Godspeed

It’s obvious my work has changed recently. It’s also obvious my ideals about solitude and art have also changed. Years ago, I would have never imagined myself joining an art cooperative. Maybe I have trouble cooperating. I am hopeful that many positive things will come out of this decision of identifying with a group of people, and not just as an individual. It is my first month at Haus of Godspeed and I am ready to learn from others and share my experiences with people I can relate to.

Honestly, I am not sure if it was more about not wanting to be influenced by other artists, or if it was more about holding on to my ideas and keeping them secret. I think either way it proved to be detrimental to my ability to understand the art community.

Well, here I am.

My dad took this photo on the first day of moving of my things into Haus of Godspeed.


Rizaldy Celi Jr.

American Artist

Oakland, CA

@rizaldy.jr


Too Many Mind

There is a scene in “The Last Samurai” where Tom Cruise is sparring in sword practice against a well trained opponent. He is obviously losing each exchange and is given advice from the village leader. Mr. Cruise is told, in clearly broken English, that he has “too many mind”. Basically, the helpful leader is explaining to him that he might be too worried about everything around him. In simpler terms, he lacks focus on what is important. He magically shifts his focus solely on the swordplay and technique, and ends up drawing with the more experienced swordsman. I guess that’s a win in itself.

Say what you want about the movie, I like it, and I’m Asian. Anyway, that line had stuck with me throughout the years, and seemed like something someone should have ease in spotting. But, like they say, solving someone else’s problems is easier than solving your own.

Recently, I had been exploring with too many mediums, and honestly I’m not sure why. I don’t feel as if I was too worried about money, or interested in what people thought about my work to an extent that would distract me. I thought maybe I was just in a more experimental stage with my art. I was exploring working with concrete and quickly got mixed up with creating things out of the material.

It was fun, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted out of it. Because of that, my acrylic and oil work took a toll. In the end, my work with concrete didn’t turn out the way I thought it would ,and I went back to painting canvas and saw more success that I previously had. The solution is really simple, I guess. If I want to be good at painting with acrylics and oils, then I need to paint with acrylics and oils. Each medium I involve myself with creates new ideas. And maybe, or probably, that isn’t a good thing for someone who is trying to get away from being a jack of all trades or a master of none. But, did I need to fail with concrete to understand my skillset and desire to paint? Maybe that doesn’t matter, and that is “too many mind” in itself. Thanks for reading.


Rizaldy Celi Jr.

American Artist

Oakland, CA

@rizaldy.jr


Choices

Not too long ago, a friend of mine showed me this app he had just downloaded and was excited about using. It was a choice-making application on his phone that was built to take stress off of an individual in making decisions throughout the day. I only saw him use it the one time, and am not sure if the app gained any popularity, but it was used to help you decide on what you wanted to eat or where you wanted to go, and maybe some other small decisions as well. My memory on the actual mechanics of it is foggy, but when my friend demoed it to me, there were three options of fast food joints on the screen, and when he shook it, two of the options disappeared in an animation and left him with just one. I’m not sure if he punched in the initial three options, or they were generated by the app through some sort of profile or filter, but either way I thought it was wacky.

Does that seem enticing to use? Is that similar to asking for recommendations on social media? I guess I’m a little confused on why someone would ever want their decisions made for them. Or do others not look at it that way? Like, the decision has ownership to it. Is it a good thing to get some help with decisions? Does the average person really need help? So much help, that it would be beneficial to an individual’s life to have software like this?

I’m not sure if many other creatives feel the way I do, but I want to make every decision on my own. Every single decision: what my work is made out of, what it signifies, when it’s finished, who it’s for, etc. It’s probably why I have issues collaborating with others. I definitely want to have less decisions to make in my life, but I rid of them by simplifying, like I choose to wear just a shirt and jeans and the same shoes everyday, and shaved my head so I don’t have to decide how I would like to style my hair(also, I’m balding). Maybe I feel like it’s a sense of control over me, and I don’t want that to be in anyone else’s hands if I can help it. I would never want to make someone else’s decisions for them either, but I don’t have kids, so maybe there is something I’m missing there.

I hope that art doesn’t take me down a path where I’ll have too many things making my decisions for me. Or even worse, a path where I’ll need the help with that. I feel like that is the only thing that makes us individuals: our choices. Thanks for reading.


Rizaldy Celi Jr.

American Artist

Oakland, CA

@rizaldy.jr


Mistakes are Yours to Keep

We all dread making mistakes for one reason or another, and while stressing over mistakes while working on your passions may seem logical, it may not prove to be beneficial. Mistakes can be frustrating because they can cost us things like money, time, and energy that we weren’t planning on spending. I used to feel a bit of regret when I made a decision that ended up resulting in something I wasn’t happy with and had to either scrap or redo. But, making mistakes has become a very important part of process for me.

When I complete a work, I think back on all the steps it took to get there, and most of the time I am happy simply because of completion. I do my best to avoid focusing on the areas where it took more than one try to accomplish what I had set out to in a single try. Dwelling on the mistake won’t actually improve the work. Instead I look towards my next piece, and realize the cost of the lessons I learned in the previous work. 

I guess I find it healthy to look at mistakes as a currency itself, and use it towards learning a new method, technique, or process. It’s the price we pay to know better.

I suppose this is just like any other life skill, in that it is easier said than done. Knowing when to call something a mistake and let the material go, or seeing it as an extra step in my process is a battle that I often lose. I make more than enough mistakes when creating, but I think the more I have under my belt, the better craftsman I will be. Thanks for reading.


Rizaldy Celi Jr.

American Artist

Oakland, CA

@rizaldy.jr


Forget Inspiration

What does it mean to be inspired? Does it describe being motivated to do something? Particularly something creative? The word “inspiration” seems to annoy me these days, maybe because it scourges social media with it’s presence, or maybe because I feel like it’s commonly misused. It’s also possible that I myself misdefine what inspiration means.

I’ve always felt a drive from emotions, and credit that state of mind, rather than the event of inspiration itself. Today I see so many “inspiration” boards, often referred to as “inspo”, when people are attempting to create something. The boards are used to provide some sort of motivating factor or general direction to begin a creation, or as a guideline along that creative journey. Personally, I think a lot of that is because individuals don’t spend enough time looking at their own experiences and find what some artists call “true inspiration”. That probably sounds pretentious, but I can see a reason why that term was created. I guess from a commercial standpoint, time is never on a creative individual’s side, and when a number of people are working on the same project, it helps with keeping everyone on the same page. I can definitely see the merit there. But, what about when you find yourself lacking ideas? Do you search outwardly for a catalyst? Should you look for inspiration online, or from other artists and creatives you admire? I’ve heard that art is either copy or revolution, and if that’s the case, I’d rather aim for the latter.

What would happen if instead of asking yourself, “What inspires me?” you asked yourself ,”What am I trying to do with this?” For me, I’ve always been happier with my work when I discover a goal that motivates me in a way that I care less about perfection, and more about completion. This also helps me avoid creating works that are similar to other artists. In my opinion, it’s the only way to find originality. And for me, if it’s not mine, I don’t want my name on it. Thanks for reading.


Rizaldy Celi Jr.

American Artist

Oakland, CA

@rizaldy.jr

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