Charity

Charity

A good deed

Helping someone less fortunate than yourself

Is charity a good deed done out of kindness, or in order to gain the attention, the recognition, the position of being good?

Charity

Giving freely without expecting something in return

Giving freely but expecting appreciation in return

Expecting the recognition, the affirmation, the validation of your goodness

Charity

Charity is as charity does and we don’t help one another because we want to, but because we could, and we feel that we should, and we do so to prove that we are good

Charity

That societal obligation that has religious foundations to some and so we help one another, not out of kindness, but out of blindness

That is not true charity

Charity

St. Martin, patron saint of soldiers

Approaching the gates of Amiens

He spies a beggar, naked and cold

Charity

Without hesitation or thought or concern of repayment splits his cloak to provide the beggar warmth

Sharing the warmth that resides within his heart

Charity

That comes from an impulse, not an obligation or desire for validation

Ekphrasis: Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror

Mirrors, a testament to our vanity

We futilely search them to find ourselves

 Knowing all the while there is nothing below the surface

Nothing but our pseudo-selves on the reflective surface

We are fascinated, mesmerized

The only thing we love more than watching others, is watching ourselves

A self-portrait, a canvased mirror

Looking at once at the artist and oneself

Looking for the artist, but only seeing oneself

What a tricky mirror

Distorted reflections and hidden meanings

They belong only to you

Motivation

There are truly only two things that can motivate me: obligation or desire. Either I need to do something or I really want to do something. It’s honestly as simple as that. If I have a required class or assignment, or a deadline, I’m going to meet it. I try to really follow through with whatever I do.For example, right now I am taking an introductory advertising class. I signed up to see if that may be something that I might want to do in combination with my art. After a few weeks in the class I’ve realized that I don’t like advertising. However, this is not going to affect the quality of my work in this class. I’m still going to give it 100%, even if it is no longer something that I am working towards. I made a commitment, and I intend to follow through with it.

I take this same approach to every commitment I make, whether it be a class that I am taking, or an organization that I have joined. What you get out of something is exactly what you put into it. If you invest minimal effort, you’ll get minimal results, and likewise if you invest a lot into something, you get a lot back from it. Obligation is one of the biggest motivators in our society. We all have obligations: social, religious, family, job related. Fulfilling your obligations is being responsible. Everyone has the “have to’s” that they have to attend to in life.

Just as everyone has obligations, they have desires. For me personally, desire is a better motivator than obligation. If I truly have an interest in something I am going to give it all that I’ve got. If I give 100% to things that I’m obligated to do,then I give 110% to things that I want to do. “Want to’s” always motivate better than “have to’s,” which makes sense. If someone has an internal motivation, it’s usually a lot more effective than an external motivation. If I want to do something obviously I’m going to have a stronger passion about getting it done, or the quality in which it is done, than if I have to do it.

Money is also a big motivator for most people. Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to make money. Everyone has to make money, it’s a necessity. However, it is not a primary motivator for me. As long as I’m financially stable, I’d much rather do something that makes me happy, even if it makes less money than some other job. Happiness is the most important motivator to me. I want to enjoy what I’m doing, not suffer through some 9 to 5 desk job. Externalities is also something that I am acutely aware of as a motivator. If something that I’m supposed to do is going to hurt someone, either directly or indirectly, I’d like to avoid that at all costs. I am very much a humanist at heart. I try to keep my actions from negatively effecting people, because I truly care for people. This was the wall that I ran into in the advertising class. I couldn’t in good conscience make money off of selling people stuff that they don’t need and by telling them that they aren’t good enough. I could’t prey on people’s insecurities for my livelihood. It goes against my morals. I probably could do the job, but I wouldn’t have that internal motivation that I feel is crucial to doing something to the best of my ability. My morals are a big part of what motivates me. I am a big proponent of equality in every way: racial, gender, marriage. I could not do something, no matter what the motivational technique was that went against my core beliefs.

 

My Values

What is it that I value? Fame? Money? Too often I feel that we equivocate these things with success. And if you look in the Merriam-Webster  dictionary, the primary definition says that success is, “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.” Most people would agree with that. Why are we going to college? To get an education, to learn how to do a job, to get a job, to earn money, to be “successful.” However, if one were to look at the second version of the definition, which states that success is, “the correct or desired result of an attempt,” your perspective or perhaps idea of the word success may change somewhat, whether minimally or drastically. We as a society place so much emphasis on being “successful,” or making money, having a job that pays well. As a society we don’t value things like helping one another, or being truly happy, we associate money with happiness. Don’t get me wrong, money is crucial, however, I do not believe that that should be the primary motivation for something.

Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to be famous. To some degree every artist does. That recognition, the validation of all the work and effort that they have put into their craft. However, I am a realistic individual, and acknowledge the fact that I may never be famous. As far as monetary compensation for my artwork, I’m not interested in being very wealthy. As long as I’m financially stable, the rest is excess. Just being able to do my artwork is enough for me. That’s all that I really want, and that’s all that I know that I want for certain at this stage in my life.

As far as religious or spiritual values I’m not really sure if I have any. I’m not necessarily “godless”, however, I’m not really sure what I want out of my spirituality right now. Despite my lack of spiritual clarity, I am absolute in my morals. I have a firm belief of what is right, what is wrong, and what is subjective. I am a very honest person, and honesty in any relationship is key to its success. Honesty is one of the most important things that someone can give to me. Loyalty is something I value very much as well. I am very loyal to my friends, almost to a fault. I believe in emotionally investing in people. If you want to build a relationship with someone, you have to put some of yourself into the relationship to get some of them back. I value my family probably most of all. They love me, encourage me, respect me, support me, and put up with all of my bullshit. They’ve always been there for me, no matter what, and I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without them.

My Work Habits

I am a very structured and habitual worker. I like to plan ahead, and to set deadlines for myself. If I don’t self-regulate, I won’t be able to get the task at hand, whether it be a piece of artwork or homework, finished on time or to the level that I think that it should be at. My work habits for creative thinking and actually doing the work are similar in certain aspects, but are a bit different. There are even slight differences between when I do artwork, and when I study or write my papers.

When I am doing an assignment, I like to be very wide awake (often I drink something caffeinated), and I usually like to do this sort of work in the morning, or right after I get out of a class, so that the material is still fresh in my mind. I like my environment to be very cozy and warm while I am studying, and I need it to be fairly quiet. I cannot concentrate with a large number of people around me. I am a very social person by nature, and if too many people are around me (especially if they are engaging in conversation as opposed to studying) I am tempted to socialize instead of study or do my homework. However, I cannot concentrate when it is completely silent either. I usually put in my headphones and turn on my Pandora radio to one of my classical or relaxing stations and immerse myself in that sound. These things usually produce the best results in my schoolwork.

When I am formulating ideas for my artwork, I usually work under extremely different conditions. I think about these things in the morning when I get up and take my morning shower. I will turn the water on as hot as I can physically stand it, crank up some sort of pop or 80′s music, and just sit there in the shower for awhile with my eyes closed, going through ideas in my head. This way I can shut out the outside world and truly visualize what I am trying to depict in my artwork. Sometimes it takes only 10-15 minutes, other times it may take me an hour or so to work out a composition in my head. In this way, I can truly control what influences my artwork. Only what I let in can affect what I am trying to create, so usually just the music that I am listening to.

Lastly, when I am actually working on a piece of artwork, I have a different set of conditions that I usually need to be fulfilled. Contrary to my usual working conditions, when I work on artwork I don’t mind being around people, it seems to calm my nerves, and make me less uptight about my work. I’m a lot more open and free-flowing when I work on my artwork. It’s almost as if time doesn’t exist. I can get so much done and it seems like only 30 minutes have passed when in actuality I’ve been working for 3 hours. Also unlike my other work, I tend to not get as stressed out about it. I know my limits when it comes to my art, and I don’t feel the need to push myself beyond what I can do at the current time. I know what I can do, so I focus on that. Ironically, even though my mind is free flowing, I feel as if I am at the height of my intellectual awareness and my dexterity when I am working on my artwork. I think straighter, see clearer, and work harder, I become very structured and methodical. My art is an application of everything that I have learned, the exhibition of my knowledge as a person, and of the world around me. All of my observations and experiences. That is what I channel into my artwork. In short, my artwork is the ultimate display of my self-efficacy. I am most sure of myself when I am doing my artwork.

Hello world!

Well seeing as this is my first post, I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you all a little about myself. I have been an art student for the past three years in my high school. I’ve been exhibited in venues throughout my hometown, as well as at El Centro College in 2012 for Booker T. Washington’s “Young American Talent” show.

I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. I’ve always loved looking at artwork and going to museums. I remember being fascinated and awestruck by the wide variety of artwork in the museums, by all the different styles and media, depicting almost as many different scenes. I always loved to sketch in my free time, but, like most kids, I was told that being a “starving artist” was not a plausible career choice. I continued to sketch for fun, but never really considered pursuing it. Eventually, through the combined encouragement of my parents and some greatly appreciated teachers, I finally had the self confidence to pursue my career in art, and share my talent with other people. I was lucky enough to have supportive parents and teachers who truly cared enough to help me reach my goals.

As an artist I really need to work on being more innovative and to take more risks. By trying new things I can help further myself as an artist and possibly discover a new medium that perhaps I am better at, or that I enjoy more, or is more effective at conveying the message that I am trying to send. I am resilient and very adaptable, and I welcome constructive criticism because I realize that your perspective can be altered by other’s view points.

I appreciate and enjoy all forms of artwork, not just my own singular style which I am still in the process of developing.

Some of my favorite artists are: Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud, and Pablo Piccaso (and not just his cubist pieces).

Some of my favorite museums that I’ve been able to visit are: The Modern in Fort Worth, The DMA, The Guggenhiem, and of course The Metropolitan. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit The Lourve soon.

I am really looking forward to my time at SMU and cannot wait to see what these next four years bring me!