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


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