Monday, August 30, 2010


From today...I thought to myself, what is artwork if it doesn't afford the artist anything more than a presence which he approves of? I was wrapped up in the ending of Kung Fu Panda and wanted to redesign my Signature into the style of the movie somewhat. The image above is the work from that time. However, I wonder if I should call it artplay since work earns money, and play is just free work...right?
I am talented? Well, I don't want to dispute against many compliments to that word...Talented. I guess it comes down to spending my time on that which is of little worth. Yet this was worth a great deal to what is the deal? As an artist I feel too self serving. What most people want me to do for them I am either incapable of, they are too poor for me to do, or I just don't do that kind of thing. And other things I'm sure. Is that why artists have such an extended period of time "finding themselves"? Searching for Balance...Peace, and Confidence...even proficiency? For what is Talent without these things?

Anyway, I like this little exercise. Even though it comes at the price of most of a days work. Probono for myself I guess. :( Art for arts sake? One way or the other way...I haven't been able to find fulfillment with my art. Either I fall short on the hand of providence, or I fall short on the hand of the will to do it at all. What is an artist like me to do? lol...well, I'm sure I'll manage. After this long, I hope I have at least learned to persevere under this stress. I just wish my family didn't' have to suffer with me. :(

For those of you out there that Love to do art and have figured out a better way...and I mean that in the sense that you have learned how to survive and not go crazy...I commend you for your skill, your talent, your balance, and your happiness. I hope I find that...soon. Soon would be nice. Am I just being selfish again? :)

P.S. I had to change the 's' on Williams around. I was horizontally backwards before. Now the curve is going the same direction as the S on Shaun. Thanks Nadia for seeing that. I love my wife. :D

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Touch of the Masters Hand

Sunday always has good experiences and stories for me...good lessons of life if nothing else. Today in church, one of the speakers (who amazingly also teaches my son in first grade) quoted the words below.

'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile: "What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar"; then, "Two!" "Only two?
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—" But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!" said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth." Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He's "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand.

What more can I say? As an artist, I think of how my skill is like an old violin sometimes...and I wonder what my artistic ability is worth. I ponder my worth on more personal levels too...and wonder if I have too often heeded the thoughtless crowd. How important it is to learn of our worth as the Master knows it, and to never auction ourselves cheap...though battered, scarred, covered in dust, and out of tune, how great our worth in the Masters hands!
May we all look to Him...and let all other opinions wash away...even if necessary, our own.  Happy Sabbath.

(Quoted from talk given by Pres. Boyd K. Packer

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Demand for Breakneck Proficiency

Today I was over at my folks helping out with a few things. Sitting down to take a break, I commented that I don't think people are necessarily Lazy, or even undisciplined....instead I think people leave work undone because most work that needs to be done doesn't pay enough. Sadly I believe there are many jobs that need to be done which earn little or no money. Because of this, often they are cast aside in favor of paying work. My problem is that I tend to do those poor paying, or non-paying, jobs anyway. This is of course to the detriment of my ability to keep up financially. Is this the trouble with the delicate balance of disaster management? I will also admit that I am somewhat slow and methodical. I'm a perfectionist to some degree. What I've seen in my short 31 years, is hard working people who get into hard times, drop their dreams because they are "financially worthless", and also get frustrated that jobs which need to be done get left behind...leading to burdens of guilt throughout their lives. Should I call this problem: The Demand For Breakneck Proficiency? Just understanding what needs to be done is a task which takes time. Then building up the skills to accomplish those tasks is time consuming. And this year alone, I have had more Pro-Bono work than ever before. I have work coming out of my ears. I have ideas flowing torrentially through my mind and heart that I would love to enact, or put into motion save for the income stopping me.....but....maybe this all comes down to the hard work it takes to get one's life in order, to subdue all things, and regain control of one's life.  Things can get out of hand pretty quickly these days. And there are many places "eager" to take advantage of one slip up from me or anyone really.

Well...I've lost my train of thought for now. Plus I don't want to get too excited :) . Mostly I hope we manage with the one thing we all have the same of: 24 hours of every day of out lives. No one can claim any different. (and I am not going to delve into how handicaps of all sorts changes the value of one day's worth of time)

Take care. Sharpen your blade occasionally. A dull blade may as well be a sledgehammer to cut down a tree.

I wish you all the best!