Friday, October 20, 2017
Shaping "The Chosen Nightmare"
It is funny to me that my entire childhood was spent dreaming of becoming a comic book artist, then wanting to write, act and direct my own indie movies, before becoming a photographer, and ultimately ending up doing something that incorporates all of those elements in book form.
In art, it isn't about how you are saying it, but what you are saying.
When you throw out the rules and stop trying to do things that have been done before, you are free to create something new.
Too often people are uncomfortable with new ideas and changes, and many people have a knee-jerk response to reject anything "new" (even though many embrace a break from their routines.) Fear is their motivator, when fear of the mundane and mediocre should push them to seek new experiences instead of reject them.
Publicly and in groups, where most people are most comfortable, they voice discomfort when new ideas are proposed, and my art is a response to that.
If you believe you know the answers early in life, you stop growing. If you believe we as a society have all of the answers, too many questions go unanswered.
My latest work "The Chosen Nightmare" is about fear. It is about the things which oppress us and obstruct ideas. It is about how toxic and damaging it can be to follow any ideology that represses growth or prevents people from being who they want to be.
My ultimate nightmare is a life un-lived.
Growing up in Northern Michigan, I felt like an alien for my entire childhood and couldn't wait to escape, and vowed never to return. My fear of staying in a place that didn't celebrate differences and encourage those who weren't like everyone else, was greater than my fear of the outside world which I had rarely experienced. I turned 18, graduated, and fled with few belongings and no savings, and that journey took me all over the United States, and gave me ten years in New York City and ten years in Southern California before circumstances brought me back to Northern Michigan after twenty-five years of adventure.
Now that I have had a chance to reflect and grow from living once again in the place of my youth, I have decided we belong here just as much as anyone else does, and perhaps I was meant to return to help other people who have been bullied for being different, and for their art.
Maybe Liz and I were meant to be here so we could encourage young artists and free thinkers, and let them know there is a place here for their ideas and art.
No one has a right to bully someone for wanting to express themselves and be creative.
Ideas help us consider things and expand our worldview, and the world instantly becomes a better place when people are thinking and considering boundless possibilities.
Though my new book is for adults audiences, my message is for all ages, and that message is to be yourself and don't let people try to control your ideas or voice. You have a right to create and be open and free without harassment or intimidation.
Being an artist isn't a job, its a lifestyle and an endless journey, and a journey full of accidents, mistakes, growth and ultimately valuable lessons.
No one should let FEAR be your guide or motivator.
Be fearless! Be strong! Be free!
Life is too short to live by other people's ideas of what your art and ideas should be.
So looking forward to finishing "The Chosen Nightmare" but right now, I am in love with the creative process.