May 25, 2012

Artist's Statement

A good and extremely wise friend of mine and I were talking the other day about Artist's Statements. And when I say we were talking about them, what I really mean is that she mentioned it and I realized that I've never actually written anything like that. Struck me as a really good idea, it did.

Bit of conversational backstory: been feeling a bit restless, creatively, since the last of the Chronicles of Aesirium books came out, back in December of last year. Those six books summarized a fair bulk of my creative work over the past two years, and it left me a bit stretched out and feeling vacant. And it wasn't that I had no other ideas to write about - I've already completed a few other projects and have many others in various stages of development. But it almost felt like I was in between relationships - a softer sense of mourning, I guess.

I haven't really felt the urgent sense of work work work because oh my god it must be done like I'd felt previously, and that lacking had nothing to do with a diminished sense of desire nor any sort of writer's block. It wasn't a becalming, it...well, I had more explanations describing that which is was not than I had for what it was.

I've been tracking book sales - this has become a year wherein I actually have to start tracking them, the fact of which generates in me a good deal more gratitude than I'm presently expressing - but as it turns out I'm really not in this for the money. And to that I say, excellent! So if modest returns don't fill me with a sense of deepened satisfaction, what will?

That was the question which not only gave me pause, but the pausing itself filled me with a renewed sense of purpose. Why do I write? "Because I must".... isn't enough. It was enough, ten years ago. It's not, now.

So here I am. And here is my artist's statement.

The moon is a funny thing. She just floats out there in the sky above us, reflecting the powerful sunlight which marks our days and nights. My eyes have always seemed to find her there, and though I claim neither lunacy nor lycanthropy, I've felt a certain kinship to her waxings and wanings. As a boy, I'd often look up and recognize that a million other eyes were likely watching her as well at that very moment, and it made me feel connected to them all in that instant. The big planet of ours seemed just a little smaller - an odd thing for so distant an object to generate a sensation of such closeness.

I was raised by the seemingly incompatible cultures of religion and pop culture - putting as much faith in the Force as I did in God. And though my faith has changed many times in the course of my life, it now feels far more like a pilgrim's journey than anything - and that journey, both in execution and evaluation, has always sought conveyance; usually as a metaphor in some manner. Also, quite often, with a little bit of funny thrown in for good measure.

As I grew, that lingering sensibility remained - with pictures, with music, and, eventually, with words, each finding in me a love for their crafts and their ability to create that same associative approximation as the moon. The gentle lines of a soft pencil upon canvas, the melodic refrain floating from a piano, or a tale of adventure or love's redemption...I often can't tell if I'm the pianist, the piano or the melody. And that's okay.

I feel a kinship to the bardic tradition, of storytelling and passing along the myths and legends to the following generation - of reaching up towards the stars and weaving them into constellations. And also, to borrow from George Bernard Shaw, I love to dream of worlds which have never been - but quite possibly could - asking, "Why not?" 

And then, you know, write about them. 

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