Now this is an honest post, but it’s important because it highlights where I’m at and what my direction is. And I want anyone on my blog to be conscious that this is what I’ll be focusing on for the future. It contains a whole lotta truth and a whole lot of opinion, but it’s my truth and my opinion, and I live my life to represent myself honestly. So read and enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment underneath.
Artist suggestions or opinions on what I write are always good 🙂
It’s Time To Step Back So I Can Progress Forwards
When I first became interested in street art it was because I saw so many small pieces – installations, paintings, paste ups – that were so well hidden that they made me curious. Too curious.
They drove me mad.
Why did someone put it there when they know most people won’t see it?
What was their motivation?
Why this piece?
What does it mean or does it mean anything?
What was their inspiration, how did they think of this idea?
WHO ARE THEY?!
So many questions. But then I started to get answers to these questions…
I started hearing stories and unravelling secrets and actually talking to artists – and loving every second of it! The anonymous individuals I wondered about for so long were actually answering my questions and giving me answers! Yes!!
But then somehow I strayed into a strange area of street art; I came across many artists who didn’t have the same ethos or motivation as the first lot did. Their reasons for doing art weren’t sincere and they weren’t humble. For various reasons, I became disillusioned by what I was seeing and hearing. How could I have come from such soulful, unique artists to suddenly a whole load who weren’t?
The answer to that is that the first ones, by my standards, were true artists. The second ones weren’t. They wore masks that hid their likeness but it didn’t hide their intentions.
And their intentions weren’t sincere. Their work and their actions were ego-based and they wanted the wrong results.
Art isn’t about social media likes or fame. It’s about true expression, connection, ideas, fantasy worlds, turning the mundane into beauty, – and many other reasons!
In fact, all the reasons for incredible art (in every form – music, architecture, poetry) are based on LOVE.
Art based on EGO is art based on FEAR (fear of people’s disapproval, fear of others opinions, fear of not being accepted or liked… you get it). And living your life led by fear will hold you back, and ultimately, make you unhappy.
So coming across these artists threw me off. It made me lose focus. There were so many of them. Surely they couldn’t all be like this? The negativity was starting to overshadow the ones who were positive.
This can’t be what the street art and urban art world is about… Please no. Don’t tell me I’ve had this image in my head of beautiful, intense, talented and deep-thinking individuals with love and passion for creating and sharing their expression but I’ve been wrong all along! How could life be that cruel?
Well, life isn’t that cruel. It’s just that ego screams louder than truth. But that doesn’t mean the truth isn’t there.
Most of the artists I’ve really connected to and who have in turn valued MY work, as I have valued and supported theirs, are artists who mainly work alone, or focus on only their work.
Because (like me) they are happier in their own company, happier in their own world, where they can do entirely what feels good to them, and whatever they feel like doing, without having to deal with people’s opinions, trash-talking, and overbearing negativity.
In fact, the first street artist I met properly is one of the more elusive kind that tends to work alone. You’d never find out his name or any personal details about him through his work. He is known purely for his work. And I was a fan the first time I saw it.
He saw my passion and support for his work and he offered to meet me when I was in his country. When we did, we hung out for a few days; he showed me the street art around where we were… In fact, we shared so much stuff! – mainly art, but bits of our personal lives too. This first encounter was, to put simply, the most amazing meeting I could’ve ever had as a new and curious street art writer/photographer. Humble, friendly, welcoming, open-minded… A true artist and a good person.
I will never forget that experience because to me, this individual (and the whole experience) encompassed what I had been imagining. It lived up to the dream in my head. And I don’t think meeting anyone else will ever quite top it.
But that’s good, because it showed me that even when nobody knew me for what I did, there are still artists out there (and this one’s pretty big) that take an interest in what I do, not because I can give them anything in return (because when I met this artist I really wasn’t known for what I did) but just because they’re good people and they connect to others with a deep mutual love for art and creativity.
There are artists out there that are what and who I imagined them to be; the idea I had is not just a ‘fantasy’ but an actual reality. These artists exist, and they want to share my company, my love, my passion for what they, and many others, do.
It’s for this reason that I have decided to go back to my roots. Before I was Cosmo I was plain old unknown Sparky, camera in hand and down every street and alleyway. I didn’t miss a piece, no matter how small. And nobody knew me. It was great. I was hidden and I was happy, being a little street rat.
So, my efforts from now on are going to focus on smaller artists. Artists so unknown that it’s highly unlikely they’d be doing street art for the money. Artists who are hardly known and don’t seem to have motivation to be famous. Artists that don’t just paste or paint their work next to a famous one to get fans or get noticed. Artists that strive to develop their skills and push themselves. Artists who intrigue me.
It’s fun because these artists are harder to find. I have to dig deeper, be on my game, and always be one step ahead. I like it; it keeps me on my toes 😉
Big murals will always be amazing. The scale alone makes for some pretty advanced skill. And writing over on Graffiti Kings is great because it gives me a lot more freedom; I can cover the bigger artists if I feel like it on that platform.
But here on the cosmic traveller blog I want to support and acknowledge those smaller artists who aren’t being seen or noticed. I want to be the one to help them be noticed. I want to show my appreciation for their contributions to making my life a little bit more beautiful.
And with that comes a lot of travelling, so I’ll be covering more travel-related stuff too – (still art-based posts too, but just incorporating art & travel – galleries, exhibitions, places to go etc). It’s gonna be fun!
If you know anyone I should check out, let me know. I promise to look at every suggestion.