An Artist’s Wishlist

photo from | quote by Henri Matisse

Creativity is the fine line between sanity and insanity. Art is for those who are brave enough to let their minds wander and get lost with the hope of getting it back in the form of a photograph, a painting, a piece of writing, a dance, or a song. Art is an attempt to concretize what is abstract, a struggle to capture what is in constant motion, a burning desire to preserve what is evanescent.

COURAGE. It is this word, I believe, that best encapsulates an artist’s wishful thinking. If an artist keeps a wishlist, perhaps it would be like this:


1) Courage to keep calm when creative juices are out of control. Sometimes, before an idea even evolves into its clearest, most understandable state, it already vanishes.  And then forever forgotten. And it freaking hurts. All the time. You know that? When it seems like you’re generating the best idea in your life and somewhat you’re already feeling like a genius of some sort, that “inspiration brat”  just runs away. And it re-appears at the most unfavorable circumstances– while you’re taking an exam, while you’re in the shower, when it’s 3AM– all these times when you’re caught off guard and you could hardly focus.

2) Courage to start from scratch just when the ‘masterpiece’ doesn’t turn out to be a ‘masterpiece’ after all. Right when you’re about to finalize the whole thing, you realize it is not good enough. No, this isn’t about self-doubt. It’s about healthy criticism. While the artist is working on what he’s working, everything’s overwhelming and he sees his work as beautiful. But when it’s done and the artist looks at it with stern eyes, it doesn’t come off as good as it was during the creative process.

The next hardest thing to do after figuring out what to work on is identifying what’s wrong with it. I mean, no work is ever entirely Perfect. But the artist always aims for a certain level of perfection. And there are times when the artist is simply aware that something is wrong but he couldn’t point it out– wrong angle? wrong brush stroke? wrong choice of word and sentence placement? wrong movement? wrong tempo?  Whatever art that is, the artist always undergo this phase. As much as it is difficult to throw away or let go of an idea, the artist must do so… even if it means going back to zero. It’s tough but most of the time, it’s the only way he could be at peace with his work.

3) Courage to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. I hope I have a meaningful  purpose.. more than to get noticed.. more than to be known. I hope that if ever I am going to be remembered, I am going to be remembered for my art– an art that changed a life, an art that somehow changed the world.

4) Courage to just keep on swimming and swimming and swimming. Dory from the Finding Nemo film is right. When I’m losing hope, I just have to keep on swimming. If it seems like I’m going nowhere and the only thing I’m sure of is that I don’t like where I am, I MUST GO ON.

I must keep in mind that it doesn’t always take just a straight line to get from Point A to Point B. There are times when one needs to travel backwards from A to Z to Y to X and so on, going in circles, taking countless detours just to get to Point B. It could be exhausting. But as long I have myself and even just another single believer in my work, the journey’s worth it. I already have God (the One who gave me this artistic gift). And I could count Him twice. Now I have more than enough. I must have faith. I must keep on going on and on and on.

**P.S. Finally worked on my About Me Page :)