I thought a lot about whether it was appropriate to write this...but I feel first and foremost that great work comes from honesty, and real life experience. I've said before that artists who don't have lives can't make work that breathes. I try to have a life, I'm not always great at it, but I try.
My wife and kids and I all ventured back home for Thanksgiving. It was a really great time, much needed moment to step away from work. I have the tendency to obsess about work, so it was great to switch off for 5 days. Something I haven't done all year.
While I was back I visited my grandma. She babysat me as a kid and was one of the most positive women in my life (my mom had left me when I was a toddler (I know, TMI, but what the hey)). Needless to say, my grandma means a lot to me.
She's getting quite elderly, and she was pretty sick. I'm hoping and praying that she gets well soon and has a lot of time left on the earth to bless her family.
However, I was reminded of the fact of my own mortality. I think when you are a kid, a teen, even a young adult, mortality seems like this distant detached thing. It doesn't even seem to really exist.
But as I've had kids, and I get a little older (I'm 28), it's become much more real.
I actually have pretty high hopes for the afterlife...but it doesn't mean that these realizations aren't frightening.
What does this mean in regards to art? I don't really know. I think these types of thoughts can spark very polarizing thoughts, held in your heart, simultaneously.
On the one hand it makes my art feel very meaningless and heightens the role of relationships in my life.
On the other hand, it challenges me to make art that is more meaningful. I realize that it doesn't mean it has to be more serious, or more adult...but it does make you stop and think about what you're doing with your life.
I think the one thing that it does to everyone is make cool seem sort of disgusting.
I don't know why I'm writing this on my blog, except for the fact that I've recently felt more comfortable being a little more open when it comes to my personal thoughts and my art.
One take away I guess, is to you younger artists who are constantly being told that your work needs to have a voice and a point of view.
I can say for sure, that for me, when I was 20, I hadn't had enough life experience to really have a point of view in my work. It did feel more shallow then. I guess what I'm saying is...just give it time.
Who am I to say that my work is more personal, or has more depth? Can I really judge that? I don't know, but I can say that it definitely feels like I am putting much more of myself into my work recently...and there seems to be much more of 'myself' to put into the work.