Tag Archives: thoughts on creativity

Here Is Your Scarab – Happy Coincidences in Creativity.

Note:
Scarab reference is from a tale about Carl Jung’s synchronicity bits, about his “psychologically inaccessible” patient (“” by me) not buying any of it until a scarab beetle turned up just as she was telling the doc about a dream she had of the very insect and proven his point to her.

“Don’t tell me what I’m doing, I don’t want to know.

The grand thing is to plunge ahead and see what your passion can reveal.”

One night, season unknown, circa 1998.
I placed a worn vinyl on a turntable, as I’ve done so many times since I found the album over a decade ago at a record store cleverly named Pied Piper. It was getting late, getting ready for another day at work, weary, spent, mildly agitated.

Those days I recall feeling like I was running in a dream, my intent racing while my feet stuck in mud. It was around the time I got hit with a spark of inspiration to paint a dragon with fabric dye on a dress without knowing where to start, seemed like a massive undertaking, unsure if I got what it takes, if it’s worth the trouble.

If I pour all I have into it how far will I go? As an artist, as a person. It was the kind of question that triggered my existential dread, that put me in an instant on a remote island afloat in Galaxy somewhere, lightless, alone. No one had the answer, and that included myself.

Up to that point I spent a good portion of my life being kinda sorta artsy. Limitless Freedom, Creativity in the purest sense entails, frightened me into an uncomfortable standstill, agitated, stuck in mud, as I was that evening.

When it came to the last song of the Side A everything stopped. A moment’s pause between the songs turned eternal, a very loud silence. As if the world froze except me and the song to come, commanding my fullest attention.

“Open wide the hymns you hide
You find renown while people frown
At things that you say
But say what you’ll say.

About the farmers and the fun
Things behind the sun
People around your head
who say everything’s been said
Movements in your brain
sends you out into the rain.”

And I heard the words as if for the first time, written and sung, as the story goes, by a young man died young before he found his audience, addressing my anguish I could not articulate, as if someone, something used the song – because my heart was open to it, so I can reach within, afraid but aided, and find my own answers.

“Who’ll hear what I say” – the young man sung to me for the thousandth time, but that evening I heard it, humbled by the profoundness of the Creativity itself, perfectly timed, the wisdom, the patience, handing me the assurance I did not know I was ready to receive, shone through the impossibility, the cruelty of life in the society we live in.

“Fill this sieve with sand and you’ll get a dime!!”

Fast forward to year 2021. After many more incidents like the one I just told you about, I picked up a book I’ve been meaning to read ‘one day’ for the past few decades. It was perfect really, it was the end of late summer, finally gave myself what I’ve been promising, a gift of luxurious “Book Time on the Beach”, and I picked up the dystopian novel with hopeful ending. Unexpected though, was to find bunch of “scarabs” in it, right from the get go.

It was also right after I posted a journal entry titled “Stir”, in it I mentioned about my 9yr old art project, how I “no longer know what I am doing” but that “is actually a very good sign that you/r art is getting somewhere.” Not knowing of this variety no longer troubles me as it did in 1998, but I be lying if I said it totally doesn’t. The quote at the top, from the book’s introduction, to me was a sign I’m vibing fine with the Creativity, my Invisible Bestie so better rest assured and enjoy the sunlight. But it didnt end there.

Half way into the book, I found a following line, spoken by the main character, on public transport agitated in anguish.

“Consider the lilies of the field.”

Lilies of the Field, the very wording I’ve used since while back, to call upon the muse of my aforementioned art project, painting in progress, with the method I practiced since 1998, poured as much of myself into it and here I am, in the middle of the year 2 of global confusion trying to paint as fast as humanly possible, while the world methodically closing in on us.

Consider the Lilies of the Field. The line found me, while on the beach with the “tsunami wall” a towering ton of concrete breathing down my back while the Ocean itself reduced, as if, to everyone’s favorite garbage bin with Godzilla lurking somewhere in the deep while waiting, from somewhere down in Mariana trench the answers would emerge, for the questions one can ask only while pushing through the same old mud pit.

Lastly.
By bringing up words and works from the prominent folks in the society, my intention is not to publicly validate my points with them but rather, to use them as a proof that in Creativity, as the Grandest Container in which our society resides, the Spark of Inspiration will permeate through even the faintest hairline cracks, and send its Most Benevolent Beam right into the core of you, piercing the facade of impossibility, rest assured, at your very earliest convenience.

Endnote:

Titles of the book/music are intentionally unmentioned in the main text.

Quotes, except “the lilies” are edited sensibly by myself.

“Open wide…” – Nick Drake (a.k.a. the young man) “ Things Behind the Sun” (1972).

“Don’t tell me…” (p.2), “ Sieve” (p.101) and “Consider…” (p.102) – Ray Bradbury “Fahrenheit 451” (1953)

Re. Tsunami Wall I mentioned – web search “tsunami wall japan” and you’ll find lots of articles and news stories.

My take? I never saw humanity as the land owner of this Planet. According to my book, we are just renting our space in the Very Intelligent Ecosystem. Other lives sharing the place with us. We benefit from them, in fact, can’t keep on without them.

And, I’m saying this with objectivity of a life long cultural outsider with minimum dose of nationalism, Japan is the birth place of the term “Umami” – the delicately vague taste was given a name in this culture. Most often used to describe the flavor of soup stocks from dried fishes / kelps/ mushrooms, Japan has its history deeply rooted in a humble dance with Nature itself. Not to conquer but to dance with. Nature’s lead. Nowadays it’s hard to find food items without “amino acid (MSG that is)” – the lifeless equivalent of Umami.

Once upon a time our ancestors built their homes on 1000+ islands on fault lines with many active volcanos, the sources of hot springs and tsunamis. Modern day first world comforts, like treats we didn’t earn, have seemingly made too many of us, me included, entitled and somehow, paradoxically, disempowered, disconnected from True Generosity, the Ultimate Free Lunch with no strings attached.

Last Edited:
December 25, 2021 – added “MSG” bit.

Copycat Strat: Is Imitation Flattery?

Something different today, something that’s been on my mind.
Time to open my mouth and be a little vulnerable.
In a nursery rhyme style for easier read ( as opposed to a wall of text style ).
“You” here means those of you the following apply. If not, as they say, let it fly.

I share my works / ideas / experiments freely online. I love to share, I hope to inspire.
My choice. My pleasure.

Moreover.
Creative ideas are vague to define, where to draw the line.
Potent ones though, would make artworks pop. Make them soulful, make them come alive.
My take. My aspiration, I am aiming high.

I draw mine from Nature. Creation, if you may.
Many talents out there but I don’t look around.
Don’t want to be influenced. Too many signals in the world.
I could dull my sensor or put on a blinder. I chose the latter.
Just enough to focus, on what is Subtle. Sincere.
I lose out on some worldly goodnesses this way. My choice, and that’s alright.

If, though, a person choose to seek ideas from other people’s works,
it has got to be digested and be made your own before you show public as your work.
( Or end up looking more like an identity theft. )
Old fashioned creative integrity, still hasn’t gone out of style.

Little about me, enough to make sense.
I did not choose the beaten path for artists: education, affiliations.
I knew, for me, that was what I needed for the free flow of Creativity I was born longing for.
My choice, price to pay either way.

Along with it, continuous weeding of my inner landscape so as to receive Inspiration better.

You see, Creative Ideas aren’t free bags of Cheetos
(no offense, Cheeto, I used to love you much)
falling from the sky right into your mouth.
They are more like air waves, you got to know to tune in,
in the society of ours with so much at stake.
Good news though fren, you got your antenna to hone.
A reminder from me in case you had forgotten.

Got one last note to share, this may sound harsh.
Especially, but not limited to, those who found my work
because I gave you my up-votes on social media somewhere
and proceeded to engage in the above mentioned endeavour …
C’mon now people, your soul deserves better than that!!!

Well that’s all friends, please allow me to conclude:
I hereby would like to request your respectful treatment of my work.
(And not exactly my business, but your Dignity too.)

Thank you for your attention. I rest my case for now.

Reference: my Copyright Policy page

Abstract line drawing with hand written letters.

“How sweet it could be.” – hand written is a journal entry from 20 yrs ago during my lengthy creative block.

The artwork in progress was photographed, compiled and added to this post on March 18, 2021, an ongoing painting for the second piece of the two-piece series “Spider Lily Red” ( acid dye on silk / red on ivory ).
The painting started in May 2019, been almost two years. Some called me a perfectionist, but that is not what is happening here; there seems to be a place I can bring the painting to only with this super detailed approach.
The lines are my own personal interpretation of Red Spider Lily petals, and Organic Elegance flowing through every elements in their world. Some things take time.

Tapping into one’s own reservoir requires a decision.
To risk finding what you are made of. To dread if the well is empty.
To stand in one’s own truth. Owning one’s originality makes the person stand alone, sometimes also apart.

To own one’s Light. Fearfully, hesitantly, awkwardly.
To feel content in a truest sense. Fulfilled, in a way nothing else ever could.

References / links to the past posts.
The first piece of the series (completed): “Spider Lily Red Flare 1”
Creative process of the series in one post: “Process is the Destination!!”
More scribbles overlapped: “Beauty will save the world.”
Fireflies, the Organic Elegance: “Biofluorescents”
All the posts documenting the process since 2012: Link to Spider Lily Red posts

Looking forward to meeting your very own spark of Creativity. Like a firefly, a trail of Light in the pitch dark field.

Last Edited: March 18, 2021.


Close up of fish scales and a tail.

Age of Authenticity.

On the day of winter solstice 2020 I heard, Planets Jupiter and Saturn go near-overlap onjunct at 0 degree in astrological sign of Aquarius.
Some say it’s the official start of the Aquarian Age, in it each of us gets to live our authentic, unique Individuality.

Close up of a dried spider lily blossom.

Owning one’s Light may feel harder than to do so with Shadow. ( I struggle with it. ) However, to be able to allow Authentic in others, one must attain the both to a degree ( a living human probably ain’t equipped to fully grasp one or both, let alone stay grasped – and that’s alright ). And without such “allowing” becoming our main vibe perhaps, the idea of truly harmonious Human Collective will remain an elusive pie in the sky.

Jupiter-Saturn conjunct this close last occurred in year 1623 according to mainstream source.
You, on the other hand, happen only once in the history of the Universe. Fact.

Photos: Perfect is the Divine Design – fish scales / a tail and a dried Spider Lily blossom.
Fully functional, uniquely interactive, beautifully designed and irrefutably free.
Kinda like us humans.

Fact.

Sky Is Ours.

A bird wing and photographic prints of ocean horizons.

Photo: Your Horizons, a diptych (2016)

Truest Tears are those of Gratitude.
– My Dad

What is a “father’s day” anyways? All them special dates emerging from somewhere like a circus clown sprinkling magic dust upon us.
And what good would that do to mend our wings if the sky is, in facto may have been, confiscated from us.
We are all alike, and we are all unique. Submit to the latter and you’ll know we are also all alone.

Sky is ours. Future is not set in stone.
When you stand in your own truth withstanding the “uni” of the unique.
And look over there, see another one, and plenty more of us with our wings strong in the sun,
just and only then we will
bring heaven down to earth where it belonged all along.

Yellow roses,and a book.

“It’s what you are meant to become.
It flies with beautiful wings and joins the earth to heaven.”

– a definition of the butterfly, according to Trina Paulus “Hope for the Flowers”

(For those of you using “translate” function, here’s what’s on the page in the photo:)
Stripe’s answer shocked them all – including himself!
“We can fly!
“We can become butterflies!
“There’s nothing at the top and it doesn’t matter!!
As he heard his own message he realized how he had misread the instinct to get high.
To get to the “top” he must fly, not climb.
Stripe looked at each caterpillar inebriated with joy that there could be a butterfly inside.
(End of excerpt)

While back I made a photo e-book called “Own Your Shadow”. It is for anyone who is aspired to become a butterfly – not that I am one, but I can say have achieved a measure of reasonably consistent creative flow that can weather the storm pretty severe. Think sitting in the eye of the typhoon and still not losing it.

In “Hope for the Flowers” there’s a scene where one of the main characters (a lady caterpillar) weaves a cocoon next to a fellow cocooner “for courage”. That is kinda what I wanted to do with my photo e-book.

Caterpillar, once in its cocoon, turns into liquid before forming itself into a butterfly. For us humans, to individuate – to become one’s own for lack of better words – the process, while highly individual, could get pretty grim. Validation and encouragement can be few and far between. I wanted to make something that is a reminder, that way over here in a small town, Far East, there’s a person who knows the trudge applauding your lone courage.

My dream has been to see the mass flourishing of individuality / creativity. It hurts to see a person expire with his/her unique gift unused. Hard to be truly fulfilled without it. I could be wrong. That was how it was for me.

Your purchase of the e-book (it’s a zine!!) will fund my creative endeavor which I commit to sharing with the world til I expire. If you know a soul or two who you may think would be benefitted from a little encouragement I offer, please let them know. It is very hard to be visible online as an independent artist nowadays, and your help in spreading the word totally counts.

Thanks for reading. Please have a marvelous day anyways.
Links: to the e-book “Own Your Shadow” and a postscript “Individuation is a bitch!!”.