When I was a student, back when I had little to no idea of what I would end up doing with my life, I tried so hard to see a place for creative expression in a world that doesn’t easily facilitate it. That pathway often seems shrouded in darkness: at least this was my experience while I am pursuing something for survival. (I still am!)
All I knew was that I really loved drawing and writing stories, but what to do with that?
All of us, regardless of career or direction, have some kind of sparkling energy in our core that is unique, a special voice or awareness, a desire to share observations about the world, to say something important, to do something we might call inspiring - Not just for others, but for ourselves, to figure out who we are and why we are here.
It's just recently called myself an artist - but now, as I sign this contract with myself ( and I’m sure is the case with other careers), I hope we do continue pursuing that search for meaning, both individually and together with people who sees something in our work.
But it’s hard to know what we are doing, and if we did, the work would quickly become boring and meaningless - What a dilemma!
Much like a forgotten item we now ignore at the back of our cabinets that we don’t know what to do with. We are sure it is special, well, we think we are sure, but we also have a hard time getting anyone to pay attention to it.
I kept coming back to it again and again, as if in a day-dreamy sort of way I’d opened the door to a little world that had a lot of actually important things to say: about society, about my feelings as a young person, about the problems of being an artist in a highly monetized world, and most of all, the forgotten things.
These things I always had the question -What was it really about? I didn’t know, often the sign of a good idea. I drew a bit more to find out. And then I kept drawing... I’ve now drawn peculiar stuff about a hundred times that I myself get freaked out, and am still wondering what it is - so I learned to embrace its absurdity.
Since then I’ve come to realise that the need for a clear pathway, a road that leads to an important destination, is maybe not so important. In some cases, random play can be just as useful as a career prospectus. From that idle and fairly uneducated scribble on a hawker table came an extended time of strange obsession, the remnants of which I still have compiled in my sketchbook (and Instagram!)
Who knows what is next? You never can tell. I’ve learned to put deep trust in the things that I initially laugh off as nonsense, the strange whisper than comes from the side. Or the freaky thing you find washed up along the riverbend.