5 Quotations by Enrique Martinez Celaya
Maybe it's because I live with a painter that I'm always interested in reading what artists have to say about their work, their process, and what it means to be someone who makes art. I think that when artists talk about art making, writers and other makers can often apply their words to their own process.
In On Art and Mindfulness by Enrique Martinez Celaya the artist's remarks during "lectures, critiques, and conversations" were noted by a student in workshops at the Anderson Ranch Arts Centre in Colorado and later edited and compiled. This process is why the words seem so authentic, I think. There is no preciousness or pretentiousness. More of a 'working through' kind of feeling to them.
I'm sharing 5 quotations, and I'm thinking about how they apply to my own process, my own writing, my life.
1. "Being an artist is not a posture or a profession but a way of being in the world and in relation to yourself. An artist is revealed in his or her choices. Watch your actions as well as what you like and notice who is the person suggested by them. Understanding who you are as an artist should be thought of as a life-long process inseparable from your work.
2. "When doubts bring you down, go back to the work not with the intention of doing something great but of doing something that marks your presence, that affirms you exist. Do not let yourself remain absent."
3. "You do not have to be a scholar-artist. Many great artists were not. But if that is what you want to do, then be serious. Do not dabble."
4. "Launch yourself recklessly towards your dreams. Wake up and be desperate. Desperation demands action. As an artist, you must always be desperate. Try anything. Be careful with your calculations. Calculations become a habit. A calculated life is seldom radiant."
5. The poetic is not flowery. Good poetry always has dirt grinding between its gears.