today and tomorrow!”

I maintain a two-year calendar, which is nothing more than a dated string of markers/occasions I use to celebrate my journey, and short term goals that keep me on track – actively LIVING my dream. And as we quickly approach the next milestone, my Fall Exhibition (2015), I thought it would be fun to offer you a rare glimpse at the chaotic final stage of preparation – when all the big decisions are made.

The date is set.

Opening Reception: November 20th

Other Details: To Be Determined

~ Stay tuned!

No matter how often it happens, I’m never prepared for the calm that – follows – the storm. I tend to feel suffocated by the inevitable creative lull and a prying self-examination that immediately commences at the close of an exhibition or conclusion of some other event. I have such high expectations for everything I do that some level of disappointment is simply unavoidable (as an afterthought). However, despite aiming for the most distant stars, I am more often than not comforted by my return to Earth, where measurable progress keeps the dream alive.

WEST was no different. Although I consciously tempered my expectations, attempting a sort of re-calibration of my mind’s eye, I finally realized just how out of touch I am with reality. (D@mn!) – lol –  I guess it just comes with the territory, being an artist. Or, perhaps the real lesson is this: that a bigger than life outlook is necessary to evolve (continuously, into something more) toward an eventual transcendence of one’s own circumstances (both actual and perceived).

~ Whatever the lesson… Only time will tell. So, for now, I’m simply ready for the next round.

Well… That was exciting!

Despite fatigue setting in, compelling me into peaceful slumber before 9:00 last night, opening weekend was everything I had hoped. I got to meet a lot of great people, including neighbors, some of whom have already invited me out for coffee or drinks. And I managed to generate sales, which, at the end of the day, is the reason why we invest time, energy, and our own cheddar to show the work. But, more important, I enjoyed the conversations that emerged, not only as a means by which to expand my capacity to translate the imagery, intentions, and happy accidents into words, but also, because of where art induced discussions tend to lead (into all facets of life experience). The Open-studio is an intimate experience that is shared, an environment that is completely conducive to establishing personal connections, unlike the typical opening at a gallery that is oftentimes inundated with sights and sounds and libations that only culminate into sensory overload. I prefer a “No Tomfoolery” approach, because I simply hate all the B.S. that only diverts from the subject at hand… art.

But I do apologize. I completely failed to photograph Sunday’s mannequin display, which will be different every day of the tour. So, once again… you’ll have to settle for a mere puzzle piece of my roadside display – which seemed to work wonders, by the way (Thanks for asking). I encountered several visitors who expressed their unexpected pleasure of discovering the studio “by chance”, completely unaware of the tour. They were innocent passers-by caught in my lure, who simply followed the mannequins to their destination… my studio.  🙂

~ Stay tuned! Next week should be even bigger.

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I came home last night to the inviting fragrance of freshly bathed flowers in full-bloom. And I couldn’t help but smile, both inwardly and out. Every year, spring permeates the air with its perfume as a reminder of this world’s unfailing tenderness, despite the harsh realities that accompany the consciously living. Springtime is Earth’s velvet touch, like a lover who ignites all the senses, which in turn stimulates the spirit. She is a fervent beating heart that feeds all our extremes and everything in-between. Or at least that’s the way I came to see her at such a late hour, when the city was drunk and drenched. I paused in gratitude to ingest another deep breath, eyes shut so that I could see the same tranquil view of everything my heart sees, a gentle panorama of life below the surface, where a constant and brutal awakening settles into calm decisive action.

Was it a dream? I don’t know. But, I slept soundly. And I remember it well.

There are still six weeks to prepare for WEST… and I already feel behind! Ugh!!

I’m putting in my due diligence, as always, knowing that the myriad experience, in itself, can be nothing less than a success, in exposure and expanded opportunity. Yet I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed by the task at hand, for the obvious reason of WANTING to do well, up to the standard I imagine for myself and strive toward (as a proud citizen of Freedom, yearning for the perilous journey I’ve embarked upon to blossom along with spring).

I have to remind myself that there are too many unknown variables involved, which are still beyond my control at this point (due to limited resources – because I’m an artist, dammit! – and not famous – yet). So I can only do what is within my capacity, while sharing that conscious thought with the understanding that whatever shape success decides to take on, it will probably only vaguely resemble what was laid out in “My Master Plan” (lol). But I guess, in some ways, the idea that moments like these seem to take on lives of their own, once fed and animated, is what makes the preparation so exciting. “Shoot for the stars!” they say (which, translated, means – Good luck, you moron! Or, at very best, its a gentle way of saying that you have no idea where you’ll end up – because its space, dude. It’s big. And you’re really only along for the ride anyway). Nonetheless, I shoot in earnest, realizing that it truly is a blind leap as I tumble violently in weightless cartwheels and somersaults, hoping (for some reason) to see the whole of planet Earth in my rear view, quietly thinking… “Oh, shit! What am I doing?!”

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