PHAFL: The Manifest Vision
It really did come to me one night. It was the night following a day of having a few images critiqued as part of the Business Practicum class for my BFA. They were photos I created after walking through a door that had recently been opened in my thinking. I go to a therapist who helps me understand more about myself, with regard to managing anxiety and Mild Bipolar disorder.
Well, it was between these new images, therapy, and hours of ruminating, that I discovered how PHAFL ...an acronym that I've come up with to describe this new vision... is how or why Art is Forward for me. PHAFL It’s what I think of when I muse about my purpose or my goals as an artist. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface, and I cannot stop scratching at it. It is my guiding principle.
One of my recent professors firmly put me on a path that has road signs. But those road signs are mostly questions, not direction or destinations. They popup just as I am about to take a step. I frequently see the one that asks “what is the guiding principle” at work, or being applied…
I’ve been asking myself this and many other questions about my thoughts and inspirations. I have many…it' is somewhat of a curse. I envy the artist that has deep focus. Two minutes of me sharing the breadth of my life’s endeavors and you will instantly understand what I mean. Now, I do not intend to imply that I have not had focus…I have typically excelled at all that I chose to engage in…well, maybe I should say I had good to great experiences with a great many things I have engaged myself in. I have also had some spectacular failures, some of which have left some deep scars on me, and even upon my family. But, I digress…
Tonight, I was looking at the latest video posted on YouTube under the name Carrie Mae Weems. I find her work triggering of inspiration in me. However, occasionally, a trigger may simply make me want to review my ideas and look them over for ways to get to a deeper place in the feeling that sparked them…or simply to rewrite them with a deeper understanding of what I want to say artistically, to review how I am saying it. Tonight I just found myself examining interconnected-ness of a few thoughts and ideas I’ve had recently.
I started writing at about 8pm while watching an episode of PBS Space Time on spinning black holes. Then I recollected that one of my professors offered the guidance that I should begin maintaining a digital repository of journalling and documentation of my processes.
12:52am now and feeling like I I can get a bit of sleep now. These days, since my blood seems like it has become like some source of creative energy…I find myself up for hours spilling ideas and thoughts on to paper, on to 3x5 cards, or the pages of yet another notebook. I’ve got boxes now. If I do not write down these thoughts they will not let me sleep. I will remain awake until my body wants to sleep but my responsibilities say…oops it’s time to get ready for work.
At this moment, I simply want to put it down for the first time, that the overarching message I want to express in the art I will create is meant to be a reflexive body of work speaking about my PHAFL. That is, it is about my Pain overcome by Hope, and my Fears overcome by Love….not talking about storybook love, but a love that I was born with; a love for the complexity of the universe, and simultaneously the simplicity of a cloud-free blue sky. I love knowledge..and it arrests my fears.
I am at a place in my growth as an artist that drives me to want to express vision and ideas in ways that compel others to think along side me…or perhaps recognize a similar vision or insight in themselves. Simultaneously, I wish to express the thoughts of my heart with respect to the pains and fears that I imagine I have in common with many others.
Sometimes if feels like a tug-of-war, sometimes if feels like they, these feelings these inspirations, they know each other, and they agree for a moment or two to work together. When they do, I try to share the thought or otherwise document it….preserve that syzygy of creative energy in the form of an object.
As I continue this journal, I will talk more specifically about what I do to encourage the sparks of inspiration that arise within me and how I work them into ideas I believe can be manifest. I will also begin talking about the current list of artists I feel influence me
OK, about time to recharge…
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Rob J Phillips