Are you a sad, lonely d-bag?

I was part of an art show called Poptropolis II over the weekend.

I had a chance to finally show some of my wood paintings/sculptures; a huge transition from my usual work.

I made this transition because I felt really blocked and stuck as an artist.

Although my dark and gloomy-themed work did make me feel liberated from the usual “normal art,” I felt that all my paintings were way too alike; same melancholic looking faces, portraits that never falls below the waistline, and just overall I wasn’t challenging myself enough.

My motivation most often gets blocked when I lose sight of why I even started in the first place: because I was inspired by the work of others and at the time, my inspiration was the work of Audrey Kawasaki.

Although I loved Kawasaki’s delicate colors and soft linework, I wanted to try something more raw, something looser and that’s when I came across ROA.

ROA is an anonymous street artist who paints animals native to the locations where the graffiti is being made.

His use of space, scale, and his drawing skill were all impressive but what I really appreciated about his work was his raw medium.

He has this ability to use his artistic skill to bring attention to decaying buildings and abandoned objects that some would even see as garbage and turn them into something glorious and mystical.

It’s not even that he’s trying to share a positive subject with the public; he deals with life and death and other topics that most people wouldn’t really want to come across on their way to work but because he is able to execute this so well, he can share his pessimistic view of society without making people turn a blind eye.

This is how you get your message across. Of course, art should disturb the comfortable but not to the point that you are the only one at your own party!

That just makes you look like a sad, lonely d-bag.

So seeing how successful his use of raw medium was, it inspired me to cut all my paintings up into small pieces until they literally looked like meager things just waiting to be tossed into the trash can.

I guess that was my way of freeing myself from restrictions and simply starting over.

Sure, it’s important to surround ourselves with the best-quality medium and strive for perfection but artists are not machines.

We are flawed human beings and we can be positively influenced by “garbage” and besides, we are closer to garbage than any other flawless artificial things.

Maybe the best things in life are not in the future but they are already accessible as long as we re-use it, and turn it into something new or something even better.

That said, artist’s block will come, and I know I will feel stuck again but it will also be a necessary sign that I need to start taking in new things: read more, go to museums, travel, etc. I think keeping your life interesting in your own way is the only way to find inspiration.

It’s hard to discover ideas when your life experience is static.

My thoughts are probably jumping all over the place but I think I opened up few topics that could lead to some interesting conversations so if you found this post interesting or revolting or however it made you felt, let me know!

I would love to see if anyone can relate to this post; that is the point of all this after all.

Haram Ahn is an artist living in St. Louis, MO. Haram is currently preparing for her tattoo apprenticeship at Ragtime Tattoo.  Read more

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