What unique abilities can I offer the Society of Twelve?
One of my favorite college professors, a brilliant, soft spoken, Chinese art historian used to say to me “When doubt comes, all you must do is remember to shoot the stars!”. This was his take on the saying “shoot for the moon” but I rather like his interpretation. I would imagine myself out there in an endless and beautifully gloomy darkness with a double barrel shot-gun (the only gun I have ever been taught to use) attempting to glean inspiration from the tiny prisms of star light bursting through the artistic wilderness around me. In college it was this visual that struck me so powerfully when I recalled his words. But years later as I sit in my workshop, it is the empowering idea that we ARE star matter that amazes me. Professor Hong taught me to seek inspiration from everything we come in contact with. He helped me to learn the value of looking past my bodily self to reach a more valuable level of identity, creation, and worth. It is possible that what Professor Hong was getting at all along was that thinking big is easy if you can see the right connections. The connections all around us, within us, and between all things.
I hope that my contribution to the society could be this reminder of the amazing possibilities that surround us. In the late 70’s, no one dreamed of being able to explore the woods on a bike built for trails. In 1985, my parents had no idea I would even come into existence, a melding of both their beings. Last year, in the cold and sturdy wake of a northern California beach, I had no concept of what a future me could be doing, no knowledge of Wieden and Kennedy, no realization that in a few months I would discover that I actually DO like IPA's. I was truly unaware that my artwork was leading me down a path of transformation (although that may have been an oversight... because it has always been an adventure). Along with an artistic mind rooted in experimentation, possibility, and innovation, I believe that I could contribute fine art and mechanical/craftsman skills and instruction to the group. I have spent years as a bicycle mechanic and metal shop assistant. These experiences have taught me to learn through trial and error and to look to those around me for guidance and assistance. Being a bicycle mechanic has taught me patience and ingenuity. My job as a metal shop assistant allowed me to understand different creative techniques and the value of experimentation. I have taught youth and adult fine art and mechanics classes as well as co-developed art curriculum for museums and public schools. These opportunities have kept me excited and motivated about creation. They have inspired me to continue to follow the somewhat frightening and sometimes uncertain path of a seeker.
I consider myself to be a quick learner with curiosity at the forefront of my drive to learn new things. I continue working towards efficacy and an overall interconnectedness between skills. Often times I find myself saying, "I could make that!" and I learn a lot with this mentality. Today, I look to the stars when the harshness of reality seems as if it is crashing in on me. It is so easy to get trapped in thinking that there is possible and impossible. Possible is merely a rearranged version of impossible, just as the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen of stars is rearranged within us.