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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Leaving Your Unique Imprint on the World

(at work on "With These Hands--Wonder" 18x24 oil on canvas
In the past century, the discovery and use of DNA has transformed not only our thinking, but our ability to distinguish one individual from another; a critical piece of the crime scene puzzle. Fingerprint recognition, which can easily be distorted or changed,  has taken a backseat to DNA that cannot be altered and is specific to each individual person.

DNA, the pupils of the eye, the fingerprints make each of us pretty unique. Add to that our physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup; the influences of environment, culture, personality, family, ancestry and genes, and each person has unmistakable characteristics that separate him or her from the rest of the pack.

"India Rising--the Found" 18x24 mixed media canvas
Some people, including governments, would like each of us to succumb to a “pack mentality.” They want us to fit us into little boxes they can label, compartmentalize, manipulate, and tax. Governments in some parts of the world have been successful at doing this; still, the freedom lovers, the pro-active doers and thinkers rise to the top and clamor for “liberty or death” (Patrick Henry).

We must never become a part of the “pack,” especially a group that can be swayed, hypnotized, manipulated, or threatened. If we lose our God-given uniqueness, we lose our freedom. Artists and performers must not be hog tied into conformity or submission. To do so would be to lose our voice, our identity.

"India Rising--Prince of Thieves" 16x20 mixed media canvas
What makes us special is not only our talent and skill, it is the way we think, dream, and achieve. Freedom of speech, freedom to create and build must never be suppressed, unless that liberty begins to corrupt or restrict the freedom of others.

Why am I waxing philosophic? Because I believe that each of us leaves an imprint on the world. From the time we are born until the time we die, we either make the world a better place to live in or we destroy it bit by terrible bit.

"Blending In" 16x20 acrylic on canvas
The choices we make each day are the predecessor’s of tomorrow’s outcomes. We can choose to become a part of a destructive force (the pack), or we can choose to think and act in ways that leave a positive if not jarring influence on others to wake them up from their complacency.

As professionals we talk about “making our mark on the world,” but if our focus is not anchored in truth and individualism, the result may be collectivism. We may find that our freedom and individuality are owned by the State. Artists of all stripes must protect individual liberty at all costs in order to preserve our freedom to make a difference.

Featured Artist
Sam Randall, Brisbane, Australia: “I am a self-taught visual artist based in Brisbane. I have recently made the huge decision to pursue being an artist full time. My previous career was as a Children's Therapist where art and creativity were a key foundation to my practice. I have always needed to be in a creative role or I get bored and dissatisfied.”

"Flora Montage" by Sam Randall