Obstinate Art

I would like to say now that art for me comes from a place of obstinance in the face of the impossibility of living.

Creating work, learning how to make new things in this world that is so full of things, but things with life and spirit, that hopefully reach out to the spirits of others… This might be impossible, but still I hope and try.

I have been told so many times in my life that being an artist would be impossible for me, that skill and teachers and opportunity were all beyond my reach. There were times when my family forbade me from pursuing art, and it has been those times when I have found that I have need art the most.

Anaïs Nin said, “One writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.” And I think are is the same, at least it is for me. I draw, sculpt, write, sing, create, and above all, continue to hope, that one day I will see my own impossible goals realized as tangible, incontrovertible creations.

To me, each one of my works is proof that, in my stubbornness, I have won. In the face of the impossible, the object I imagined has become real. 

It’s not that I myself have succeed in the face of impossible odds. I was discouraged from becoming an artist, but it’s undoubtedly true that I’ve been afforded many privileges. Many of the obstacles I’ve faced have been self-generated. Many have come from circumstance, or bad luck. Some have been put in my way by people who thought they were doing me a kindness, and those have been the hardest to face without succumbing to bitterness. But because I have had little encouragement and heard a great deal of discouraging words, I have instead had simply believe myself that I could do it, that I could make a beginning at being an artist. And finally, I am here at last.

Nietzsche said that, “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” I agree. Bitterness makes gratitude difficult, and cramps my hands when I forget to let it go. Bitterness of things in the past makes the present difficult to see, and sometimes I need to put down what I’m working on and go back to work that I’ve made, proof that I have stubbornly persisted until now, and continue to persist in making art. And I am grateful to myself for that persistence, for all the work I have created so far, because it has brought me to this point, closer than I have ever been before to my goals, to the work I would like to one day see realized.

Obstinately, I still believe, as I have for all these years, that I might one day make the art I dream of making. What I have been able to accomplish so far, although it is only a beginning, gives me hope. And for that, I am deeply grateful.