My latest over-analytical effort to clarify my art business validation plan/next steps failed because I only really care about one thing, and I have to build out from what I care about (and see what happens) instead of building out from what goods and services I can monetize (and making a spreadsheet with decision rules).
Otherwise I can’t function. Otherwise I would sit down at a desk and work someone else’s priorities from 9-5. Otherwise I wouldn’t be Vera Wilde.
I care about people. Specifically, people feeling free and safe to flourish. That is what I mean when I talk about making world peace through art. Political scientists call this soft power. Most working artists talk about it in terms of vision or message, if at all. Poets call it telling the truth. It’s so much the water of the work of art that it’s hard to talk about it within that ecosystem.
Anyway. I write haiku summaries for everyone and everything else. So my small task today, before I break down and buy paint because I must paint now, is to haiku summarize me. Myself as an artist. My brand. My good, service, and message.
Wild truth and faith
take a leap and seek your fate
ideas shape it all.
This is a haiku summary of how I changed my name in an act of self-definition a lot of artists undertake. Most people assume I got married, and I let them. But the truth is, I took the name I needed as an artist, as part of the process of creation that is taking away everything that is not-you to find yourself. You have to have that to offer the world.
The butterfly strikes,
laughing. Remember to play.
Wilde Thinks live that way.
Oscar’s mastery of playing because life is so serious is one of the reasons I took the name Wilde. The butterfly logo and Wilde Thinks name reflect the same core idea that showing up to play is actually the most serious work of our lives.
Here is a bit of
truth and beauty. I made it
with my hands, of you.
This is a haiku summary of the butterfly painting/portraits of peace idea I wrote about in my last post, that I was working on in Boston but haven’t properly monetized or made compatible with my traveling life experiment. Yet. I have been afraid to try. I feel ashamed spending money on proper supplies, setting up to paint in public, and pestering people to paint them even though strangers notice me looking at them smiling, recognize intuitively that I think they’re beautiful, and are constantly asking me to take pictures of them with their families as a result.
Painting your soul, the
way it shines through your face, and
singing your story.
This is embarrassing. But this is basically what I love doing. This is what the poetry and painting are all about, and the best way to do them in a public space instead of an art cave while connecting with people, honoring them in the way art is about at its best.
Ideas in arts and
dreams in life—shaping hearts and
letting fly free minds.
There’s a Russian doll idea here. If I have enough faith and focus to say ok, look, this is what I have to offer the world of my soul, and I’m going to make my art as hard and well as I can and hustle and see what happens, believing that things will be ok, appreciating how they already are—then that creates the possibility that I can hone my craft, creates the self-fulfilling prophecy of self-actualization.
And part of the message of the art is that very idea. So success as an idea is a social contagion in the same way that failure can be. Because the example validates the idea. Provided the truth of the message and my faith in it are Wilde enough to succeed.
What This Means
I think this means I have to focus on developing the butterfly painting good/portraits of peace service idea in an intuitive, active way, by buying paint/supplies and making interactive art in public spaces around London.
This is going to be embarrassing. I should not buy paint. I should not make messes in public spaces. I should not tell strangers they are beautiful and I want to paint them.
Oh, well. I thought singing at an open mic below my new hostel nest last night would be embarrassing since I hadn’t sung for two months. But I got my free drink and friends out of the deal. They didn’t notice my mistakes because they didn’t know my song. Instead they invited me to sing at another open mic this week. (I am plotting to also read poetry and paint other performers there.)
That is not one thing. I am bad at one-thinging. This is a form of self-sabotage. Thus, my number one priority right now is to hone and focus on one thing, to then systematically validate at best, or simply more actively do and intuitively test at worst.
Probably this is not one thing because I am struggling to admit that I just want to paint. I think painting is silly and impractical. I write compulsively too, and think of myself first as a writer. I like how musicians exercise soft power the best, I think it’s intimate, beautiful, and brilliant. I am worried I can’t make a living as a visual artist, because I don’t know anyone who does. But none of those things are reasons to not show up to recognizing the desire—I am dying to paint, all I want to do is paint, if I could paint every day that would be a good life—honing it into a goal by doing, and trying and failing and learning and doing some more.