Sunday, 23 April 2017

Keep real with yourself


Life is simple if you are able to identify what your priorities are and what you hold as a mission statement for your purpose in life. As a young mother I was not thrown off balance at the enormity of shouldering the responsibility of being a single parent and simultaneously studying to be an artist, because I had already found the anchor of purpose for my energies; and so to address life by living it became a natural consequential process that allowed me to experience the journey of living without fear of failure. That life holds all kinds of difficulties is a given, so it becomes important therefore to break down self-constructed doubts that hinder one from moving towards ones goals, whatever these maybe.

In the tutorials that I have lately been having with young art students and artists, I find one similarity that re-occurs time and again which is the perception of how they view the term "future" for themselves. Success seems to be without strife and It appears always as an entitlement without the realisation that hard work is truly the only transport that takes you to success. The idea that an imagined ideal becomes a reality because we desire it to, is the folly of many young people. With the commercialisation of life bringing the rivers and dales as everyone's space of paradise with rainbows and butterflies thrown in for good measure,  we lose sight of the personal space of endeavour as being the real motor behind success  -  presuming instead that success will be available to us because it has happened for others. The norm however does not endorse one being able to trip over success as though it lies waiting to be acquired like a commodity in a mall.

A young  artist who is self-taught visited me today, taking an appointment to do so. When I went down to meet him, leaving my work aside to give him an hour of my time I was astounded by his audacity that he had come by merely for a casual chat ! Now given that he isn't a friend  who believes they may take such a licence but was coming as a young professional seeking an appointment for a discussion on his art, it appeared rather bizarre to me that he was without any visual aids to present his work. There was no PPT or hard copy images of art and his excuse for this was that he imagined that as I had seen his work two years ago (!) it was therefore sufficient that I would remember it, (which I thought was presumptuous)  and therefore that I should make the initiative to structure a discourse (from that memory) two years hence! 

It is important to note that on the occasion of seeing that particular exhibition of this young artist I had in fact spent almost  an hour and a half talking to him at length. When I questioned him today on whether he had followed up on the many points I had outlined that he needed to work on - such as travelling to see art exhibitions in India as well as to visit art events like the KMB in Cochin and the IAF in Delhi, and to visit via appointment senior and young  artists in the city to share his work with,  plus importantly to read up on world culture, art, history & politic -  his reply was that he hadn't done any of these things !

Endeavour is something of extreme importance. The dictionary meaning of endeavour is: (verb) try hard to do or achieve something - (noun) an attempt to achieve a goal. To endeavour within your life places you smack in the centre of your own reality and insists of you to then figure out things with clarity so that you perceive your personal needs of fulfilment without excuse. Focus and attention on work and utilising time effectively offers you experience  and knowledge,  and above all,  a grasp of who you are.

I like to embrace my world of belonging with a completeness that disallows me any route of escape. My mantra is to keep things simple….hold your heart and mind accountable for your deeds and live life from understanding who you are. It keeps you real with yourself. For me that is terribly important.

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