This is not in sequence.

safety fenceThe more I painted, the better I got. I got to the point where I could genuinely express myself – the complex and intense spirit and emotions that were inside. I developed a sharp sense of balance and composition. I could take a piece of paper and make it into art.

In college, I signed up for a class on 3-Dimensional art, and it was there that my art world began to blow open. Our assignments were designed to encourage us to utilize space and the various senses – to challenge our limited notions. I began to realize that even if the purest of genius were expressed and captured on a canvas, it was still just a 2-dimensional piece sitting in a much vaster, multi-dimensional world.

At some point, the idea of painting 2-dimensional pieces, though so fulfilling, began to seem limiting.

In that class, I had an epiphany. I realized that architecture allowed art to be brought into the third dimension. In architectural expressions, people would walk around inside of the art, living their lives in it, being transformed by it.

But there was a greater epiphany. I realized that we were in it now. Students would create pieces and say “Here is my piece,” and the rest of the class would sit around and critique it, but defining where it started and where it ended was but another limiting box. I looked around the art room and saw the various pieces. I saw the tables filled with supplies. I saw that the art room itself – in all its complexity and originality – far surpassed any of the individual installations.

It was my turn to present. I hadn’t made a piece that week. I took a roll of construction barrier material and threw the end of it over a string crossing the room. The rest of the roll laid on the table. The group gathered, and I said “Here is my piece.” It didn’t make sense. What exactly were they supposed to be looking at? Was it the roll of construction barrier? No. That was simply the entry portal. The barrier stretched to the table. The table was part of the piece. And everything on it. The room was part of the piece. And everything in it. The class was part of the piece. Everyone. The piece was this moment. This unique expression of space and of time.

Every moment is a canvas. The role of a Life Artist is to awaken to that awareness and express him or herself within the now.

I also realized that not all art was optimal for living in. Some art is beautiful; some art is disturbing. As an artist, there is value in expressing that which needs to be expressed. The world is dynamic, and we need different things at different times, but if art has the power to transform, then I personally would prefer living in a piece that is full of beauty – and to be transformed by that beauty – and not in a space of disturbance.

It was there that the seed of my future was planted – that architecture could be utilized as a transformative element to shape our inner states.  And that the world itself, and every single moment, is a rich tapestry waiting to be reshaped through our expressions.

Walking around the world as a Life Artist, one becomes the brush itself and the whole world becomes the canvas. We are all artists, collectively painting and shaping our world, though very few of us are awake to the profundity and responsibility that comes with being that artist. What have you cultivated inside? What is it that you have to give, that you have to express? The role of a Life Artist is to dive deep within – to grasp, to touch the most exquisite of gems they can reach – and then to step back into the world and hopefully, with love, leave their own, unique and precious mark.