Archive for August, 2013

The act of doing nothing isn’t an act of being lazy. Rather, it is an experience beyond obstruction. Allowing the boundaries to become transparent removes all conditionings of the ego. This, in turn, dissolves the idea of separation and, thus, a more thorough understanding of reality unfolds.

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Along with my personal thoughts and ideas, I have decided to use the philosophy category to also include various lectures and teachings which I have found beneficial throughout my journey. For my first installment, I have shared a lecture given by Alan Watts on his views of the Tao Te Ching.

Enjoy!

As mentioned in a previous post, I recently started experimenting with digital art. Although I feel I was learning quickly and making progress with my work, I had to face the reality that my art skills aren’t up to par with the type of work I’m wanting to do. Even with all the best tools at hand, without ability I have nothing. That being said, I put my tablet aside, pulled an old sketchpad out of the closet, sharpened a pencil, and began drawing.

I have always felt I struggled with drawing the human anatomy realistically, so I started sketching eyes on top of eyes on top of eyes. I devoted an entire day to nothing but eyes. The next day was nose, after nose, after nose. I started re-learning shading and drawing fundamentals. Essentially, I forced myself back into drawing 101.

Through this practice, I have already noticed vast improvement in my drawings, as well as a re-kindled fire for art in general. I hadn’t lost interest in art, but rather the drive to produce art. While working with the digital medium, I found myself becoming solely concerned with the final product. The act of doing is the experience, and by focusing entirely on the finish, the experience is lost, or at best minimized to a blur.

With that being said, I will probably take a brief hiatus from the digital art world until I feel more confident in my artistic abilities. My life has brought me to a point that will allow me more time to devote to my art, so I’m hoping to work more on becoming a contributor rather than just an observer.

I have always been my biggest critic in any endeavor I have pursued throughout my life and art is no exception. I don’t know if I will ever produce a piece of art that I don’t find full of flaws, much less something worth sharing. However, I’ve realized that if I never share anything, I will never share anything. So, I’ve decided to go ahead and share a few of my early digital pieces in this post.

sacred geometry spiral

Sacred Spiral

third eye meditation

Seeing Clearly

metatron's cube tree of life

Metatron’s Smoke Ring

As always, feel free to share your comments and feelings.

– Justin

This is the first installment of my philosophy category. Just to reiterate, this area of my blog will be used as a resting space for my thoughts and ideas. What I post in here will range from a few incomplete sentences to in-depth writings. Keep in mind that anything posted here is from my own viewpoints, and in no way is meant to prove/disprove any ideologies. However, conversation is encouraged so please feel free to comment and share your feelings.

A certain level of awareness shall be obtained as one proceeds forward in the search for a higher meaning to life.  This is fortunate because a certain level of awareness is required if one is to ever start the journey, much less stay on the path.  Along the way will be feelings of bliss, confusion, and insanity, accompanied by an endless smile.  It will become revealed that this quest has already been achieved for one will come to understand that the higher meaning to life has been here this entire time.  The search for enlightenment was nothing more than the search of oneself, for this state of eternal bliss is found within.  We are never without it.  As a child, we don’t have to think about whether or not we are living in accordance with any set of higher standards.  We are one with life and all things are in perfect harmony.  There is no good or bad, right or wrong, there is only life.  No judgments are ever passed for all is equal.

At some point in life we begin to take things more seriously and the internal state of cosmic bliss starts to fade.  We find ourselves caught up in a mix of rules, expectations, and emotions.   A concernment over how we are to act in certain situations brings a heavy toll.  We eventually become so conditioned to the standards set upon us by society that we completely lose touch with that which we are and develop a separation between ourselves and the world around us.  We are no longer part of nature, but rather something that has come into nature from an external source.  Most will continue forward on this path and never come back into harmony with the true-self.  Guided by various religions and ideologies, the will to think freely will slowly disappear and guidance will come from a controlling external force.

Fortunately, there are a few who manage to break through this false conception.  An eventual detachment from society will allow this person to become aware of the game being played, or possibly vice-versa, perhaps the realization of the game will allow the person to break away from the conditionings.  Either way, the player is now starting to complete the circle and is no longer a simple pawn.  So many things will happen from this point forward, but regardless of the magnitude, the person knows that it is just a game.  The universal bond will be re-united with nature and all life with again be treated as equal.  The endless smile will return to the face and there will be nothing left to do but watch the show.

I have had a passion for art since I picked up my first crayon, although I consider myself more of an enjoyer of art than contributor. Other than an occasional painting or charcoal drawing, I’ve never really devoted the time necessary to be more than a hobbyist. A few weeks ago, I start experimenting with digital art. I purchased a Wacom tablet, installed Corel Painter on my computer, and went to work. The transition from paper to digital proved to be more challenging than I anticipated, so I immediately started watching tutorials and visiting various art forums. As I worked my way through numerous tips and tricks of the trade, I couldn’t help but develop the feeling that a small level of hostility exists toward digital art. Hostility may not be the best word; lack of respect is probably more accurate. To be more specific, I’m referring to the idea that digital art isn’t real art.

This forces me to pose the question, “What is art?” The only answer I can respond with is, “What isn’t art?” Art isn’t something that can be defined in a few brief words. To do so only limits what it truly is. There is no separation between real/fake art, or good/bad art. There is only art. We are constantly surrounded by art and, whether we realize it or not, our lives have all been impacted by art in one form or another. Although I do feel art can be categorized in terms of visual, literary, etc., it is still all art, with no one form or style being better than any other. It is simply an expression of the imagination and an outlet for creativity, regardless of the media one chooses.

Keep the imagination alive. Respect the art.

-Justin

With this being the first post of my blog, I feel it’s only proper to give a brief introduction into the what’s and why’s. As an aspiring artist I feel a well-maintained blog is a great outlet for the ideas that flood my mind. Not only for my physical artwork, but my general philosophies on life and why I do what I do. I want to provide a place where others can use what I post as a means of self-reflection on their own lives and, in return, share their own thoughts and ideas. Whether it be in agreeance/disagreeance with my philosophy, or love/hate for my artwork, I want this blog to be a place that encourages free-thinking and imagination.

The name of this blog was inspired by the late, Alan Watts. He was a philosopher, writer, and speaker who excelled at interpreting the ideas of Eastern philosophy for the Western mind. Watts has had an indescribable impact on my life and the title of this blog is taken from chapter 4 of his book, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. I highly recommend his work to anyone interested in philosophy or curious about life in general, and I am almost certain to mention him again in future posts.

I will go ahead and wrap this up, but hopefully I have presented a basic idea of my reasons behind creating this blog. I look forward to working on this and am excited to see where it goes. As mentioned above, I want this to be an atmosphere that encourages thinking and the discussion of ideas involving art, philosophy, and life, so please feel free to ask questions or leave comments on any of my posts.

-Justin