Drawing was always my favorite thing to do.
I came up with stories and simply drew them down…
I had so much fun doing that, that I completely lost track of time…
So at the age of 4 or 5 I decided that being an artist is the best occupation in the world.
For sure I wanted to become one. :)
They said I was talented.
They told me I was special.
They said I have potential.
I listened…but didn’t dare to believe them,
because that seemed to me extremely cocky.
And I was a particularly humble child.
I met my first mentor in elementary school.
He was nice and inspiring. Someone to look up to.
Some sort of a father figure for me back then.
He introduced me to the world of proportion, composition and colour.
He encouraged me. He nurtured my creativity… And most of all he believed in me and also made me start to believe in myself.
So when the time came, I decided to apply to art school.
I got accepted and I earned a scholarship.
Naturally I was so happy, proud and full of high hopes.
But sadly my life didn’t turned out the way I imagined.
As the thing that once meant joy and freedom, suddenly became a collection of rules and restrictions. No fun, only serious, hard work.
I don’t deny that it was my mistake.
To do what I have done. To feel the way I felt.
Maybe if I were stronger, more determined, I don’t know…
It hunted me for many years, but It doesn’t matter anymore.
I just felt trapped, disappointed and sad.
I didn’t wanted to be tamed…I wanted to stay wild and free.
So skipping classes became just a regular thing…
I was never proud of it, in fact I felt really bad about it.
But I did it anyway..day after day…for 2 years…
I hated that school so much. The stress made me crazy.
But I never meant to leave, just didn’t know how to handle it.
I remember at the beginning of the 3. grade I decided to make things right.
I went to school for 3 straight months without skipping a single class.
I tried my best to fit into the system…
But it was too late, as by then some of the teachers became very angry with me and no matter how hard I studied they never gave me good grades anymore.
This resulted in me loosing all motivation and eventually leaving school.
The price I had to pay for my decision nearly killed me.
I had to leave behind everything.
My friends, my mentor, my plans and big dreams.
Not to mention that everybody was disappointed in me.
The shame I felt was unbearable.
I tried to put my life back in order.
I went to another school.
But I wasn’t ready…I was broken.
I felt completely lost and alone in this new environment.
With all my friends gone, my life in pieces and my dreams shattered,
there was nothing left worth living for…
I don’t know how I survived the first two years after leaving school.
I was completely messed up and had zero hope for a brighter future.
I couldn’t paint anymore, only occasionally, when the “urge” to express something was strong enough. But nothing was good enough…
I am forever grateful for those who stood beside me back then.
I couldn’t make it without their help.
Slowly and with time I started to get better and decided to change my self-destructive behaviors.
I started to draw mandalas.
It was a fun and creative process and I was always amazed by the outcome.
Before that I never knew about the healing powers of art, only after I experienced it on my own “skin”.
Mandalas not only changed me, but they also changed my perception of art, which for me became a sacred thing, a form of meditation, a ritual…
With the help of my mandalas I managed to overcome hopelessness and was able to find redemption.
Yet something was still missing…my freedom…my passion…the way I used to pure my Soul out…not just creating pretty images, but expressing something deeper, meaningful and dramatic…
Something raw and honest. Something pure…
But I couldn’t brake the rules anymore, I was too afraid…
I wanted to be free again, but I was too scared…
I tried to paint, but I was always blocked…
Nothing came trough…I just couldn’t do it…I just couldn’t…
So I struggled.
Years went by like this…I started to question my dreams, my talent…
“Is this really something I am meant to do? If not, what is my purpose then? How could I live without this? What else could I do?”
I couldn’t found the answers. Not until one day I finally asked myself the right questions:
What does art mean to me and more importantly what did it meant to me back then, when as a child I invented my dream?
And the answer finally found me: It was FREEDOM.
Suddenly everything became clear and I finally understood why did I had to go trough all the “bad” things that have happened to me.
After 10 years of soul-searching I was finally ready to let go of my past.
I allowed myself to grieve one last time and I acknowledged that I did everything I could, some wounds just cannot be fully healed.
No matter how hard we try, a scar will always remain.
So I had to stop wasting my time trying to make it disappear and learn to wear it without shame.
The price of great joy is great sadness…
I will always have both:
The crazy, passionate, untenable rebel
And the serene, romantic, dreamer.
I can be both. I am both.
And I had to go trough so much pain to learn that. I had to loose everything to find myself, to find meaning, to become aware of who I am and what my life means to me. What art means to me:
Ultimate freedom, a sort of self-liberation, that cannot be learned form books, only discovered in the wilderness of our own minds.
I don’t have to ask myself anymore: Am I an artist? Because I know that I need art like sails need the wind. It fuels my Soul. It makes me complete. I cannot imagine my life without it.
We all have to find that thing…the quintessence of our lives…And that’s what art is to me.
So here I stand now, before the great world…with my naked Soul, my scars uncovered…ignoring my fear and letting go of everything that used to tie me down.
I am me. I am free. Finally and Forever.