Friday, February 2, 2018

Who Else Is A Mess?

Studio Collins
Cutting prints in Studio Collins

It's been just over a year since my father and I converted the screened in patio on my house into an enclosed art studio. Shamefully I haven't really posted any photos of the space in all this time. I've only shared my drawings and paintings and have kept everything else behind closed doors. I am coming to realize more and more that I have built walls, both metaphorically and literally, around my life. I won't go into my assumed reasons here but I'm certain if you've ever done the same, then you probably have done so for many of the exact same reasons. If you read my email newsletter yesterday (if not you can read it HERE) then you know that one of the things I aim to do this year and beyond is to at least put a few windows in those walls, still metaphorically speaking.

Studio Pre Build
The patio before the build

Admittedly I do not have many close friends so don't take my lack of sharing personally. This isolation is by my own conscious choice and I know that it's wrong. The problem is that when I do make a close friend I spill so much of myself and my thoughts that I feel vulnerable. I feel that my worst is now on display and that I no longer have control over how that person perceives me. Well, I'll just go ahead and lay it out for you now so that if you decide to stick around you can't say I didn't warn you. I AM A MESS! Who isn't, right? I'm opinionated, stubborn, critical, cynical, anxious, self serving, and biased. I'm also honest. Are you?

As social media grows we are being given more and more control over how we present ourselves. We can create a fictitious persona and build a doppelganger that is fun, adventurous, good looking, and happy. We can have cat ears, Margaret Keane eyes, and fireworks coming out of our heads. Best of all, we can hide the truth that we are sad, scared... or terrified, brittle, hurting, and constantly trying to sew ourselves together like Sally after falling from Dr. Finkelstein's tower. This is nothing new. People have been broken since the very beginning because we misuse our lives. We have been given a freedom that we are not naturally equipped to operate, because we use too much of that freedom for ourselves. Free will is indeed a gift but when we keep trying to rewrite the manual with rules more suited to making things "easy" for ourselves, things only get harder. It's true irony and I am absolutely guilty of it.

Well this is how it's going to go. I am starting to take down these walls one brick at a time and at least adding windows to the walls that aren't ready to come down. If you are brave enough to stand with me, I will lock arms with you and do my best to be as REAL as I can. My art is my spirit and I will feel fake if I keep sharing one and not the other. It's colorful on some days and black-and-white on others. It's melancholy one week and pop-culture-candy the next. I hope that's okay. It is what it is, but what I don't want it to be is a mirage. This is life. This is real. This is me.

As always, I am thankful and grateful for your support.
~Bryan 
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