Imagine for a second that you need to express something to somebody, maybe an idea, a thought or a certain feeling, however for an unknown reason you are unable to speak or use simple words at all… How would you do it?
Here’s where the paper of Art comes to the play…
Like your facial expression when you see someone you love, or the subtle hand movements from the sign language both are ways of communicating that doesn’t involve words to express something. Now if you consider Art as a way to express something that provokes an emotional response in somebody, then it transcends the seven traditional ways (painting, sculpture, music, poetry, dancing, etc) to endless possibilities.
This makes me thought: some people may be artists and never had made a drawing, some other had made thousands of drawings and yet they’re not artists, but what is art, and how can it save you, and from what will it make you survive?
As a personal experience, I’ve been surrounded of art since I can remember, during school I attend History of Art and Music class too, Later I performed as guitarist in a small band and even as tenor in a chorus, I loved reading books and making drawings of everything since I can remember, what I mean is that somehow I was always surrounded by different types of art but later I understood that I didn’t really know how to communicate something with it. During all that time I can say I was like in a “matrix connected mode” (maybe because of my pure rational personality type It’s been always hard for me to understand people’s feelings or emotions), until one day I had such a strong emotional experience that got so deep inside me, that made me “wake up from the matrix”
There was a person, let’s call it “sunflower” (for artistic reasons) who I was sharing with for a while, and then she’d to leave, just because, and one of the lasts things I remember I said to her was that I needed some time before I could see her again and that we were going to let destiny decide how long that time was going to be. That’s where my journey started, a journey within myself in search for personal answers (like the Eat pray love movie maybe?).
A couple of weeks after that I saw some flyers of an upcoming event in my city called “LaVidaSuena” which’s purpose was to help recover the Amphitheatre of Santa Rosa that was partially in ruins. I was motivated to go for that, but also because I saw that part of the organizers of the event was a group that the Sunflower used to belong at, so I thought I could “cheat” somehow destiny and see her again that day, but that wasn’t the case, instead I got involved in such a peaceful place out of time and space of such joy. For a second I felt like Ego when he tasted the ratatouille at the movie. Everything conspired to made that moment really special, the music, the atmosphere, the fresh air, the people, the incredible view of the place, and above all, a message I got from a friend that day which said “celebrate each day, because the life sounds” (it makes more sense in Spanish). I guess that somehow I needed to be there that day to start receiving the answers I was looking for, because when I saw all that people performing and doing what they loved to do Life sounded for me to tell me that the only thing standing between people and their dreams were themselves.
A time after that, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, I started “seeing” her everywhere, as a sunflower in murals around my city in places where I usually passed in my way to work, casually made by the guys who painted the Santa Rosa’s amphitheater, her eyes, her smile, her hair in other people, and for a time that was so random like I could be sitting in a bus and then someone who I thought it was her stepped in, but it wasn’t, It felt like my soul was claiming to see her, that there where things I wanted to say but I actually couldn’t.
At that time, somebody told me about the curative power of drawing mandalas so I decided to give it a try. Seeing these pictures I think it’s clear where my mind was at that time.
Later I started including “messages” inside them, like for example numbers, letters and symbols, something similar to a Davinci code, so I decided to design a one puzzled mandala that included a link to a place where a direct message could be found, making it really emotional for me, craving into my own wound.
That’s when I realized that through drawings I could express complex messages, that’s when my work as designer really started, that’s also when I had a chance to volunteer for LaVidaSuena and help them spread their message, because I wanted to help making more peaceful moments like that all around my city and motivating people to follow their own dreams as LaVidaSuena’s members were doing.
During a year I helped as graphic designer responsible of creating their visual arts. A part of me wanted to maintain the original aesthetic of the first flyers I saw, but a part of me wanted to make something completely different and another part of me wanted to include more “sunflower code” inside the designs, as it felt like somehow I’d found a way to express myself through it. But I found balance between both using a concept of “growth” or “evolution” since my personal experience with their group was such that, every time I shared with them was like sharing with a family of brothers where everyone for me was a teacher since they had a really different and interesting perspective about things, but could all cooperate to make great things happen.
During all that time I’d tried to maintain the same essence, but also making small changes each time, one step at a time, to make the illusion of evolution.
Later, when finally, was the time to design the flyers for the anniversary event I tried to create something really special inspired in the originals ones that provoked such an impact on me, but also inspired on something that represented my personal inner growth (the journey) but to be seen as evolution, and since the originals where made using like 3 colors only , I decided to join more colors and complete a chromatic circle (As a representation of LaVidaSuena’s inclusive values) but arranged in a way that expressed my evolution, because I wasn’t really looking more for the sunflower anymore.
For my surprise that day, at the anniversary event, sitting in the crowd and smiling, I saw her, I first thought it was my mind playing tricks on me again.
At that moment It felt like the time had stopped, slowly but bravely I was getting close to her until I finally talked her and welcomed her to that place and shared some time, and somehow the music, the atmosphere, the fresh air, the people, the incredible view of the place, helped me felt that moment like home.
The thing is, that moment also felt like the end of that part of the journey, a journey (represented on the video below) where I learned so many things, like to share, forgive, express, and listen, along with so many valuable things, but specially to love but to let some things go, and to find inner motivation to do what you love no matter what. And in the end like the Eat pray Love movie, it was a journey where my truth wasn’t withheld from me.
Pd: How many “Sunflowers” could you count in the video?
So, in the end, what does art has to do with all this?
Well, I guess that I also understood during all this journey that there are some things that will always be part of you (want it or not) and you can’t simply suppress from your life, but things that you can accept, embrace and live with, learning from them and in some cases transmuting or transposing them (that’s why in the MPBdesign logo is a 7-spoke golden sunflower)
And after all this journey in which I’d the opportunity to share with LaVidaSuena, I can say from my point of view that art is the most pure form of expression somebody can make, because it doesn’t come from the mind, it comes from the soul, and what makes somebody an artist is not the ability to make perfect paintings, or perfectly play a song with an instrument, instead, the truth of an artist lays behind the reasons why he chooses to play that song instead of others, the reasons why he decides to make a drawing in a certain way or use some certain colors, the reasons why he chooses some specific arrange of words to write his letter or poem, because in the end it’s about the meaning that the soul gives it, and what triggers those reasons during a creative process its actually a communion of heart and soul, making the rest of the body feel that connection and start expressing it through a language that shall be called art.
Martin Pacheco B. (Aug. 2017)