The Work of Art
by T.K. Pippin
To look at something as though we had never seen it before requires great courage.
As a studio artist, poet and songwriter, I receive inspiration not only from the world around me, but also from within. I think these are both important because throughout life we are searching, purposefully, for connection. If we cannot see the world through the eyes of a serial killer then how can we understand the serial killer. It is not that we must become him, instead we must find his heart and mind and put ourselves in his place, to try to see what influenced him, what obstacles he endured and what his inner self compels him to do based on these.
The first step in my process is to lose myself, become free, forget myself, in order to understand something that I think I am not, but in the end, eventually find in myself. To open myself to what might flow through me.
The second step would be to put this into action, in any chosen medium, through pen and ink, paint and paper, or camera and film, or even a musical instrument, expressing what was conjured within. In my art I love using almost all mediums. I, myself, receive images of orbs, globes and dreamlike visions when I paint expressively. But, I also love drawing realistic charcoals and taking simple photographs of flowers.
The third process would be to edit, to perfect, because being human is to error, and though tedious, it is what makes us more than human, spirit, refined in the fire, to make ready and understandable or challenging for it’s audience.
The final step is delivery, which I might venture to say is the most difficult for me, because it exposes me and my thoughts, feelings, emotions, soul and even body to the audience. Whether it’s flower mandalas, music, drawings, paintings, poetry, or photography, it’s a part of us and we are most protective of ourselves. This fear of nakedness and rejection – but what we fear the most seems, in the end, to release us into greater freedom.
I find it funny how people around me see art and aesthetics to be almost like a missionary cause, like it should be free, as if, just because one is talented at art, she/he should give it away (maybe so in a utopian society where everything else is free). Like we don’t work for the result that they see, or have to eat or pay bills, that it is all fun and games and in turn should be handed out that way.
It is so much more, and this is where we get the starving artist and those who try to mimic this. The talent of art, in any form, is a gift, just like public relations or teaching or nursing. We WORK, we sweat, we use our time to give something with so much meaning to those who cannot express it themselves and yet we are seen as flighty, far-out, and unimportant.
Recent studies have shown otherwise. With sick and dying children in hospitals, those who are given rooms painted with big beautiful flowers, plants, and other visuals had substantially increased chances of recovery and survival compared to those who are placed in plain white-walled rooms. This speaks volumes of the importance of art in our communities and culture.
© 2008 T.K. Pippin
T.K. Pippin: The Work of Art
Art, Healing, and Transformation group
Flower Mandalas Project group
Cultivating Creativity group
Request a flower mandala screensaver: Fifteen Flower Mandalas