It’s fascinating how art can transport you back to the exact moment of creation, even after years have passed. Artists often mention this phenomenon to me, and it’s undeniably true! Sometimes, I can recall my thoughts, attire, or the music I was immersed in when I gaze at specific sections of my paintings.
The story behind it
I’ve held onto this black-and-white pattern since university. Remarkably, I’ve managed to preserve it through numerous relocations over the past twenty years. I reflect on the time it lived in about thirty different homes. On one move, I was in a rush, possibly hitching a ride with a friend, and I left a stack of art beneath my bed.
Back then, I was grappling with anxiety, which, in hindsight, made that decision quite foolish. I couldn’t open the drawer, so I left it behind during the move or broke it open. I couldn’t afford to fix the magnets, so I left everything behind! Looking back, it seems quite irrational. I’m sure I could have arranged to retrieve my belongings later.
The creative journey
I needed a repeatable pattern that could be used with a photocopier to manage costs. Moreover, the design had to be versatile enough to look stunning when replicated. I envisioned covering entire walls, tables, chairs, and floors with this pattern. The concept for the pattern came to me effortlessly, as the dancing figure was a recurring motif in my work. It was almost like a personal ‘signature’. The rest of the artwork was influenced by Keith Haring, Gustav Klimt, and traditional African wooden tribal masks.
During my artistic education, I was instructed to create extensive bodies of work following a specific style and subject. I recall thinking this contradicted the animation-style figure I explored during college and school years. At that point, I decided to challenge the conventional education system’s emphasis on preparing for a career rather than genuine learning, self-discovery, and forming opinions. I was quite young and perhaps a tad idealistic at the time! I resisted the norms imposed by the art world. I vowed to experiment and evolve as an artist continuously.
This article was written with the assistance of Chat GPT, a versatile AI tool that can help in content creation and information retrieval. Chat GPT was instrumental in enhancing the clarity and coherence of this piece, ensuring that the message about my artistic journey and reflections is effectively conveyed.