I am a working artist regardless of what my day job might be at any given time (and with art as life even my day job is art to me). Being an artist for me does not simply entail painting or sculpting but a coming to terms with one's nature and activating one's self and life as art. The main message I wish to share currently is that art can be the craft of life. We can come to life in all its glory with attitudes and approaches that cultivate our highest and best selves creatively. In 2017, I gave a very spirited TEDx talk to over 700 people in Akron, Ohio and that was a thrill. I have continued the sentiment of that talk to explore what happens when we think of ourselves and our lives as art. One of the questions I am exploring is how can we begin to care for ourselves and each other just a little deeper when we creatively approach our uniqueness and preciousness?
I am an artist who, in a sense then, deals primarily with personhood. It has been quite a journey since starting to do rather conventional acrylic paintings a couple of years ago. I still very much value conventional practice and am still quite involved with its development, practice and appreciation but now I see a spectrum beyond that made of all life practices that come to make us who we are. Art as the craft of life is just as much the crafting or co-creating of ourselves (along with crafting or co-crafting our lives, any conventional art we may choose to create and the impact that we have on the world around us). It has been a true transformation to come to this understanding and is one that I feel has incredible possibility and potential. I want to say also that my study of the Western canon in art has brought me to this conception of art practice. Developments such as relational aesthetics and social practice, I feel, have been precursors to treating life itself as an artwork. Many other artists' works have contributed to that as well including Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Allan Kaprow and Rirkrit Tiravanija along with folks who may not associate themselves right away as artists but who have been heroes of mine and are definitely in my opinion living artful lives. Those folks include Ashley Turner, Brainard Carey, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Andy Puddicombe, Jon Kabat Zinn, Chris Anderson (TED), David Deutsch and Yuval Noah Harari. My work continues a tradition of fresh thinking in that it brings art practice to the everyday through, among others practices, meditation and conversation. Though it seeks to respond contemporarily to life it is still informed by the many artists that have come before me.
My daily practice consists of a few main components. Everyone is different of course. For me, good regulated deep sleep is a number one priority. Also, I pursue a well balanced diet which in my case is of the vegan/vegetarian variety. Physical exercise including walking outside in addition to cardio and weight training at a local gym is another key ingredient to my recipe for life. Don’t get me wrong, there is much improvisation along the way. And everyone’s recipe is going to be different that is the beauty of individuality. I also read, daily including physical books, audio books and various online publications. I also make heavy use of podcasts. Furthermore I meditate just about every day with a number of guided approaches mixed with my own approach. I also do about an hour or so of what I call “crafting” each day. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. But basically that is where I sort of actively dream and think about how my life is going and what is developing into a priority. Also I think about good actions to take to bring those ideas to life. I do this on my breaks at work because I am also working a full time job at a library which itself is beyond words fulfilling. For me this is the stuff of dreams. When I have time in an evening every now and then or on weekends I update my website, post to Instagram, do a YouTube video, paint, make some music, write, blog, create a guided meditation and so forth. Just as much however and this is very important, I am living my day to day life more and more fully with abundance. I love going out as well and am working more and more on balance in my life.
I hope you will see from this website that there are many, many ways that art can come to life. It is my belief that we are all artists, we are all art and that art can be the craft of life. All the best and thanks for reading. Happy crafting.