Build the house & destroy the house: the Artist Journey*


Painting sent by my dear Justine Riekena*

Apollo and Dionysus are never distant from each other – especially where manifested creativity is concerned.

Some people tend to one side of the equation: their comfort zone is in Apollo´s garden, the shape, the structure, the visual, the rational side of life/creation. Others swim in Dionysus wine pools, only revelling in madness,intuition, freedom, open possibilities and ideas that may (or may not) have wings to fly and land, the instinctive side of life/creation.

As a teacher, I have to develop both sides of coin: Yin and Yang, Intuition and Rationality; the potential (ideas, inspiration, talent) and its materialization (the actual dance with its personal creative choices).

Potential is not creativity yet – it´s just, let me repeat it, potential for something that can come to material existence. All of us have potential, yet few of us manifest it. If Picasso grabbed himself to his immense potential and never found a structure and a venue to manifest it, we would be deprived of Cubism and his fabulous contribute to Painting. The same with all of us.

I lost count of how many “potential” freaks I´ve met – people who have loads of ideas, projects, wishes, dreams and so on but never have the GUTS to, at least, try to do something with them. Using your potential requires courage – here´s the problem. Potential is limitless and untouchable – no one can attack it, judge it, point a negative finger at it or destroy it. Materializing that potential offers risks: failure, non acceptance, criticism and a clear notion of our limits.

I repeat to my students: build the house so you can destroy it; learn the rules so you can break them; create the structure so you can get lost in it and fly. Ultimately, learn the TECHNIQUE so you can forget about it and go beyond it. Technique is not the art but the tools to better express the artistic form you´ve chosen (or chose you).

In this process of building and destroying, there´s the unrellenting courage to use your potential and materialize your dreams. No, it´s not easy. Yes, it brings a lot of criticism, especially if you´re REALLY talented in your craft; most especially if you´re a visionary who sees ahead of the majority. So what? Your artistic expression doesn´t belong to your ego – it belongs to your soul and your soul couldn´t care less about LIKES or DISLIKES.

P.S: Artists are known for their compulsive manifestation. A painter will paint, no matter how afraid of criticism he/she may be; a dancer will dance, choreograph, perform, teach, no matter how many fingers or dislikes will be thrown at her/him. And so forth.

If your fear of failure is stronger than your urge to create, congratulations: you´re not an artist but an amateur who happens to enjoy his/her own ideas and wishful thinking. 602707_10151312677999886_904856478_n

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