Where art begins with meditation and how meditation improves art.
(Do you want to read also in Italian? click HERE).
Meditating is something that has always fascinated me.
For years I have searched, studied, contacted experts but despite my curiosity and determination, I was not constant.
Emptying the mind, entering another dimension, was a cyclopean undertaking.
But why meditate? And what is art good for? Or rather, to make art?
I have always had a vivid mind, which imagines continuously. A mind without rest. My mind conditioned my body and my choices. Like everyone I believe, but I was aware that this conditioning was more negative than positive.
So the need to calm the mind, to rebuild a healthy body and a more relaxed mind. All splendid.
Also because if an artist is calmer he will surely produce more and better.
Cultural conditioning on making art.
But a rather deep-rooted prejudice intervenes here: making true, profound, magnificent, eternal art means suffering, living life with passion. But a self-destructive passion.
Pages and pages of romantic lives where artists from all over the world died young, sick, penniless, left behind by society.
Making art was the equivalent of a miserable and trivial life.
So I began to do meditation rejecting it, but without realizing it.
If on the one hand I accepted the idea of calming the mind to produce better, on the other hand my ego told me that by calming the mind I would produce art of poor quality.
Without suffering I would not have produced any masterpiece.
Meditation and prejudice.
I have tried meditations based on breathing, visualization, work or health. But I found a thousand excuses to prove to myself that getting better was the equivalent of dying artistically.
Until a year ago. When I remembered that I still have a body and not just a mind. Or rather, the body reminded myself that I needed to integrate mind and body otherwise I would have produced nothing.
The dream before meditation.
There is a before and after in my life.
Or rather there are several in different fields, but let’s say that right now I am interested in focusing on the before and after dreamlike.
Until five years ago, although I practiced several meditations including day and night mantras, I had a very accentuated dream activity.
I also produced art in function of those dreams. I clung to those dreams. Which were very complicated, as was my very symbolic art, but in my opinion, from the way I look at it now, very evanescent, heterogeneous, inconclusive.
I know I am very hard on myself, but if I look at my production until five years ago, I see different styles, different ideas and a confused research.
Then my father dies.
In two weeks suddenly all his vital parameters collapse. I manage to spend the last night with him and write down his last sentences.
I return home in trance and in a week I write an entire notebook of poems.
I close these poems in a drawer and never read them again. They are there, I don’t know if I will ever read them. I stop sleeping, the insomnia begins, I take sleeping pills, nothing.
I go back to sleep after three months, but I wake up often and I don’t dream anymore.
Dream and art without meditation.
It takes two years before some dreams appear timidly.
I dream about my father, I dream about fighting with him, I dream about my old house, the new one. No artistic suggestions.
On the other hand for the umpteenth time (maybe the third time in my whole life), I stop creating anything. I create my new house and I create my studio, where I don’t create anything.
In the meantime I have changed region, city, I am done with the old jobs, the old site, the old friendships.
I’m done with everything, I don’t meditate, I don’t create art. And I am not well.
So having such a zero life, so based on nothing and despair, with a mourning that has taken away my sleep, landmarks, and will to live I should find the drive to create masterpieces.
This is it!
Instead nothing. I start a hybrid life where I don’t draw, I don’t create, I barely use socials with a daily cartoon that tells the problems of an illustrator.
I know doctors who work in reanimation and talking about the end of life, ancestral fears, not wanting to live at all costs, I see a thin line between philosophy and medicine.
In a suffocating August four years ago, every night, I start drawing almost hypnotized female bodies and poems.
Thus I take from death, from the fear of living, from the terror of living at all costs like a vegetable in a hospital bed.
Meditation as a revolutionary act.
Actually it takes a lot more time to discover that meditation helps my subconscious to find artistic answers, that meditation helps me to find titles, ideas, to find the common thread in my work.
A year ago I made the decision.
Art and Meditation.
Meditating is not just sitting with your eyes closed and breathing and watching your breath and visualizing and forgetting about the world.
Meditating is one thousand, one hundred thousand things.
A friend of mine says that meditating is making dolls and I believe her, because it creates a miniature world where we recognize ourselves, where dolls are a self-understanding and self-healing.
Meditating in the same way for me, is putting a stitch after another while I hem a scarf, but it is also taking a pen and creating a character in silence.
Concentration, the breath slowing down, forgetting the world around you. This is creating and looks a lot like meditation.
So the classical meditation, which is based on emptying the mind, breathing, concentrating, slowing the heartbeat, cleaning the mind, is fundamental to making art.
It is also good to make art.
I do not know where one begins and ends the other now for me.
Certainly I have found a more homogeneous style of my own, I am no longer terrified of not having ideas and I am not looking for a desperate life to create a masterpiece.
And incredibly, now I accept myself more.
I always dream little, but dreams are no longer so important.
It is important to live now.
Meditating is making art, but art without meditation is almost impossible for me right now.
Is the road long? But it is the journey that counts.
(Do you want to read also in Italian? click HERE).