A paradigm shift, it sounds so heady, so intellectual. Of course, this would certainly be a topic of discourse among academic intellectuals. This, a paradigm shift, could certainly not be something I would experience. I have been so sure, so ready to accept my fate, my place in life. However, I say that, and to be honest, I have no idea what that is, what my place really is or was. I just had a direction, or so I thought. I sort of knew what kind of art I liked to produce. I kind of liked working on projects for others. But in the past several months a have felt that the tectonic plates under my feet have been shifting. Maybe they have always been, I was just never still enough to feel these slight adjustments. I have for the past six months had a feeling that my direction was never really my direction, but rather what I thought others expected of me.
I know, I know, poor me. Cry me a river. I am sorry if this sounds like I am playing the victim card here, well, I sort of am in a sense, but bear with while I work through this. I grew up having people in my life that fully accepted me being an artist. I even had acceptance becoming a designer. This is great. The down side was that I bought into the idea of what that looks like. Work, work, work, keep working, and then work some more. Keep your nose to the grind stone, and keep climbing that corporate ladder, in the design world that is. As an artist, well, people in my life, liked the more formal work that I produced. They hung them on their walls, and praised the work that, well, in my mind, was actually kind of boring. They, people that came in contact with my work, preferred the more traditionally academic work. This was wonderful support, however, the pleaser in me, accepted these things as my own truth and kept doing it. I kept trying to achieve greater and greater acceptance as a designer in other peoples agencies. I kept painting works that others praised but really did nothing for me. I just kept at it, day after day, month after month, year after year. I questioned nothing.
About six months ago, things started to shift. Signs from the universe kept smacking me in the face with alternate realities that seemed much more in line with my own personal interests. Voices came through in those quiet contemplative moments and whispered very different things to me. My comfort level with all of this was to say the least no existent. I shared these thoughts with absolutely no one. I didn’t want to feel them and I certainly didn’t understand them. But as I quietly let these feelings in, I realized that I could not turn back, nor could I continue to hide from them. So, there in lies the shift in my paradigm. The sameness, the pattern, the whatever you want to call it, had shifted.
So what now? What the hell does all this blathering on mean. I am still trying to figure that all out. But, in my own personal meditations and from some very unlikely outside voices, I have to write. So here I am, writing my thoughts and sharing them with the world. What does this mean for my art or for my design career, I have no idea. I mean, I have some idea, I am just not going to share that with you at this time. I am still working through it all and meditating on it. I will of course continue to work as a designer, I have to pay the bills some how. I will also, continue to paint, but the feedback I get will be takin with a huge grain of salt. It is all very appreciated, but I have to follow my muse. As Candide said to Pangloss, in the book “Candide” by Voltaire, “that we must cultivate our garden.” Candide stood defiant to his teacher, and declared that all was well and good with all of the teachings Pangloss had imparted onto Candide, but in the end, Candide must certainly cultivate his own garden, or rather his own thoughts. So, with that, and these words, I stand defiant, and now I roll up my sleeves and head out to my garden.