I have been asked by several people what the origin and intentions are behind my most recent works of art.
Both the origins and intentions are multi-layered. In terms of origin, the deep origin of my current and past creative work is and always has been connected to my becoming a stutterer as a young child and using art as a means of communicating without words. In essence, my creative work became my voice.
The more specific "origin" of my more recent stream of creative works began back in April 2017 when I decided to do an experiment of creating a work of art every day for 45 days. The goal was to see if I could deepen my self-owning of identifying myself as "being an artist"...something that I have struggled with for most of my life. The 45-day time-frame was from the book Habits of a Happy Brain by Loretta Graziano Breuning. In the book Breuning explores how it takes 45 days of repeating a pattern (activity, behavior pattern, for instance) for it to begin to feel natural due to the laying down of the neural pathways for the pattern within the brain.
As part of the experiment I also recorded a video journal every day where I explored and reflected on my process. I used video journaling to see if I could learn to feel more natural in front of the camera. As a stutterer I have always had some degree of discomfort using my voice...especially on camera.
During my experiment I created at least one drawing per day, these being meditative mandalas and abstract forms arising from different states of consciousness. I also found myself animating some of my drawings, showing the various stages of creation and setting them to meditative music and sound in what I call art-in-motion videos. Somehow my process evolved to include a deepening, expansion and integration of my varied research interests into a daily "lived inquiry" practice. These research interests include exploring transformative approaches to art and media, the experience of inner guidance and the nature of consciousness itself.
My experiment was so successful for me that I kept doing a work of art every day long after the 45 day period (until my tablet died in October 2017), for a total of 188 days. During the process I found that doing a creative work every day fed my soul, gave me boundless joy and energy, and became a form of therapy and healing for me. The work evolved into a deep integrally-informed, psycho-spiritual-political creative practice that did indeed deepen my self-identity as an artist. My video journaling appeared to expand my process and helped me feel more comfortable and natural using my verbal "voice" both on- and off-camera. The integration of these practices with my research interests created a vibrant daily existence that filled my being with purpose and joy.
As part of my new creative lived-inquiry practice I would start by meditating and trying to connect with the evolutionary impulse or what Jean Gebser referred to as the inner commission that guides our individual and collective evolution. I would then attempt to follow that guidance through my daily explorations of art making and lived inquiry. Through this work I have come to deeply feel and believe that every problem in our lives and the world is a problem of consciousness and our individual and collective development. Because of this my deep intention for my creative and lived inquiry work has become the healing and elevation of my own consciousness and that of the world.
During my experiment, I viscerally discovered three distinct creative guided-inquiry states where I became immersed in what seemed to be either a stream-, field- or arc-of-consciousness and these appeared to be connected to my experience of being, belonging and becoming…
- BEING or beingness is our Self in the moment; it is who we are when we are being fully present, fully aware and fully who we are in the NOW, in the fluid NOW, for the NOW is any given moment within the STREAM of individual and collective consciousness.
- BELONGING is our beingness in relation to the beingness of others and the world. It is our awareness of our interconnectedness with that which appears to be outside of ourselves in various relational and spatial FIELDs of consciousness.
- BECOMING is our evolutionary journey; it is our awareness of the whole stream and its place within the ocean of streams. It is where we have been, where we are, and where we are going along our own individual arc of consciousness and within the greater collective evolutionary ARC of humanity.
If you are interested in delving deeper into my 45 day experiment you can check out my Lived Inquiry Video Journal on my YouTube Channel...
If you check out the intro and day 45 journals you can get a pretty good idea of the intentions and the results.
I also created a video of all 45 works of art during the 45 day experiment, which can be found on my YouTube Channel...
And for those who want to check out all 188 works of art you can find them on my Tumblr blog or Instagram feed.
If you are touched by my work and would like a print of one of my pieces check out my Artpal page for print options. If you cannot find the piece you want on Artpal, you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make it available for purchase on Artpal for you.
And finally I would like to express my deep gratitude for Mr. Lietso, my 7th grade science teacher, who threatened to haunt me after he died if I did not live my life as an artist; to Jill Mellick, who taught me how to use art for personal and collective transformation; to James Fadiman for teaching me about transpersonal and transformative storytelling; to Ken Wilber and Michael Schwartz for inspiring me to explore an integral approach to art and media; to fellow integral artist Jimmy Lusero for re-awakening the artist in me after years of creative slumber; to dear friend Jonathan Steigman and my amazing sister Mardi who gave me shelter while I did this experiment; and to all my friends, family members, colleagues and strangers who bore witness to my journey and gave me their wondrous words, likes and emoji’s of affirmation along the way.