Stay in Your Box

Artwork by Moebius. One of my favorite artists.

As an artist, being pigeonholed is an unfortunate reality that comes with the territory. It can be frustrating to be cast into the same pools as things you might find distasteful, poorly executed, or weakly related ... But these associations are rarely malicious. They are judgments, often based on a small sample size ... a single point in space. People try to pin things down as static objects. It's a convenient shortcut that fails to illuminate the complexity of our world. We're all dynamic beings moving through space and time.

I think the frustration I sometimes feel comes from an inherent desire to feel connected to people. I use my work as a way to connect to the world. On occasion people do manage to see what I am trying to express in my work and that is a very gratifying feeling. But often people find their own meaning in the work and it's been an ongoing process to accept that, especially when there is a consensus of which you are not a part.

Once you make something and release it out into the world, it can be hard to let go. But to find a healthy sense of distance from the work at that point helps to accept that others will experience it in their own way. There will always be some new genre, or some new piece of pop that people are influenced by, and no one's work exists in a vacuum. What you make will get caught up in the greater school of culture whether you like it or not. I've found it helpful to try and detach myself from the minutiae of external perceptions, whether they are collective or individual. I just try to focus on myself and my work.

If I'm doing the right things, I think I'll always be a few steps ahead, people trying to pin me down by the tail as I move past. And I'll always be misunderstood. Mostly.