I’ve recently been going through a personal branding exercise, with the excellent Golden Notebook. One of the elements of it is to find out what your archetypes are. Mine came out as The Artist, The Alchemist and The Explorer. The archetypes symbolise our core human desires and I have to say those three do pretty much sum me up. It’s always funny how something you haven’t thought about before can feel so right when you do.
The Alchemist is the archetype I’m going to focus on today. The Alchemist is the master of transformation, taking something that feels worthless or unwanted and makes it meaningful and powerful. This is what I’ve been doing all along and hadn’t made the connection. I take everyday materials like maps, things that are unloved and unused and turn them into to beautiful and magical artworks, the very definition of alchemy.
The goal of the Alchemist is to affect transformation and make dreams come true, so true. My reasons for wanting to make art have always been about transformation and the desire to affect people.
The gift of the Alchemist is to transport others to somewhere magical or different from their day-to-day lives and that dear reader is exactly why I make art, why I love looking at art and what I want people to feel when they look at my art.
There’s a feeling I get when I see an amazing an art work, film, piece of contemporary dance or what ever form the art takes, it happens in my gut and it is truly magical. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it’s something magical. It’s like a feeling has been trapped or captured and that piece of art is channelling it directly to me. It’s something so ephemeral that it’s quite hard to put into words.
And that’s what I want for you when you look at my work, that you feel something magical and ephemeral, that you can’t really put into words. For me when I’m making work I know when the piece is finished because of the feeling I get. I spend a lot of time looking at the work and moving things around and then suddenly it feels right and that’s it, it’s finished.
I don’t start with a thought in mind or an idea I start with the desire for a feeling and everything flows from there.
Once the piece is finished then ideas and thoughts come to me about the piece, but ultimately the feeling or emotion is most important. I think of myself as an entomologist of feelings, capturing them like butterflies and trapping them so many people can enjoy them.
Have you ever found out what your archetypes are? Do share below if you have.
Thanks for reading and please do share if you know anyone who might be interested.