Sunday, 14 June 2015

Do the Thing

Been going through the usual downturn of an artist.

"Am I wasting my time? Am I making the right choices? Shouldn't I be focusing on "x" or "y"? Time is running out! What am I doing with my life? Why am I bothering? Failure. Failure. Failure.

Sound familiar?

Whether you actively identify as an artist of some form. Or "imaginist" as I like to call myself. Or maybe you have another term entirely. Or you are just someone who daydreams and dreams under the stars and in moonlight on porches and on the hood of a car or the edge of your desk, you've probaby had a similar sort of running commentary of doubt.

I kicked myself over to England because I felt like I wasn't doing anything with my life. Now I am doing many things. Every day, every evening, every second I am experiencing so much I barely have time to process it all, let alone devote time to creating art.

Like the glorious month I had last February, house sitting for some relations in their nearly "middle-of-nowhere" house, in the middle of winter. I got some of the best writing done that I have ever managed.

Except life can't always be hiding away in seclusion. Certain life choices mean you need to make money to live. Certain life choices mean you have things you require to be sane, even if they aren't things that you need to survive. Though some people choose to just stick to flat survival in the name of The Art. Some people manage to balance everything. Some people flounder and flutter. Scared. Worried. Focused on practicality.

Some people just grab the milk carton. Stand on it and ask.

Recently I had the pleasure of not only meeting an individual who's music and art I have long admired but I also got around to reading her memoir (read over two days, it was that engaging).

Her name is Amanda Palmer.

I won't be surprised if you wonder: Who?

She's a bit of a cult figure. And yet she is one of the most human, human being I have ever met. Wise, honest, witty, and just wanting share the joy of music with other human beings.

This is one of her songs:

And this is her TED talk. The Art of Asking:

She draws on her eyebrows to make people unconsciously look her in the eye because it is through the eyes that people connect.

It is through the eyes that people see eachother.

And in a society that is far too open about looking, we don't really see anyone.

She endeavours to empathise and get into the perspectives of all individuals, whether they are on the right or wrong side of morality or law. Because we are all human at heart.

She is often critised as being too showy and trustworthy, as breaking all boundaries of what is "right" in the music industry by allowing fans to download for free.

She does this because the only way to build a connection is by making yourself vulnerable, by being 100% honest. When that connection is built you don't have to force anyone to do anything.

Most likely they will want to do it.

First though, you need to connect.

Second though, you need to ask.

That requires vulnerability.

And through it all you need the bravery to just do the Thing. Because you want to. Not because you have to or you should.

I've long been wanting to publish a novel. And I do. Want to publish a novel, that is. Except there is much more I also want to do.

After reading Amanda's book I sat back and thought. Why haven't I published the novel yet? I came up with this:

I am afraid no one will read it because no one has yet seemed to read what I do already.

Then again, I haven't shared much of my writing yet. I did have someone read part of my novel-in-progress recently and they laughed in many parts. Just as I had hoped as I wrote it.

That made me happy.

Art isn't about being able to live off of it. Yes that would be lovely but really, art is about sharing a moment with other people. It is about sharing stories around a campfire. Like humanity has done for millenia. Albeit in different formats.

I am going to start sharing more. I am going to keep writing and photographing more. Maybe one day people will laugh, smile, cry and cheer over this art from my heart. Until then...

I have re-started my tumblr which you can find at:

On that platform I intend on sharing my photostories since it is more friendly to photography and here I will continue my life musings and travel blogging. The novel is going to be a work in progress for a while and who knows what I'll come out with next. The good thing about being an imaginist is that I always have ideas for new works. I'm going to be as busy as ever. I live in London. I'm going to build experiences the size of the Great Wall of China thank you very much. And hopefully you'll stick around for the ride. If you're a twitterer do check me out on @TheMoonyDreamer where shorter bits of inspiration, and links to much more creativity are generally found. 

All that I ask is that you enjoy my work, comment when you have the time and share with others if you have a moment.

That is the point of art after all. It brings us together. It reminds us what being human is about; deep down, all we want is to be seen from the inside.

We are all bigger on the inside. Like the Tardis. So don't be afraid. Do the Things. Because you can. Not because anyone says you can or anyone watches. Dance like no one watches. Dance like the world is within you. Or in the words of Amanda Palmer's other brilliant half, Neil Gaiman: "Make good art."


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