The Artist’s Way

Music & Nature

It might sound useless or redundant but this question kept me going for a long time: what does it mean to be an artist?

Although I never actually studied philosophy, I realized that since I have memory I’ve always approached life in a very philosophical way. I couldn’t help but ask myself things, questioning literally anything, drawn by an untraceable force that simply would never accept the standard society’s belief. It’s indeed something that has its disadvantages and risks, since it will bring a lot of instability, pushing you to the edge over and over and feeling that while you’re getting closer to something or someone, you eventually end up losing something or someone else.
Today I want to talk about a journey that made me understand how this state of being perfectly walks along with my idea of what an Artist is.


I care to stress the fact that it is my idea of Art and Artist; if you feel curious about it, you can dig into the internet and see for yourself how many meanings and functions were attributed to art and the role of artists, through the course of the centuries. Here’s a pretty basic but linear chronicle that can be found in Wikipedia.

One more due mention, besides a strong recommendation, is to read Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”, from which this article borrows the title. It’s an incredibly deep and wide Vademecum for creativity, an unprecedented set of tools and perspectives that should at least help us pose the very questions: “what makes the artist? - what does it take to consider myself an active one?”

Now, getting to my perspective, the first starting point has always been this: I need to experience first hand, in order to deliver a piece of art. Let me explain in more detail. Even as a kid, I always grasped the power of composition that comes from the artist actually being what/who he is writing about. The easiest analogy is a professional actor: whenever he’s staging the character, he ceases to be him in order to totally become the subject at issue. The self defense mechanisms, the ego, the cognitive biases which compose the regular daily life of the actor turn into the character’s ones. That leads to incredible performances that overcome individuality and become something transcendental.

For me, this is the starting point of an Artist. A natural talent and passion for evolving, experimenting and becoming something/someone else, even if you don’t share your character’s beliefs. Yet you’re able to “walk that bridge”, download from the Universe and represent an energy that exists, that’s out there and display it to the world. Retrospectively, it’s quite fun to read this out of me, considering the teenager I was. Square-minded, strictly pragmatic, science-based. I was living (=trapped) within my left brain hemisphere. But the Artist in me was working, despite I was unconsciously trying to keep him out. This struggle did lead to breakdowns and health issues that finally resolved after I understood I needed to embrace the change, the unknown, the ethereal. I definitely had to sail to uncharted lands and accept I’d never come back; or at least, not the same as when I left.

I can’t imagine an Artist who doesn’t read, study, experiment, fall, try, grow new interests, evolve etc. In other words, your creativity juice and contribution to the world ends whenever you settle. When you think you got all you need, you’re the best and most complete version of yourself, well then I see the end of it. This has nothing to do with our biological age: there are some young people who are firmly convinced they already know everything they need to know, while some older ones are constantly looking for new adventures. I wouldn’t actually call it a “Dunning-Kruger effect” although we can say that it’s kinda related. An Artist shall probably never feel entirely satisfied. As for me, that’s ok. I accepted it cause I do understand it’s actually the fuel, the drive to keep going. And like gasoline, it can destroy everything if you light it up the wrong way or take you anywhere, if properly exploited.

Another pillar to my idea of Art is the need to connect with the Universe, the Divine, the Infinite, call it however you want. We all believe in something, even those who say they don’t. Modern physics and science are finally telling us (in scientific language, for those who can’t conceive other languages) that we’re energy, that matter itself is not what we think of it, that the universe is about a 95% between dark matter and energy, which are something we can’t (yet?) detect or see. But we know it’s out there. Guys, 95%!!! It’s pretty much everything, literally everything. It’s all around, it affects us all, from the most gigantic structures to the smallest. Well, to me, Music and Art sail in this very ocean of the intangible, the unintelligible, of all those that exceeds our rational grasp. But we do have other antennas and ways to perceive reality. It’s just that, especially in the Western world, we’re too soon taught to confine them within the boundaries of the “mystical, fantasies, reveries and childish illusions”.

No wonder many of today’s world's structures are falling apart because we can no longer hide all this. And you don’t need to “believe” in this for that to affect you: it affects you no matter what! So, Art can truly and freely wander into all this, composing puzzles and downloading information that’s simply not meant to happen in the 5% of reality. If everything is vibration, everything is information, then Art and Music are a shrine from which we can pour and extract all the time, part of our individual and collective existence. Man, what an infinite and breathtaking power! How could you not be humble before it? How could you not want to keep working in order to be up to it? Yes, I voluntarily used the phrasing "up to it" because whatever talent you’re born with, improving the technique will add more tools to your arsenal, but won’t be enough. That’s why Art is a state of existence, not an activity. That is why it has nothing to do with the profession. It’s about life, about vision, about the state of vibration and awareness.

I marvel and feel extremely small while thinking of all this. Yet, I feel so grateful I had the chance (and courage) to deconstruct and work on my limitations (cultural, familiar, psychological etc) in order to be born again. It’s a work that never ends and, as of today, I can truly affirm I know it and accept it. And I couldn’t be happier. Happy, not satisfied. Satisfaction is something feeble, volatile, that comes and goes, generally triggered by something that comes from the outside. For the same reason, we are seldom struck with dissatisfaction and frustration, when things don’t go as expected. On the other hand, happiness (at least to me) is a wider concept, that embraces also the things that don’t go your way, ‘cause you understand it’s meant to be. As long as your “scrambled uncontrollable reality” is in coherence with your values and your vibration, that for me is walking within happiness.

Satisfaction won’t definitely be there all the time, I won’t always feel up and super great, especially having accepted a life of change, introspection, evolution and unconventional thinking/acting. But this is part of my path, the same path that allows me to connect and create from the Divine.

Art is larger-than-life, larger than the individual. The Artist is a mere channel. An important and sacred one, still just a channel. We value a lot the road that takes us from the sea to the mountain; yet we should never value the road more than the sea and mountain themselves. That’s the way I think of myself as an Artist today. My job is to keep polishing myself, evolving, expanding my consciousness and awareness, experiencing fractals or reality in order to be able to depict them somehow, in this third dimension.

But I’m just the channel. I shall always be an infinitesimal fragment of the Whole I’m downloading from. 


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