For some reason, in our culture, maybe even throughout humanity, darkness is associated with badness. Light is good, it is illuminating, it keeps the monsters at bay. So naturally, its opposite must be bad, right?
I don’t think so. Darkness is mystery, it’s a velvet cover where we can hide and sneak and move undetected. Darkness helps us hide our flaws, helps others focus on the parts we choose to show. Without dark, everything is bright and makes our eyes hurt.
Not everything is shiny and that’s OK. Our flaws make us human; give us a different experience than everyone else has. They are the filter through which we see everything. Without darkness how can we choose the light?
Yes, my work is dark. It isn’t shiny, sparkly, or brightly colored. But those of us who love a mystery, love the layers, those who cherish the patina that life has left on us understand why I make my work the way I do. We are all dirty, textured, and dark in our own way. As we slip into the darkness of the Winter Solstice, celebrate that with me. Darkness can be shiny too.
Sometimes when the going is tough, it’s hard to be thankful. We have to consciously step back and look for all of the good things we have in our lives. It’s nice to have a specific time of year that forces you to do just that.
I am thankful for all of my patrons
I am thankful I have the ability to make my art
I am thankful that I have a job
I am thankful that I was commission to make the Rose Bowl Trophy
I am thankful I have artist friends who like my work
I am thankful for each and every sale of a piece of my artwork
Maybe it’s growing up in the 80s – the tail end of the Cold War – or maybe it’s just my secret craving for anarchy, but I’m drawn to apocalypse type scenarios. I even belong to a Goodreads book club called Apocalypse Whenever. Sometimes it’s a surprise ending for the Earth, but sometimes the world has a chance to save humanity -keep it from extinction.
Naturally, I imagine what would actually happen in these scenarios. If our earth had the chance to save the best of humanity in order to continue our species into the future, who would they choose to save? Of course you’d have to save scientists – they’re the ones who know how to make things happen. But what other skills would be found practical? Which are worth saving?
Sadly, I think in this day and age the artists would lose out in this scenario. In America art isn’t seen as necessary. It’s cut from our schools, it’s the last thing people would buy, it’s seen as frivolous and just icing on the cake. I really don’t think it would even be considered as save worthy.
But what would humanity lose without that creative spark? Even neanderthals have been found to use adornment and they find earlier and earlier evidence of cave painting. Art and creativity are a part of our DNA. If you breed out this kind of thinking, the ability to see what isn’t there yet, imagination, I believe our humanity will be lost. We’ll become stagnant, unable to see the best and the worst in the future.
Maybe there would be enough creative spark in those scientists they hide away to keep us safe, but do we really want to take the chance that on our future as humans? Might as well just let the machines win…