The second prompt for Summer of Sketching arrives on my mailbox, which brings with it an all too familiar question that we have asked ourselves, probably a thousand times already: Why?
I have learned to love this one word question even before I answered it. My default response has arrived years ago, but it is good to be reminded every now and then. Humans as we are, we easily forget. As Eric said in his e-mail: it’s easy to get caught up with WHAT you’re doing or HOW you’re doing it. We lose sight of the most important part: WHY are you doing it in the first place?
Last Saturday, I attended an art appreciation talk for free (thankful as always for the Brew Your Best Year community for providing these opportunities). I love going to these kinds of events since they make me experience being in an art class – in flesh and blood. And since it was co-organized by The Coffee Bean, it also came with coffee (not gonna deny that I sometimes live for events with free coffee, I mean come on, they make events a hundred percent better. Coffee lovers would easily understand this).
But enough about the coffee, the event was centered on the works of Pablo Picasso and understanding Cubism. I concluded on that day that abstracted cubism paintings won’t be on my favorite list; Mr. Pita told us that they are characterized by not having any space left on the canvas. Every detail is connected into a one whole picture. The main feature of these paintings is something that my eyes doesn’t favor. They make me dizzy – distracted somehow.
Another interesting fact that I found out that day is that Picasso was a copier of works. It may not be an exact copy, sometimes a reversed image or a different pose but you can find the similarity if you look closer. I find it funny that one of the most famous painters started just like us, with no sense of originality or style. We make a big fuss out of being original at times, that’s why I have always loved that Palahniuk quote: Everything is so far away, a copy of a copy of a copy. The character was talking about his insomnia episodes, but maybe we can say the same to art as well. Even the people we called masters are no exception.
The organizers were rounding up questions and one participant asked, “What was Picasso’s motive in creating these artworks? What legacy did he want to leave behind?” I was half listening, busy stirring my coffee, so these words are just a rephrased answer from Mr. Pita “His greatest motive was just to express himself, it was his outlet from the anxiety or depressive things happening in his life. He wasn’t actually aiming into what legacy he was leaving behind.”
That afternoon was quite comforting, knowing that art can still for art’s sake. There are times when our whys are geared into creating an impact for the world or the community. But there are times when your why is about letting yourself breath through colors, shapes, or figures. To simply create, without too much expectations attached to it.
Tiny Stories is inspired by the book curated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (bearing the same title) that says: The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. This is my attempt to compile mine, something to push me to write even if there’s not a lot of words for me to grasp.