Tag: #motivation

Interview With Alice Zilberberg – Internationally Acclaimed, Award-Winning Artist

Overblown and imperfect, sensual and symbolic, are layers of different circumstances and conditions that Alice Zilberberg explores in her compositions. An Award-winning Fine-Art Photographer, Alice communicates complexities and possibilities of human conditions in our contrived world. Her visual language merges hallucinogenic scenes and what appears to be a reflection of the reality. She elevates her subjects mythically, however, she does not spare them the fallibility of their entity.

The images go through mutations, they change in form, become fragile, dramatic or grand. Still, Alice exposes her subject matters in symbolic ways. The confluence represents the unconscious and the notion of seeing one thing through another. Alice Zilberberg taps into her imaginative psyche to open a dialogue about the female power, nature and challenges the philosophical questions about self.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – I have struggled with insomnia and chronic fatigue in the past two years. Very quickly, my day-to-day life changed from being normal to becoming just about getting enough rest at night so I can stay connected to my creativity and sense of self. Above Water reminds me of all the times I’ve told myself to keep my head up and to persevere through my struggles. It is about that middle point where I could give up and label myself defeated, or choose to look forward and smile, believing that tomorrow will be a better day.

 

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – We often define ourselves by our past, and hold beliefs about what things will be like in the future. It could be difficult to remember that every new day has the potential for change. With every new day, we can start working towards a new goal and a dream. This image is a metaphor for the birth of every new day.

Interview with Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art/photography-

AZ: I started drawing and painting when I was very young. I started playing around with manipulating images even before I shot my own. When I picked up a camera in my last year of high school, I saw that I liked the detail that the medium of photography gave me, as well as the dichotomy of the real/unreal that I was able to achieve using digital painting. I’ve been working in this style since.

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

AZ: I would say that principles change during different periods in my creation. At the moment I am emphasizing trying every idea that I have, without being scared, and eliminating expectations of what it “needs” to be.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

AZ: I always try to keep in mind that we have a limited amount of time here, and death is inevitable. We should try to enjoy and explore things we want to create or do as much as possible.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – Desert Moon was created from content I collected during my travels through Arizona and California. I was inspired by the surreal and unique terrains, and was fascinated by the diversity of land that occupied this area. Driving through the vast landscapes reminded me of how small I am in comparison to the rest of the world. I found this therapeutic, rendering my concerns and worries less important than before. The oversized moon added in each image represents the calming affect I felt while spending time here.

Jupilings: What are you aiming for in your art-

AZ: My latest work asks questions pertaining to the state of being, particularly our relationships, whether to ourselves or others. In it a find a kind of peace that I hope helps others look inward and find answers about their emotionality.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In a transitional time in my life, I felt inspired to create Begin. It reminds me that no matter what happens in life, we can always start again. Wrong paths do not look as a failure to me, but only a path to a new and more beautiful beginning.

Jupilings: What surprises you most in life, even though as an artist/photographer, you narrate dreams, ideas, out of ordinary situations,..through images-

AZ: I’m surprised by different things, and I am used to the surprise. I think it’s important to keep learning and exploring as much as possible in the world. I think being curious and asking many questions is a really healthy thing, which provides you with wisdom for your next step in life.

Jupilings: What motivates you to take pictures, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy-

AZ: The creative process is a therapeutic one for me, and I hope that my work inspires others to look inward as well. It’s about trying to make sense of the complex human condition, to provide some sort of relief and even a sense of control over our lives.

Jupilings: Do you have a preference in camera, software or technology ? & why-

AZ: I am not a technology-oriented person. I’ve always been in the mindset of getting your hands on enough to create what you want to create. We often get carried away with all the technology can do, instead of thinking of what we need to do what we already do.

Jupilings: Which photographer has influenced you most-

The works of many photographers inform my work, but I think my ultimate favorite artist is Salvador Dali.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to capture-

AZ: I rarely think of my work as photographing just one subject; photography becomes a kind of canvas for me on which to create and paint over, making an image that feels like a digital painting rather than a subject. My favorite thing to work on is whatever I’m working on currently since the excitement, and the possibilities take over me.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – The series Goddess Almighty is a reinterpretation of the first recorded goddess, Mother Nature. Worshipped in a time when nature was depended upon and respected, she epitomized fertility, the life cycle and sexual freedom, all embodied in a woman. Today, by contrast, we domineer and destroy nature. Our primary religions convey god as a man and traditionally devalue women. Reminiscent of baroque art, the work reestablishes the goddess to her origins, defining her as strong, mysterious and defeating. Dancers are used for their physical strength, their muscles digitally exaggerated.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

AZ: It means being in touch with yourself, your cravings, and needs. Going for it no matter what gender you are.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist/photographer-

AZ: I think that when you are starting out, it is important to just focus on creating whatever you want, without labels, branding, or anything. As soon as you are put into a box and labeled, it could be restrictive to your work, and you could kill the very creativity in you that drew you to create in the first place. Later on, it might be more important to develop a language around your work that you feel represents you.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

AZ: When something overwhelms me, I just take the first step in the direction of trying something. I then try to focus on the next step. I find that if I do this, I very quickly either get into a flow or see that the experiment is not working. I will learn and move on.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In the Dark is a representation of the feelings of uncertainty that sometimes linger over me when I dive into the unfamiliar. I try to experiment in my life and in my work by doing new things that intrigue me. This is accompanied by fears and doubts about the future. Feeling captivated, but unstable. I always remind myself that only with experimenting, there can be growing and learning. All experiences, however uncomfortable, teach us something and become a part of who we are.

Jupilings: What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of digital art?

AZ: I think different options to sell your art are always great, especially one that addresses the authentication problems for digital artists. I haven’t explored this area myself, but I look forward to seeing the changes in the art market.

Jupilings: Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global digital art/ photography enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve-

I am open to it, I think the blockchain and art relationship is still evolving, and I look forward to seeing how it develops.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why-

AZ: I want to teleport to any place at any time, it would save me so much travel time and jetlag for any projects I’m working on.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In a transitional time in my life, I felt inspired to create Release the Sun. I often suffer from anxiety, and through therapy I always remind myself of the sense of flow I get from making artwork, which feels like a ray of sunshine. This image is a metaphor for this

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor-

AZ: I would hate being the lead actor in any movie; I am terrible of being put on the spot!

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

AZ: This is your time to do whatever you want to do.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – The Dreaming Girls is influenced by the surrealism movement. An homage to the surrealists working from the 1920s to the 1960s. This projects seeks to channel the unconscious and unleash imagination.

 

Alice Zilberberg
Alice Zilberberg – Alice Zilberberg is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning artist, recognised by curators, collectors, and art patrons across the globe. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, and raised in Israel, she currently resides in Toronto, Canada.

Interview with Robert Vanderhorst – Surrealist Painter

Robert Vanderhorst’s creativity propels us to squint and examine the original or the rational with intention. At that point, you discover the conflict, the unacceptable, the unpleasant or the hidden desire. The imagery gushes over, the psyche is liberated, and the visual stimulus unravels the nuances of our ideas and rules.  He is adept at bringing together various mental pictures into a fusion of tenacious conventions, compromised perceptions, and wavering imaginations. His capability to point out that impressions, symbols, and patterns have unrealized possibilities, rattles the viewer. Although he deliberately composes the uncertainties, the freedom of thought, choice and the inclination of progress orbit symbolically and eminently in his artwork.

This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?
Lost – By Robert Vanderhorst – This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?

 

Fate's Passage Robert Vanderhorst
Fate’s Passage Robert Vanderhorst – The scene takes place in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. At the end of the light dappled gravel path is the Museum of Natural History. The ‘Museum’ is on this side of the doorway, not through it. The mother and her young son are going out through ’Fate’s Passage’. As she exits, she slowly becomes the space around her. The man standing at the doorway is the museum’s greeter. The astronaut has recently arrived, confused but intrigued. Near the exit, the shadow of a stooped Churchill leans heavily on his cane and the grey figure of an arrogant Napoleon standing on the balcony both suggest that they been guests of the museum for quite some time. This ‘Museum’ is a spectre of our future. Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before “Relax, ” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! ” Hotel California – The Eagles

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

RV: My talent comes through my father’s side of the family. He was an artist/graphic artist in Holland, and he continued that profession after coming to Canada post-WWII. Once I understood that art was my passion, my career path was set. Seeing Dali and Magritte’s work for the first time cemented my love for surrealism.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

RV: Exploration and mystery. Keep everyone thinking and guessing.

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

RV: Life is short. Be kind and generous, work hard and stay true to your passion, play when you can, travel and experience life as much as possible and keep your sense of humour intact.

The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst
The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What do you sell in your art-

RV: To think outside the box.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What motivates you to create, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy- 

RV: A desire to create realistic imagery that engages, asks questions and searches for answers where the answers ask more questions.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to illustrate-

RV: Time and space.

MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst
MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What does “confusion” mean to you? Also, what about “Normality”-

RV: I’m most fond of one of my image titles, ‘And You Thought You Were Normal.’ Says what I need to about confusion and what we perceive as normal.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

RV: Equality.

THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst
THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist-

RV: Develop a unique personal style and stay true to your art. Work your ass off, don’t compromise, network and promote using new and old technologies as much as possible.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

RV: Ignore it. Believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish and ignore anyone who tells you it can’t be done.

Magritte's Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst
Magritte’s Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The disruptive blockchain technology is addressing the problems of transparency and authenticity for artists; it will increase art sales, democratize art investment, and last but not least allow artists to be fairly paid.  What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of art? Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve?

RV: I am not versed in this platform and at this stage not particularly interested in another tech learning curve. Everyone should be paid fairly and on time, artists, in particular, considering they are often taken for granted and put at the bottom of the list. If this tech addresses the issues you’ve stated above effectively, then I’m all for it.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why- 

RV: I’m happy as is.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor- 

RV: I was a Zombie in a George A. Romero film, and that was perfect for me. Don’t need to be a lead.

THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

RV: Life is complicated. Keep your sense of humour and try not to be an ass.

In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
ROBERT VANDERHORST
ROBERT VANDERHORST

 

Images: Lost & Fate Passage courtesy of Robert Vanderhorst, other images from Saatchi Art Gallery.

How To become More Resilient – Leadership Skills

Nobody has a soul unscathed. As famously Nietzsche has stated:

“What does not kill you makes you stronger.”

Actually, truth be told, it is not easy to be resilient in chaos or adversity; however, research has shown that it can be learned. Stretching our mental muscles and drawing on key questions raised by the great thinkers gives us a leg up to control our thoughts and surpass oneself through the spine-chilling maze of setbacks.

Mindfulness, martial arts, and behaviour change are recommended however lasting success depends on self-reflection. Growth is fueled by practical wisdom and reasoned decision-making. So how to start the introspection to develop resilience?

Training the brain with philosophical counseling session to think clearly at infliction points in our ventures or life is absolutely necessary. The same way we curb the impulse to run for the door in an emergency situation on board of a plane and responsibly follow the instruction to put the oxygen mask first and buckle up, the process of observing our mind and learning from different schools of thoughts will empower us to take charge and develop resilience. The guidance will shape our perceptions and expectations into awareness, and our behaviours will become more productive rather than reactionary. Ultimately, the self-examination and preparation lead to a disciplined mind which helps us to leap over the fatigue caused by the unprecedented events, discord or even malicious situations.

Change Your Perception

“Choose not to be harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.”

The statement was written by Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the adherent of stoic philosophy highlights how perception plays an important role in your responses.  A terrifying event has the potential to be agonizing or not, for it all depends on your perception. Therefore, you have a choice to experience the unfavourable circumstances in dismay or learn the skills to build resilience.

As humans, we can exaggerate stressors, fret and run things over and over in our heads to the point that is uncontrollable. However if you can adopt a positive outlook and reframe disastrous to challenging, you will be able to deal with calamities, learn, grow and move on. A positive change in you perception is not to ignore and distort the reality but to ensure that you have control over your state of mind and emotional response.

Outline Your Expectations

Preparing your mind to question the underlying intentions of your expectations produce a valuable outcome in adversity. Since, the correlation between a challenge, an expectation, the course of action and the end result depend on your disposition. This means that unsettled and implicit intentions, an obscure plan of action or a goal will generate unrealistic expectations leading to resentment. However, the integration of philosophical notions to clarify your intentions influences your response and helps you confront the negative. Meditating on great philosophical ideas to become resilient and recover from adversity breeds self-control. This state of mind nurtures a rational, optimistic outlook to strategically analyze and gain attribution of productive motives from a third-party perspective.

The more aware of your intentions and your experiences you become, the more you will be able to connect the two, and the more you will be able to create the experiences of your life consciously. This is the development of mastery. It is the creation of authentic power.- Gary Zukav

Manage Your Behaviour

“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It is just sometimes, the end results are unfair, unreasonably or wrongfully against you; however, the philosophical reflection will help you develop mental toughness. Ethically responding in the heat of battle sounds virtuous, yet, might not be practical as it is easier said than done! Although you have a choice to change your attitude or consciously assimilate a behaviour and internalize to deal with the problem. Effectively stated by Epictetus on Walking the Walk:

Don’t declare yourself a philosopher or talk about all your principles; walk the walk instead. 

At dinner, don’t discourse on the proper way to eat. Just eat.

Here’s how Socrates did it: When someone asked Socrates to introduce him to a particular famous philosopher, he did it without thinking “I’m better.”

When the ignorant discuss deep matters, bite your tongue. Don’t vomit what
you haven’t chewed.

When you are told you’re ignorant and you manage to be unruffled, you know your practice is working.

Create a Life of Significance to Achieve Goals

“The desire for a feeling of importance is one of the chief distinguishing differences between mankind and the animals”.

Living a significant life is a duty, not a choice. As humans, we have the power to live a life that matters. Our ability to cooperate with each other empowers us to act with a purpose.  This collective quality goes hand in hand with the desire to be important and experience life beyond the self. Equally, it is the emotional trigger to move forward in times of uncertainties and challenges. As the most adaptive species, we can overcome hurdles and build a bridge when we are on edge. Our flexibility and conscious to act towards a common goal is what makes us human.

Leo Caillard
Leo Caillard

Still, there are times that we lose our inner-drive, the ordinary aspects of life blur our visions and our aspirations. These moments may happen when we are overwhelmed with indecisiveness or faced with stressful situations, so we lack interest or excitement. Our world becomes mundane, and our life visions a far-flung dot in the sky. So how do we get a grip on these unproductive emotions? I’ve learned that purpose, motivation, and momentum are the three powerful forces that will help us tackle difficult times and tasks.

Banksy Art
Banksy Art

 

Everyone has a purpose in life and a unique talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.

– Kallam Anji Reddy

Purpose: Know or remember the purpose of your life vision. Some people will state that passion is the key driver however not everyone has a fully developed one besides passion is an outlet for emotion and most importantly not the leading force in our life. University of California Berkeley Professor Morten Hansen surveyed 5,000 employees and managers to understand the make up of star performers. He examined the relation between passion and purpose and concluded that people perform better when they are tied to a goal such as making a strong contribution to society. He further explains the difference between purpose and passion. The purpose is defined as a sense that you are contributing to others that your work has a broader meaning. Passion is the feeling of enthusiasm and excitement you have about your work. He grouped employees into categories, and the shocking finding was that employees who were passionate about their work were poor performers if they were not clear about the purpose.  The purpose is the fuel, and a purpose-driven approach, from mission statements, philanthropy to ccorporate social responsibilities, the root of living a significant life.

What does it mean and what kind of questions lead to define or re-create our purpose? Inquiring into our intentions, examining our beliefs in the steady and positive betterment of humankind, and considering our contribution to collective progress is definitely on top of the checklist that empowers us to experience a meaningful life.

Bansky Art
Bansky Art

“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.”

Marcus Aurelius

Motivation: There is a number of theories that explain the motivation and how it is initiated and guided. Some people are driven by intrinsic and some with extrinsic motivation. However many people are more inclined to act by the former. They care about the satisfaction rather than reward. Essentially, one of the pillars of intrinsic motivation is to align your stimulus with a higher purpose.  Since fulfillment developed by self-growth and expanding our horizon to matter and make a difference is in our DNA.

Leo Caillard
Leo Caillard

One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.
Michael Korda

Momentum! Go forward, even if you lack the passion, but you have a vision also if it might not clear. Whether you are performing in a contest or a task, momentum expands your mental focus and physical efforts initiating an action. In turn, the act creates results. When you are on a roll, the synergy between the motion and our perceived capabilities enables us to perform with confidence and efficiency. For example, a chore as mundane as ironing a pile of clothes when is 2/3 done, we realize that we have the strength to complete the task. The same perception applies in our professional life. Therefore, our competence, the span of our movement and the continuous efforts will encourage us to perform remarkably.

Leo Caillard
Leo Caillard

The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.
― Barack Obama

Understanding and revisiting our desires and goals, acknowledging our need to feel important, eyeing for the progress and keep the ball rolling is like personal hygiene; they must be looked after with care and regularly.

Leo Caillard
Leo Caillard

 

 

 

Featured image –  Painting “Nude Youth sitting by the sea” was made by Hippolyte Flandrin, Ingres’ student. Louvre

 

 

Inspiration – Where Does It Come From and How To Realize it?

Where does inspiration come from? For centuries people believed that inspiration derived from gods and thought that is a divine matter, a gift from holy spirit.

Creación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)

Nevertheless, inspiration defined by Oxford dictionary states:

A sudden brilliant or timely idea

The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative

The drawing in of breath; inhalation

Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)  - Off in the Distance
Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler) – Off in the Distance

Whatever your angle, to reach that elevated feeling, a prepared mind is required to interact with the information received from the exterior. By this I mean,  you are partly responsible for an inspiration to happen. The knowledge, the efforts and the discipline must be cultivated to recognize an inspirational experience. You will not be stricken by a sudden flash of inspiration only when you are prepared for it. Therefore, preparation is one of the key ingredients.

Lara Zankoul
Lara Zankoul

As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favours only the prepared mind.”

Naturally, other conditions allow light-bulb moments to happen. A recall of a memory, an experience beyond the normal level, and an open mind attitude. Moments of clarity achieved by getting rid of self-serving concerns and restraints makes us aware of new possibilities. Clearly,  inspiration favors minds that are open and actively engage in new adventures. Besides, inspired individuals live a purposeful life with the sense of gratitude because of that transcendence state.

Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)
Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)

Indeed, there is a difference between being inspired and being motivated by the inspiration to act. How to create that sense of urgency to actualize the inspiration? Certainly by perceiving the essential value of our goal or desires subjectively and removing any apprehension of how attainable it is. That desirability of the expected reward is a powerful motivator that creates excitement and compels us to put the effort for achievement.

Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)
Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)

Another remarkably important trigger to take action on your inspiration is exposure to inspiring individuals, leaders and role models. Observing how they accumulate and share their knowledge to manage their lives, their resources or their careers. How they motivate and empower to manage people at all levels. How they enable creativity in the face of challenging situations.

Finally, keep in mind,

  The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities. Thrash and Elliot.

 

 

Ray Caesar – The Artist Who Embraces Gender Fluidity

Ray Caesar – The Artist Who Embraces Gender Fluidity from Jupilings on Vimeo.

Innocent to sinful, unrestrained to attentive, humorous to gloomy, flirtatious to modest, Ray Caesar, the acclaimed digital artist, unlocks his state of mind and his power of imagination through playful and witty themes. He chose to undertake one of the most difficult aspects of life by laying bare his painful and unpleasant life experiences, acknowledging his fears, submerging into his desires and fantasies through art.  His compelling imagery links the dreamy yet self discovery realities to earthly concerns. He  opens up the portals of his multi-layered universe and delves deep into his subconscious and emotional states of being.

Sol - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Sol – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

Ray Caesar’s self observing depictions, challenge us, shake us and impel us in an unforeseen directions, perhaps to a place where we re-examine our own realities and progressively relate to our world with compassion. As he gracefully and brilliantly indicates:

” My work is about defining myself in my own way and then sharing that as Art….what if we all did that ?, share our unique qualities in an effort to find our commonality.”

Communion - Courtesy of Ray Caesar /Gallery House
Communion – Courtesy of Ray Caesar /Gallery House

Learn about what drives Ray Caesar’s creativity and his intentions, in an exclusive interview with Jupilings:

Tell us about yourself and how you got into art:

Ray Caesar: I grew up in south London in the 1960s in a very dysfunctional and abusive family. I began making pictures as a way to dissociate and cope from a difficult reality. After immigrating to Canada I began working at a children’s hospital in Toronto in the medical art and photography dept and ended up, staying there for 17 years. I had always painted and sculpted but during these years, I began to once again make art as a coping mechanism as the material I dealt with at work was quite overwhelming. I then worked for several years in the film industry doing 3D modeling and animation and from there began making art with digital tools.

Old Wounds - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Old Wounds – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

Who is your protagonist?

Ray Caesar: She is my alter ego and a way for me to present a side of the fluidity or ambiguity of my gender. As a child I used to behave and dress very much like the figures in my work but any expression of that soon became too dangerous in the volatile family I lived with in the 1960s. It was also unnerving to my father that I used to talk to dolls, and that I insisted they would talk back. Years of therapy has suggested this is a form of dissociative identity disorder but I have some ideas of this myself of a slightly more mystical nature. I am comfortable with the idea that my protagonist is a side of my subconscious identity that I had to hide in a paracosm or inner world in order to survive. Today my images are simply a window into that world that has been growing in my mind for over half a century…an aspect of my psyche of gentleness and femininity and also a way to manage a strange but dangerous inclination that in some way has grown up in a separate world from this one.

Sailor Boy - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Sailor Boy – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What is the fundamental principal in your creations?

Ray Caesar: To explore and heal my own fractured psychology through images by creating my story as if it was a book of pictures. To give the suppressed and partially broken aspect of who I am a physical presentation. I take memory and dissociated emotions and experiences and give them physical form not just in a 2 dimensional picture but as a 3 dimensional virtual environment with a 3 dimensional figure. My protagonist is movable physical doll covered textures of my own skin in virtual rooms and clothing and textures from a variety of memories from my own past. I am writing a story of my life in pictures that evoke feelings I can’t put in words.

You have indicated that your artworks are inspired by your childhood, life experiences and your involvement in Sick Kids Hospital which are the inner force, what about motivation, what is the outside force that compels you to create?

Ray Caesar: To personally see a reflection of who I am. To define myself in my own evolving mind image. We have no control in how others define us …we do have a choice in how we define ourselves and that plays into how we ourselves define others. I didn’t start publicly showing my work for the motivation of profit as I have other skills that could have and did satisfy that need. I certainly don’t do this for motivations of ego as I am extremely shy and uncomfortable making my work public and rarely attend openings and have to force myself to post on social media in fits of agony. For me, my work isn’t Art …it’s a presentation of who I am. A method for self expression so I can see myself presented in a way that expresses how I feel. I make it public as I have learned that showing work in some strange way “completes it” …it makes that image part of the greater whole and by doing that ….. its meaning changes with each person that looks at it in such a way that I am forced to look at it again as if I have never seen it before …that has always been its greatest mystery and surprise to me.

When you are creating a work of art, you are forging an engagement with a situation or an emotion. Do you aspire to drive public awareness to activism, in any stage of your creation?

Ray Caesar: There is no intended dogma in my work or social commentary other than a very personal exploration of who I am and it is a very self indulgent process that I need to do for survival. I think of it like a visual diary and personal emotional guide. My work is simply a self portrait of my own mind and self image. It’s about my own sense of fluid gender and my inability to comprehend who I am and where I fit in a world of polarized views. I believe we each need a mind view or image of who we are as a template to build our actions and progress and evolve in a strange world. Although my work is very self indulgent I do think self exploration leads into how we as a species have to define what it is to be a human being. So much of our problems with race and gender and cultural identity stem from the inability to connect as a species and define our long term goals and aspiration (this absolutely reflects my own problems with dissociation ) ….to take an active role in our own evolution by a series of smaller conscious revolutions that build the template of what a human being is and what it could be and should be. If we define ourselves individually as unique complex individuals with flaws and amazing potential and realize that there has never been another person in all human history just like us and no one has ever had our unique experience…..then that’s how we define others!  Not by our physical sex organs or skin pigmentation or where we were born, or what familial religion or organization we belongs to.  We are a species of unique individuals that are attempting to define our spiritual and practical goals and that’s something every single one of us share. My work is about defining myself in my own way and then sharing that as Art….what if we all did that ?, share our unique qualities in an effort to find our commonality.

World Traveler - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
World Traveler – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What does women empowerment mean to you?

Ray Caesar: As someone who is fluid gender and who has never really felt entirely male or female and lives in a mind that could be described as ambiguous and hermaphroditic, I am fascinated by recent events in a gradual growing realization of enlightened women and men that patriarchy is fundamentally flawed. I would love to see our species grow beyond a system that is based on self centered fear, power and dominance. It’s time for our species to evolve and acknowledge that we all have masculine and feminine aspects to our subconscious psychology. The balance of Anima and Animus is crucial, not just in the individual, but in the very fabric of human society and the way we choose to govern ourselves and interact in a variety of social levels. In my own attempt to reflect this about myself through my work …it is not lost on me that our own personal struggles reflect the greater struggles of our species and society. The empowerment of women is really a foundation stone in the self realization of what direction we need to travel for the species as a whole that can ultimately benefit the whole. It is evolution in progress and from a personal point of view it is amazing and beautiful to witness. In a hopeful way I see our planet as a fundamentally feminine thing. Earth or Gaia is a living goddess, a tangible deity that exists and is the giver of life. This thin strip of atmosphere is like a womb feeding and nurturing and protecting the fragile life that exists within it. Within her is a sea of conscious awareness of millions of species and She is the the sum of all the consciously aware life on this small blue world. She is a tangible touchable living conscious Goddess and we are destroying her through our primitive patriarchal arrogance, our fear and ignorance and our need for power and dominance. This planet is alive and a living thing! …we are part of this life and not separate from it and our conscious awareness is only part of the sum of existence that lives here,  life on this planet is more than just us. We are part of a caring protective matriarchal ecosystem called Earth and dependant on her like a child is of a mother. We cannot exist without her and our species will have to evolve and learn to treasure this Eden before we are expelled from it.

Kat in Laundromat - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Kat in Laundromat – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Tainted by the sea - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery of House
Tainted by the sea – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery of House

What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

Ray Caesar: Make the art you love and explore avenues that excite you and that are fundamentally about you. Realize that your own choices and values create your brand as if it is an expression of your world view. If you make what you love someone else will love it too. Network and find people that have the same passion for art or creation that you do and realize you can’t do this all alone. I work with my wife Jane and my friend and manager Belinda Chun as a kind of team or family. We like to think of all this as a collective of different skills not unlike a fashion house or crew of a ship and we call that “Gallery House”http://galleryhouse.ca/. I make the Art, Jane keeps spreadsheets tracking every single piece and keeps me balanced and Belinda then builds a series of partnerships with galleries and dealers and organizations around the world that become a kind of extended family. It’s no longer a world of just one gallery and one artist splitting everything 50/50. We learn to trust these galleries and they learn to trust us and it all starts to work like a functioning engine that creates work, markets work and puts that work in places that visitors and collectors can view it and experience it online and in real spaces like galleries and art fairs and boardrooms and charitable events. It’s not just about me ..it’s about the different parts of the engine that function in tandem that create something of emotional value from nothing but a concept and a piece of paper and canvas. Dior wasn’t just Christian …it was a house and a company of people who believed in something beautiful and worked together to build something that was more than just a dress…they made that dress a piece of art.

Merchant of Venice - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Merchant of Venice – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:

Ray Caesar: I don’t as these are valid emotions … I use fear and self doubt in a positive and creative way ..it’s not so much the conquering of a thing ( that’s a patriarchal practice ) but understanding that my feelings can create a choice of actions and that’s what I absolutely love about emotions …they give us choice. If I am afraid of something I acknowledge it and calmly look at my choices and use the negative energy in a creative positive way that creates a positive result. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear or the control of it, but understanding you have a choice of calm contemplative action despite the fear. I think a wonderful thing to learn is that fear can actually create calm when you realise it’s a way for the subconscious to communicate to the conscious mind that makes action. I think of all emotions like a unformed energy that can be modified like a lump of sculptural clay into form …it’s only when we take action and that clay is cast that we will know the result. If I doubt myself that means I need to examine why I am doubting myself and sometimes that doubt is a very useful justified thing and sometimes it is an illusion. I don’t just try and be creative with Art ..I try and be creative with life.

Helios - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Helios – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House

 What are you thoughts about the blockchain technology specially in support of digital art? Would you consider using blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in the Art Market do you want these platforms to solve?

Ray Caesar: One of the reasons Belinda Chun and I developed a different method of working with galleries is that I had so many problems being paid by previous galleries that sold my work. I have had many problems of my work on consignment not being returned. We now only partner with good trustworthy galleries that work fairly with artists and in doing so we make sure we work fairly with them. Blockchain holds a promise of improving that situation by giving greater clarity of any sale and transfer of work in any gallery in the world and letting everyone involved know when and where it happened. I am also interested in the potential for providence in terms of a digital form of certificate of authenticity that can make providence absolute and travel from collector to collector. Blockchain is sort of like a digital Antiques Roadshow that carries the history of each item along with it and that history becomes part of the fabric of the art itself and can ultimately even increase the value or story of that particular object. As a print maker of a unregulated commodity each piece of an edition is very much like printing currency and in doing so one faces the problems any currency faces. Many years ago I was surprised I had absolutely no control over the price of my work …it developed a price based on demand or more accurately, someone’s guess or gamble of its demand. If I held the price down on my work, dealers bought it all and sold it for a higher price. I learned how market creates the price and value of a limited unregulated edition whether it is a stamp, a dollar bill or a piece of art.

What super power you would like to have ? and why?

Ray Caesar: The ability to become consciously aware of subconscious aspects of my own reality and move towards a greater awareness of not just my own existence but a greater awareness of our species and the multi dimensional universe we live in … it’s a super power I am currently learning to cope with and not like trying to cope with X-ray vision or with the difficulty of wearing a spandex mask and tights and high heels and a troublesome cape that tends to get caught in revolving doors.

Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:

Ray Caesar: From childhood I always wanted to be Emma Peel in the old British Avengers TV spy series…I loved her outfits and how she finished each show drinking champagne. She laughed at fear and always took humorous control and action in any difficult situation. She was a spy and secret agent, a lover and a sculptor and was probably one of the first strong independent female characters on television. I have modelled myself on Emma Peel since I first saw her as a child in the 1960s….it’s a bit tricky to get into a leather outfit now and zip it all up but I suppose Diana Rigg has the same problem…. I also think that she was the basis for M in the recent James Bond films …in fact in She was even referred to as Emma and Bond himself almost gave it away when he said he was mistaken when he thought M was a random letter.

Silent Partner - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Silent Partner – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What is your life motto?

Ray Caesar:: Pick yourself up ..dust yourself off ..and try again….keep in mind the only way out is through and leave by the same door you came in….also Fibre is good but too much Fibre isn’t so good.

Home Coming - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Home Coming – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Bound - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Bound – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Precious - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Precious – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Blessed - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Blessed – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

Natalie Shau – Digital Art

Natalie Shau is a mix media artist and a photographer from Vilnius, Lithuania. Influenced by religious imagery, fairytales illustrations and eclectic art world, she taps into the myths, dreams and steers the play of thought to where there is no rational boundary. She explores the complexities of human emotions, by suggesting vulnerability and strength of her surreal and extraordinary creatures.  Natalie renders fantasy and reality themes provocatively and elegantly.  Besides her personal artistic projects, she rigorously creates artwork for musicians, theatre, fashion magazines, writers and advertisement campaigns.

Forest Baby by Natalie Shau
Forest Baby by Natalie Shau
Powder by Natalie Shau
Powder by Natalie Shau

To learn about her and her vision, I had the opportunity to ask her few questions:

What inner force inspires you to create? 

Inspiration is usually the beauty of nature and art (any kind, literature, painting, photography, cinema).

What about motivation, what is the outside force that compels you to create?

Motivation for me is when people like what I create and support my artwork.

Secret Emotions by Natalie Shau
Secret Emotions by Natalie Shau

Do you aspire to drive public awareness on current social or political issues when you are creating a work of art?

Some social issues sometimes, but political absolutely not. Everything nowadays is extremely polarized. And you are running a risk to get into a lot of trouble if you were to express your opinion, freely. I am certain many people prefer not to talk about what they really think nowadays. Specially when you are a public person. 

Mon Plaisir by Natalie Shau
Mon Plaisir by Natalie Shau

What is your dream project? 

I would be very interested in creating a movie & a crazy photography set based on some dark fairytale. 

Justine by Natalie Shau
Justine by Natalie Shau
Snowflake by Natalie Shau
Snowflake by Natalie Shau

And, do you have a particular designer / brand / production that you would like to be involved in their’s marketing campaign? 

Well maybe Gucci? That would be nice. 

Do you have creative patterns, routines or rituals?

Yes, I usually work at night. Daytime I just can’t concentrate.

What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

Listen to your inner true self.

What does women empowerment mean to you?

Don’t be a victim and fight for your goals.

What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

Just a lot of work, people develop styles only by creating and working.

What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:

In such circumstances, I always think that I have so much while many others don’t even have basic things. So I must not complain. 

What are you thoughts about the blockchain technology specially in support of digital art? 

Well, I have not yet looked deep at it, yet, however, I am very very happy that there will be more possibilities for artists.

Would you consider using blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts?

Absolutely!

What are the problems in the Art Market that you would like these platforms to solve?

Well the biggest problem nowadays for independent artists is of course how to fund themselves and have the possibility to acquire new materials for their art projects. 

What super power would you have liked to have ? and why?

Being able not to sleep. So I could create more and visit many places. 

Which movie would you have liked to be the leading actor?

La Reine Margot 

What is your life motto?

Stay true to yourself.

Fashion Photography "Snow Yak" by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography “Snow Yak” by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography "Kristina" by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography “Kristina” by Natalie Shau
Cradle of Filth 1 - Music Art Works by Natalie Shau
Cradle of Filth 1 – Music Art Works by Natalie Shau

 

Natalie Shau has collaborated with many brands, please refer to her website: https://natalieshau.carbonmade.com/about