I bought a painting in 2003 at a live art show in Chinatown called First Thursdays, when it was held at Studio One on King st in Chinatown back in the day serving beer out of giant fisherman's coolers and makeshit plywood bars....it has since grown into the largest registered Poetry Slam in the world and moved from Studio One to the Hawaiian Hut at Ala Moana Hotel.
The poets were passionate, some angry, some funny, and they all had something to say...the blank canvas was crafted by the emotions of each poet's words, and by the end of the night an artistic phenomenon was born.
"BREAK YOUR REMOTE" calls to me across the room, me who has not owned a TV set for six years now, who hasbecome his father despite his furious efforts not to [television is EVIL and will rot your brain]...and I find myself purchasing my first piece of art.
Two days later, the artist [Aaron Martin] rolls up to my house with the painting sticking out the back of his mini-truck bed, all smiles and stoked that someone had actually purchased his work - his first sale.
From a recent cover story article in the Honolulu MidWeek:
"...his trademark black-and-white panda paintings began as an accident. “Originally I was going to paint a grizzly bear, but a friend of mine forgot to bring the paint I was waiting for,” says Martin, noting the only colors he had with him in large quantities were black and white. With the room packed and the pressure mounting, Martin had to make do with what he had. “I was standing on the side, people were just staring at me, so I decided to change (the design) and make it into a panda.”
I am in awe of this man. Here he is, pursuing his passion, making a good living doing what he loves....painting. His passion has become his business. In doing what he loves, he is able to make a good living. I have looked him up today to help me sell my painting.
He says I look familiar, and when I tell him that I am the guys who bought his first painting, he is all smiles and stoked again, shakes by hand, gives me a hug and tells me that it is good to see me again. Yes, his assistant did get the email I send him about 3 months ago explaining that I had hit upon hard times and don't want to sell the painting but need the cash....they have just been too busy tearing up the arts scene around the world to get back to me. He tells me yes, of course he will help me out to sell my painting on his blog, it is THE original painting, and he tells me that I should go travel the world.
I am taken back to my drunken-stoned days in art school where the most important things we were concerned with were things like light & shadow, composition, and expressing form, where my self-induced bluriness lent me a clarity devoid of logic & reason. Of couse, it makes sense to stop my studies, leave everything behind, and fly off to Hawaii to travel the world.
And then....I remember the conscious decision I made to take the path of entrepreneur rather than starving artist, and I feel again the frustration of having ignored my artistic impulses for the last 12 years. I am standing before myself in a parallel dimension, a me who took the path of starving artist and "made it", because he is following his passion rather than finding things in his work to be passionate about.
And here I am 12 years later, leaving everything behind, flying off to see the world.....haunted by a quote I just read on a friend's blog:
And the doubt and the questions creep back in to my head....am I doing the right thing? Won't I be losing momentum in my career? Will I ever come back? Am I running away or am I indeed taking a much-needed breather? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
They say that fear [my mind] is the voice in your head that screams loudest, a great guide but a poor master. They say that inution [my soul] is a soft, gentle, knowing whisper that is there when you quiet the incessant chatter.
The quiet thoughts of travel have been whispered to me for the last twelve years of my life...
I will listen to my soul.