The Ancient Greek Aphorism “Know Thyself” inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi is one that has resonated with me for the most part of my life.
It seems such a simple thing to do, but when going within in depth and analyzing each aspect of oneself, it is not that easy at all.
There are so many factors that influence us constantly that without realizing, it is very easy to get lost in different landscapes thinking they are our own. And especially now with the accessibility of so much information through the internet, I find very easy to lose touch with one’s core nature.
There is a self that wants to draw, paint, take pictures, in essence, create beautiful things and continue practicing every day to perfect techniques and abilities. But at the same time, there is information pressing within the mind to learn and acquire new knowledge about the many aspects of marketing these products and make them known.
But as experienced during this whole week, I have not found yet a balance between the two sides. The creative process and the commercial side. Unfortunately for me, the last one is a completely new thing as I want to focus it to be realized only as an online business. Before my conversion to technology, I used to just visit the local markets and festivals. Even then it wasn’t something I ever enjoyed, the selling part. I always preferred someone else doing it for me, of course, they were much more successful. It is something I never really felt comfortable with, preferring to spend my time creating and contemplating Nature. It is something quite common between Artists in general, I suppose.
But it is an important aspect of life in any field and a subject that should be taught from early years, so it is easier to get accustomed to.
This is when it is so important to know who one is, and what is the message that one wants to give with the work. Understanding that is knowing what makes us enthusiastic about life, what is the spark that lights the fire.
For not doing what my being was craving for, which was drawing, but concentrating instead in absorbing information, I got lost in the cobweb of the internet forcing myself to follow a system that it is not yet clear to me. And like a note that needs to maintain its frequency in amidst so many million sounds, I have found the importance of being loyal to what my core nature wants to express. And that, in fact, is the sound that makes me vibrate.
When I look at Nature my heart rejoices so that is what I try to recreate in my work, in my own style at this moment in time, the way I am able to do it.
It may not be what is trendy, or what people are talking about and it may not sell as well, or be so popular, but that is the only thing that comes out of me with enthusiasm. If I try to copy or be inspired by someone else’s style because she/he is being successful, or because everyone loves the beach now and I only paint flowers, so I should change, I will not be happy with myself, it is not what comes out of me naturally.
So the question which arises is, how much are you prepared to give up of yourself to comply with the demand of the market?
For as much as I love the work of successful Artists and Designers, it is impossible for me to follow that because that is not what these hands want to draw. And my answer to that question I have learned it this week.
Trying to understand the “rules” of marketing sent me straight to visiting the Dark side of the Moon, where Nothing reigns. No ideas, no inspiration, no joy only the Void. And as soon as I concentrated on doing just what gives me joy, pure energy and inspiration came back.
So I believe that one should never let go of one’s own spark, it can evolve and become better. Maybe it will need more work and time if it is very different from the rest of the world, but there are no choices.
I am what I am and I can only be me.
In these days I have enjoyed collecting all the pictures of flowers I have taken in Portugal and tried to find their names. If you are interested you can check them out here. Flowers of Portugal
I would have loved if Jerry from Quietsolopursuits could have taken them, as I think he is a great photographer but there was only me there with my little compact camera, so hope you will enjoy them anyway!!
Happy Sunday and wishing you a joyful week.