This is a good question to ask…well, put simply, I am a painter, in broad terms I create. However, this answer can be and is more complex than a general title.
To begin this complex answer, I describe what I do by one phrase, I let go. You are probably thinking, “What is this Frozen [insert-expletive-here]?!” Well, dear patron reading this, who I am and how I got to this place in life, is significant to my practice. I come to the art world with an extremely analytical background where everything is based on hard facts. I went that route first because of my inability to let go. For years I struggled with having 100% control over my decisions, events, and life in general. I pursued a path that was wished upon by my immigrant family, being a doctor…the Psychology part of it gave them a heart attack. That decision was the beginning of an extensive road to letting go of control.
It’s important to note that traditional European families have very strong attributes or authoritarian control. Not that this was bad, it pushed me into art and I landed here. What I used to “do,” was aspire towards control by making hyper realistic work while continuing education towards being a doctor. I would lie to myself and say I was enjoying that part of “creation.” Every stroke was controlled, and I would be miserable sometimes because it wasn’t “perfect.” I did this for years not knowing it reflected my mental status. I struggled with the constant damages to my work (way more than most have experienced), I feared ruining a piece by one stroke, and I was smothered by my ability to emotionally control my anxiety/depression.
Even though I finished that education and started treading towards the path of being a doctor, I never let go of “art making.” I held on with a 3-year stint of absolutely no work made, not even a sketch. At some point, something must give, that something was me. I succumbed to the slowly swallowing nature of depression/anxiety…I let go
NOW I am referencing “Let It Go,” by India Menzel.
I let go of that control I held onto for my whole life…Then I really started creating. I let go by purposely damaging my surfaces, I let go by welcoming constant change within a piece, and I let go of the weight I carried through these years. Upon letting go of control, I forged a new path that marries my analytical side and the creative side I suppressed for so many years. I don’t see my choice to become a Neurodevelopmental Psychologist as a detriment to my current/future path. With that exposure I can come into my own and…well…let go. The act of letting go is what I do and it’s something I will carry into my future work. By me letting go, I can help others let go.
Now with everything going on, I feel it’s more important than ever to get in-touch with our mental wellness. The veil has been pulled back and so many people are finding themselves alone or realizing how much their mental wellness was ignored unintentionally. For others, this is the first traumatizing stressful event in their life. I feel now is time for the work I’m trying to do with others. Now more than ever are we shining a spotlight on the mental wellness of each other. Not to mention how poorly equipped we are in general to tackle mental health and wellness. No, I’m not talking about reiki and yoga, I’m talking about true wellness where you overcome/deal with your struggles, fears, and smothering feelings.
With the pandemic I find that my practice hasn’t been interrupted…other than buying supplies and my own physical limitations….thanks tiny human inside of me…I find that the practice I have of letting go and wanting to facilitate connections with each other is stronger than ever. Prior, this voice I have was so small it was hard to pass through all the “fun,” that I see people enjoying in social platforms. People are becoming more connected with the status of their mental wellbeing. Now that a larger portion of society is sounding alarm bells and craving that honest connection, I can truly start developing traction with helping others. Sure, some of my practice will change to finally incorporate social platforms, but it will only be an adaptation to what I do currently, Let Go.
Retreating to my cave now…