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Thursday, August 7, 2014

MOVE OVER BEYONCE! THE ART OF BEING FLAWLESS AS AN ARTIST

W
hat's your definition of FLAWLESS? Beyonce, has hers but what's yours?  The first step in realizing the art of being flawless as an artist is self definition.  You define for yourself who you are as an artist before anyone else has a chance to convince you otherwise.  


Mixed media African textile mosaic collage Afro figures


An exercise in self definition

It's not hard to find a starting part.  A simple Google search produced the following definition:


flaw·lessˈflôləs/
adjectivewithout any blemishes or imperfections; perfect.
"her brown flawless skin"
synonyms:perfectunblemishedunmarked,
unimpairedMore
 without any mistakes or shortcomings. 
"he greeted her in almost flawless English"
My journey started as an undergrad.  Before I even sat down to apply to law school, my professor asked me what I would do/be if I didn't get in.  This was not simply a question about a plan b.  It was an exercise in self definition.  Without hesitation, I told her I would be an artist.  Now mind you, I hadn't taken not one single art class in college but I knew the art piece was in me.  

I am so thankful she asked me that simple yet profound question.  It was like a touch point firmly embedded in my memory bank for a time when solely practicing law would not be enough.  A time that arrived sooner than I thought it would.  

LET THE RECORD REFLECT, before an LSAT score, a law school letter, a legal job offer, and a bar exam had the chance to define and design the contents, scope and limits of what I could see possible for me, I DID.  It's a good thing too because that rejection letter from Harvard Law, as gracious as it was, hurt just a little bit (sniff, sniff).  

Being flawless as an artist is not about being conceited, arrogant or possessing a ridiculous sense of entitlement.  It is about looking at the art you create as worthy simply because YOU created it.  

Please don't get it twisted.  This knowledge does not take away from any notion of humbleness or grace and is NOT mutually exclusive.  You can be flawless, know you are flawless and still be humble all at the same time.  It took me some time before I truly got this down.  

Part of this awakening of sorts started back in 2012, when I wrote a piece on The Art of Greatness.  Ever since then, I have been coming into this knowledge of self more and more.  Another part of this awakening involves identifying as both an artist AND an attorney and not splitting the two.  Most would think they are complete opposites and cannot work.  I make it work everyday.  It is who I am.  I am both.  I guess you can say I am legally creative (whomp, whomp).  Or you could say I'm corny.  Either way, I'm flawless.  Ha!  

A case of identity theft

In speaking with "emerging" artists about submitting their work to MODUS DOPERANDI: THE VIRTUAL EXHIBITION, (a call for art where only dope artists need apply), I discovered that there was this hesitation to identify as a dope artist.  Even when the artist was the sole authority on their level of dopeness.  

I was starting to get nervous for a minute and thought that perhaps, I had made too bold of a request.  I was trippin' you guys.  I did find three dope artists who were unapologetic about their dopeness and was so thrilled.  Their work (including some of mine) is currently featured in the exhibition.  You can check it out at Gallery 31.  


But as for some of the other artists, I realized that this was deeper than an issue of confidence.  The artists that I spoke with had confidence.  I mean we were talking at the opening night of an exhibition where they all had their work prominently displayed and a large group of people came just to see their art.  So, I don't think confidence was an issue.  It was more like an issue of identity.  Not knowing you are inherently flawless as an artist is like having your identity stolen.  The question is, who are you allowing to defraud you out of your own identity??

If we are not careful and if we fail to do the inner work of self love as an artist, we can easily fall prey to the critics, comparison, rejection, doubters, naysayers, parade pissers and bubble busters.  

If you have let any of the above hi-jack your highest artsy self, then it is time to take back your identity and firmly plant it in the garden of flawlessness.  Remember, when Dororthy fell asleep in the field of poppies in The Wizard of Oz?  When she woke up, she was confused.  I am not even sure if she knew who or where she was in that moment.     

Apparently, Beyonce does not have that problem.  Bless Beyonce, for telling the whole world that "[She] woke up like this.  [She] woke up like this.  Flawless."  Breath stankin', hair all over the place, no makeup, no lashes, crust occupying all of her eye corners and she still knows she's flawless.  That is awesome.  

Can you imagine?  You're in an interview about your latest art series and the interviewer is asking you about your creative process and you tell them that your art just woke up like this.  It woke up like this.  Flawless.  


"Gawt damn. Gawt damn."-Yonce

If you are flawless, share this post with other flawless ones.  What does/did/will your exercise in self definition look like?  How do you maintain your beliefs in an art world that runs on reviews and constant critiques?  Share your flawless thoughts in the comments.  Oh, and be sure to visit our flawless virtual exhibition at Gallery 31.  

  

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