U R U Know. Original, that is.
Every one of us is a unique soul in a specific place at any given moment, so by definition, we are all “original”. You don’t have to try to “BE” original, because you already are. It’s a powerful truth, and one that many of us find hard to accept. That we are each special, with an unlimited capacity for CREATIVITY, for invention and re-invention, is real. Believe it.
In Webster’s Dictionary, one definition of ORIGINAL is “a person of fresh initiative or inventive capacity.”
In art, the concept of what is ORIGINAL is something that has been debated over and over. I look at art in two ways:
1) Every piece of art is unique and “original” in the sense that it was created by a specific person at a specific time and place, but…………
2) Nothing in art is really “original” because it is building upon the artist’s experiences and influences and lessons — it is all a continuum through human history and THAT’S what makes is so precious and sacred to me. We are all connected…….
DISCLAIMER #1: I love to copy!!!! How often I’ve been complimented on something I’ve made and happily confessed that I copied it from something else I saw. That’s how we learn! Did you know that Picasso was perfectly copying realistic paintings when he was a child? That was how he taught himself how to see things and the techniques used by the old masters. Many many people seem to think that if you’re not creating a wholly “original” piece of art, then you are not an artist. Or worse, you are wasting your time. There is no shame in copying. By copying and practicing over and over, our abilities become ingrained, and eventually we can give flight to what our imaginations envision.
DISCLAIMER #2: I have a degree in Art History (you may have guessed by now) and something that bothered me all those years ago in college is how there was some secret rule about what was or wasn’t ART. Like the fact that an artist produced something beautiful and emotionally uplifting wasn’t enough to consider it ART. More often than not, what was considered ART was emotionally troubling, daring and shocking, and usually male-centric. Dwelling on what was feminine was not considered worthy or serious. What a bunch of b******t!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am just so over-the-moon energized to be living in this day and making and seeing and sharing ART that is gorgeous and love-filled and soul-stirring and unapologetically girly. Yes, it is ART.
Phew! OK! Feels good to send THAT message out into the blogosphere, LOL!!!!
So about this b Original U R collage. I love to comb thrift stores for great picture frames and discarded pictures that need a little love. I am also a student of Brave Girl Art School (http://bravegirlsclub.com/wing-sessions), taught by the phenomenal Melody Ross, and one of our assignments was to do a “Soul Sisters” collage. So I picked up these two ladies in their nice wood frame for $5 and got busy:
This was a print on canvas and on the back it was titled “Water Maids”. You might look at this and see them as creatures of drudgery and burden. But I also felt something about them was serene, almost sacred, and that was the point at which I wanted to start. To see them with fresh eyes. Isn’t that how all of us wish to be seen? Not necessarily from the first impression we give off, but on a deeper level.
I imagined them as two Soul Sisters on a sacred walk through a beautiful tropical forest, gently carrying shiny orbs of truth: U and R (for “you are original”). One following the other, but each unique and beautiful in her own way. No one better than the other, just fabulously different. I used lots of paints, mediums, fabrics, beads and bling which Melody Ross has taught us in BGAS, the techniques which I copied in order to learn them, then modified to use in my own vision. A fresh vision. ORIGINAL but also connected to that continuum of art and expression that has connected us humans since the beginning of time. How incredibly wonderful is that? Everything you and I do, in art or in other pursuits is ORIGINAL. We can’t help it!!!
I was SO EXCITED about the great response I got last week to my first post!!! Starting a discussion about these ideas is my dream come true! I am going to try my best to post here every Wednesday, and your replies keep me going — you are SO IMPORTANT to me!!!! So please don’t hold back, tell me and us what you think — we REALLY WANT TO KNOW…….
Now I ask YOU: what does being ORIGINAL mean to you? Is it something you wrestle with or think you cannot possibly be? Is it even important to you, and why or why not?