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WATERING THE SEEDS: What Every Artist Must Know Episode 1



One of my closest friends took a break from his art at the beginning of 2017. Initially, I thought it to be one of those things- the little disappearances artists make to unwind, renew strength, kindle passion and return with more fire than before.

I only realized his break was a different situation after I asked him about it, having waited a while to see his works go up on his website.
First, he said he was going mad over the art. And if you have been an artist long enough, you come to realize that’s pretty much a usual phase – where there’s almost a war between the content you’re producing and what your heart feels to be right.

And then he said something about having no direction; only going with the flow and losing himself in all of this. Again, if you’re an artist or a creative person, this isn't an island that is never visited. You’re bound to find yourself sitting in the middle of waves thinking about why you started, what this has to offer; if it’s worth anything at all.

The bottom line is, my friend was hit by the waves and decided that was rock-bottom. He didn't see himself returning or creating until he could figure things out in isolation- in a distant land where his art doesn't scream at him; in a quiet space where meaning and direction, somehow, fall on us and leave us liberated for the rest of our lives.

Now here is what strikes me as a problem, how do we find our way to our ultimate destination if we we’re going to sit in the middle of the woods waiting for a map from the clouds, a golden arrow that points to the right direction or anything that seems rather impossible to me if we’re talking reality.

Even in the madness, in the waves, in the blurry view of things, something needs to be done.
There are a million and one instances where the act of waiting is highly recommended, but not in this case. As a creative person, you must thrive through the dark seasons. There is no putting-the-work-on-hold, waiting for an awakening, praying for a sign from the clouds.

I remember telling him that as creative people, we could choose to arrive in many ways; discover ourselves, come to the realization of what exactly we want to do with our content, etc. but sitting down isn't one of them.

I would rather try all the routes and find my way on the seventh path than spend my life standing at the entrance of all the routes, weighing the chances of which one will send me home.

The subject of risk isn't exactly my favorite because, well, not many of us like to be put on that road. Certainly not me with my calculative foresight way of thinking. If I’m jumping in, I want to know I’ll be caught. If I am putting in all of my time and resources, I want to know the returns will be worthwhile.

But I've come to understand that as much as we hate to admit it- life is good at throwing surprises in our faces. You do not see the drought coming. You certainly do not hear the madness knocking. There’s no prior notice that your art, a journey you've been on for long, will arrive in the woods.

This is the only time clutching on straws is acceptable. The dream cannot die in the low season. It mustn't waver, mustn't lose sight of why we started. We must not drown, cannot allow the waters to bury us alive. Because what we do, this sacred process of creating, bringing into the world, touching and impacting, is far greater than any force that pulls us down.

It is at this point that you water the seeds. Seeds you've never even planted before. You turn your soil and begin your Art in so many ways. If putting words on a page is what you do, write about anything and everything-in a whole new style. Is it illustrating? Draw things you've never even tried. Welcome a totally different theme and environment for your lens and capture the unimaginable.

There’s always that one seed (or two!) that grows even in terrible weather. There’s always that one which will feel right, feel like coming home to yourself. Take a risk and watch the seeds grow. You’ll be surprised by the fruits which will taste sweetest in your mouth. That’s your art.


Tryphena Lizzert Yeboah

2 comments:

  1. You're​ such a huge inspiration to all. Grateful to have you as a friend. Continue to keep your head up and your rewards will be beyond your expectation.Trey.

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  2. "how do we find our way to our ultimate destination if we we’re going to sit in the middle of the woods waiting for a map from the clouds" This line got me, makes me think about all the times I should've made a move for something and didn't. Not doing that anymore. Thanks Try

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