(me & Alexis Hyde reflected in an Anish Kapoor artwork)
Brands. Branding. Its part of the modern vocabulary, like ice cream or pizza. But why does it often feel so forced and weird? My dentist is a “brand” and my local juice shoppe is a “brand” and even my dog trainer is a “brand.” We all realize the importance of somehow personalizing and identifying ourselves from a pack… to be the most unique, carve our niche and all that jazz. But why does it feel forced and weird sometimes, living in our branded society?
I get most of my pragmatic answers from art. So this is the best I can offer you of what art does for me. On top, the image is of me & a friend reflected in an artwork by Anish Kapoor. A similar Kapoor is directly above. The weird thing is, you can’t really experience the work until you engage with it. It sucks you in. The piece looks cool enough directly above… but if you could see and feel what I saw just standing beside this radiant disk…oh man! Astonishing! It is only when you can get close enough to see yourself in the artwork that it becomes truly awe-inspiring on another transcendent level.
Great artists and great creative types in all walks of life- you can see yourself reflected in them, while you see them clearly in front of you at the same time. They are the real deal. You understand what they are all about because they understand what they are all about. They aren’t so flashy that they almost repel you….but, rather, they draw you in and engage with you. Great art invites you to interact with it, no matter its contents. Great lives, I feel, do the same.
Authenticity is something you can’t buy or can’t learn. You can relax and be yourself. If you’ve been racking your brain to figure out why being an artist is so hard, you might want to relax and be yourself. Its a pretty good starting point!
I’ve had a lot of questions lately of the “I don’t know what to do when I grow up” variety. People want to “brand” and “hack” their lives, and I am all for it… but with less anguish and more beauty involved! No one can tell you what to do with your life, truly, aside from brainstorming ideas with you. All I can offer as a suggestion is that your “brand” might really just be “you”, mixed in, of course, with whatever you create. As you grow in talent, practice and life experience, so does your work! My two cents on creative “branding” for the day. There’s no magic I’ve witnessed except living a good life and being focused ; the results are always compelling.
Have a fun week! xoxo Dana