Art. It is now my life. And I am glad of it.
I sit, writing to the brilliant score by Michael Giacchino for the new Star Trek movie, thinking of a painting, whose construction is being told to me by the music itself.
Art, like Music, has a rather unique freedom that arises from within. To me, Art is that which inspires, that causes emotions to be felt, that makes one come alive. For some, like me, it is painting that gives us these things. For others, it could be singing, or dancing, or simply creating pieces of music. For those who are academically gifted, unlike me, it may be the proving of a theorem, or the solving of a mystery of science. Art is anything, and everything. Even Science is an art. While many do not realize it, the way that they look at things, collect information, form assumptions and inferences or even categorize things, are all an art. The true Artist is one who takes joy in what he does, even those who dislike joy and anything remotely associated with it. No matter how much one might want to dislike elation, joy, happiness or whatever you wish to term the positive energy one feels upon doing something to its full and right manner, it creeps in.
Art could be crunching numbers, or writing essays. I have seen an immense joy and inspiration in the eyes of a few who simply loved examinations. They come alive when asked to solve a question. And so it should be. When the right question is put to the right person, he or she will take pride in their attempt at solving it.
In my case, painting is my question paper. Each piece of artwork I create, is the answer to some kind of question. For example, I have questioned how the human mind can be so complex, and yet so simple at the same time. I have asked myself, why do our brains complicate things that are simple, to a point where frustration and confusion sets in, when the simple thing is just that : a simple thing?
Through several hours and days of painting, I have found some semblance of a thing that could be deemed the beginning of an answer. While I am nowhere close to solving the mysteries of the human brain, I have, on my path of query, taken the first step.
Our human brain is a complex thing. It is a set of neurons packed together in a certain manner, with a force as yet not understood by us, that causes it to function, to understand, to cogitate, to differentiate. There are two lobes, interconnected and yet isolated. One part of the brain controls one set of things, the other the rest. And this is very simply our brain. Yet, we see that we need both sides of the brain to function, and this is where the complication starts. Our senses tell us one thing, our brain listens to what is being said. It then ‘thinks’. Finally, it comes to a conclusion. A thought, an idea, a notion, an action. Emotion.
The emotion is true, its expression may be false. It is only when the expression of the emotion is true, that we feel immense joy. This happens when one realizes his or her form of Art.
Simple things that have become complex, cease to be complex. They are returned to their natural, simple state, and we understand these things in the way they were always meant to be. Simply.
Many a time I have come across math problems that I cannot solve. This is usually in arithmetic, algebra or calculus. But then I come across a math problem in the field of geometry. Things become simple. I understand them. The problem itself tells me the answer.
And so it must be with anything. If one must decide which of two mangoes one should buy, the matter is simple. The mango itself will tell you that it is the one to be picked. It will smell much nicer, it will be better coloured and will seem more alive and inviting. It would be pointless to complicate matters by thinking about which one is bigger, or heavier, or cheaper. Think about it. You are buying the mango to enjoy its wonderful scent, its lovely taste, its bright colour. You are buying the mango to derive pleasure from it. A bigger mango may be heavier, and may contain more flesh, but if it is not of the right scent, or taste or colour, you would not get even half the pleasure that you would from a smaller one, that is scented just right, with the perfect taste and the most alluring colour.
And so I return to the place that I began from. Art.
Art, like Music, has a rather unique freedom that arises from within. To me, Art is that which inspires, that causes emotions to be felt, that makes one come alive.
Inspiration, true emotion and the feeling that you’re alive. These will only come when things are seen for the simple things they are. No matter how complicated something seems, life included, it is always simple if you choose to see it that way. Break things down to their base parts. Deal with one part at a time. When each of the parts is seen simply, the sum of the parts is simple.
Be not frustrated with what you are stuck with. Ask it to help you. Let is speak, listen calmly to its voice. Do not over-think things. Keep it simple, and the answers will flow.
Find your Art. Paint your picture. Compose your symphony. Derive your equation. Prove your theorem.
Keep it simple, and you shall succeed. And never shy away from asking for help. If you can’t see clearly, someone else may be able to show you the way. Simply open your mind and heart to other minds and hearts. Even if you can find your way alone, you will need support from time to time, and company always keeps you on your toes. Doing things alone, one may seem all wonderful and confidently proud. Doing things with others by your side and at your back, one will be wonderful and confidently proud – of both themselves and their fellow companions.
An artist is nothing without his materials. Art is nothing without an artist.