The Method Makers
An Insightful Conversation With Our Brother, Akira April 19 2018
A few months ago we had this creative epiphany of how we could redevelop TMM’s platform.
We’re still in the very early stages of development, but our goal is to create a site for folks to learn about amazing creators that haven’t been heavily published by mainstream or hypestream media.
The idea is to repurpose our current site to build this vision of highlighting the purveyors of low-brow culture, or what I’ve began to define as the sub-hype.
We want our site to be a place where people come to find out about creators that are making meaningful, amazing work that fly below the radar of “Hypebeast” status.
Here's the post:
The past two mornings I've been getting up and putting some of these artist interviews I've been doing recently through social media and translating them into Interview posts which you can find here:
Great to hear youre on the creative tip. Its food for the soul. I will check out the links today. Lets put our heads together
On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 3:29 PM, Neal Hilo <email@example.com> wrote:
Let’s build like voltron
Good morning. So I checked out the links. I enjoyed the latest interview with Paul Escolar. It was a nice introduction with learning of a new artist and the work. I liked the work in particular and it made sense discovering Paul's influences - Mike Giant and McGee.
Not to sound vain, but I enjoyed reading my post also, and listening to the Ted Talk with the introduction of the typical artist struggle with making a living that you wrote up. It was a great collaboration of elements. I hope you continue with more of this, which sounds like you are in the process of.
(Self Portrait By Akira Beard)
Literally confronting myself in the mirror, mentally and emotionally, drawing what I saw and beginning the path with knowing myself. This naturally evolved with slowly rotating the lens outwardly, using the insight developed from the self portraits, towards the immediate world surrounding me. Culture.
(Mother Theresa by Akira Beard)
(Ronald by Akira Beard)
Anyone alive absorbs content from their day to day life. Going to work, being at home and watching movies or being on the internet, driving in a car, having a social life. Similar to painting from the image looking back at me in the mirror, I next started painting this broader image of my societal experience. Media, pop-culture, job, etc. I explored 'Culture' artistically for more than 5 years, and came to a point asking is there more to life. Soon after the question was answered from the life experience of drastic life change. My lover left me, I left our apartment, I lost ties with the gallery which I had the longest history with where the director and my ex became a couple, I lost friends from feeling betrayed, I was fired from my job.
(Remember by Akira Beard)
All events taking place back to back in less than six months time. It was like a house of cards collapsing, which was my life. Not to this extreme, but I've been there before.Who hasn't? It was different in this instance however, where I had the realization in the moment of all of this loss where in the past I always handled loss/change by avoiding it. I knew where that path leads confidentally because i had been thru it enough times. But what about the road less traveled? The road going towards the source of the emotional pain, the despair, the fear that comes from loss? It was a foreign land which I had no conception of. So out of desperation, with not much more to lose I journeyed towards it all. Immediately the road to spirituality opened its doors.
(5 by Akira Beard)
All sorts of beautiful auspicious events took place and I made art out of it all, as if taking photographs on a journey that took place over four years. So beyond the constructs of 'Culture', I discovered 'Nature'. Culture builds walls, has dead ends, Nature is boundless, beyond. It is simultaneously at the root of it all. The nature of being, the nature of death, the nature of life, the nature of mind.
(Redhead by Akira Beard)
During Culture, I didn't even have the point of reference for such language as these slogans, at least not consciously. My consciousness expanded tremendously from life experiences where I gave up expectation, preconception, pragmatism, rationality and dived into uncertainty. I lived without a job, without actual income, without a home. This eventually became a bit extreme where I had no ID where my license and passport expired, on top of having no money, no home, no phone. This in turn began the next development in the traveling of an upward spiral to work towards becoming grounded in living and re-integrate into the common world. From this I realized I had traveled a full circle, arriving right back where i started (metaphorically speaking).
(Full Circle by Akira Beard)
The awesomeness was however, that I was an entirely different person. Ironically its as if I had returned a wealthy man to the home I before lived impoverished. The irony is where I had no money, little materials at this point to show for it. The wealth was rather a deeply personal one. And starting out again, making art, I no longer had to leave my front doorstep. Thru now a process of recovery from having lived as I had, the most current peeling of the onion towards what might lay at the core has me discovering the subconscious.
(8 More by Akira Beard)
And already from this short process I have discovered the subconscious having a superficial layer, the personal, and a deeper layer that is the product of evolutional memory which is called 'the collective unconscious'. Some even call it 'God'. The subconscious has been compared to a tape recorder that memorizes all experience. Its counterpart, the conscious mind would be overwhelmed to take all the world in at every second. It must be selective, ignoring and forgetting much of all that is happening or else a person would be so overwhelmed they couldn't function. But the subconscious retains it all. This is why under hypnosis, a person can recall minute details of a past event. A lack of balance between this harmony of the conscious and unconscious results in mental illness, usually neurosis and extreme forms psychosis. The therapists job is a restoration of the balance with the two opposing hemispheres. The language of the subconscious is abstract, cryptic. It is the language of dreams, and like a loving intimate friend, finds it's duty to poke when it is aware the friend is going south in their life. These dreams are sometimes obvious to understand in their symbols and meanings, how they relate to our awake conscious lives and current dilemmas.
(9 More by Akira Beard)
Other times however, the dreams can be so far away from any relevance at all. These are beyond the personal relationship of our existential world experience, and are the product of the collective unconscious. Two individuals existing on different sides of the planet will not share the dream symbols of the personal unconscious, but can/do share those of the collective unconscious. And like all subjects before arriving at this point, I have used art as the vehicle of exploration/expression into such discoveries.
Self, Culture, Nature, has arrived at the psyche. I don't have a title for this chapter yet, and forgive me it gets a bit abstract in describing it. This is because its current and still very fresh. Its a common goal, ideal for an artist to achieve a universality in their work, meaning it crosses the boundaries of culture where many people can engage with it.
The Head, The Heart, And The Spirit March 23 2018
Independent creators have dealt with the struggle of if their work is good enough because it doesn't sell. Thankfully most of the talented ones that we still work with have continued to lead with their hearts. And through much of life's experiences (pain, mental and physical suffering, with starvation included) have been able to sustain the waves of where life has brought them to this point.
We've always been very curious about creativity - where it comes from, and what inspires it. In a previous Ted Talks with Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat, Pray, Love) she talked about how the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans believed that creativity was a gift from the gods. The fact that some divine creative spirit was channeling their energy through the artist.
(Start at 6:16 if you want to get straight to what we're talking about, but the whole talk is pretty great.)
When an artist would create, and it was wonderfully composed - the masses would praise the gods for channeling the work through the artist. When the work was terrible, the artist was not shunned for creating bad work but rather the gods may not have been channeling energy through them at that time and the translation was off at some point during the process.
The talk goes on further to discuss the harsh reality that most creatives are faced with today where creativity is individualized in that the artist is the sole creator, and that there is no divinity involved in the process. In this way an artist is left at the helm to "swallow the sun" and take the burden and stress of being judged completely by their creativity.
Jonathan By Akira Beard March 30 2016
“I’m not just talking about my wife, I’m talking about my life. I can’t seem to get that through to you. I’m not just talking about one person, I’m talking about everybody, I’m talking about form, I’m talking about content, I’m talking about interrelationships. I’m talking about God, the devil, hell, heaven.
There are a number of things that I love about drawing, but what i’ve grown to love most is it’s simplicity. How it can be done anytime, anywhere. I don’t even have to bring my own materials because wherever I find myself, there is likely to be paper and pen or pencil. Beyond that, all that is required is an interest to draw.
I’ve done it from nearly the very beginning. Drawing pictures before I learned to write the alphabet. And between then and now, regardless of every circumstance I found myself in I never abandoned it for once. I feel lucky thinking about it sometimes. Because there were so many situations where I was on the edge of leaving this practice of creativity. Expression. Falling into those external experiences that took me to places which felt far outside to myself… both high and low. The polarity of ecstasy such as falling in love, and hardship where I’ve almost died. Both easily could distract anyone, understandably, from such things as making pictures. But not I. I honestly can’t tell you why, but I made pictures of those experiences also. While they were occurring. We all go through our lives going through any number of changes with time. Throughout it all, we are vulnerable to a cycle of gain and loss. I’m no exception to anyone when looking back on life, and reminiscing on what any that once was. I’ve lost plenty, and will lose more. Its just the way reality is. Yet one thing that has remained throughout is the act of creativity. Its a blessing in the face of that bleak reality that I come to hear from others in their confidentiality so too often. That is, if you took away the daily obligation of making a living, there isn’t much more meaning in waking each day and going out into the world other than wanting to feel stimulated in whatever vice tickles one’s fancy. But with the creative practice of drawing alone, do I experience an absolute autonomy. I don’t need anyone’s approval for the motivation to make marks on paper. Love for the act alone is the guiding force. If I were in prison, or in absolute solitude in some desert, I know with unshaken certainty I would be doing just the same as it is being done now.. putting pen to paper.
I struggle with motion sickness wether in car, on boat, or in an airplane. I recently went from coast to coast by train however, and found myself writing and drawing from necessity that comes in moments of insight and inspiration that I dare not waste. Even if it means feeling a bit nauseated. This wasn’t the case however. After almost fifty hours, I was hours away from reaching my destination in California when just on the Nevada border a small group of young men in matching grey sweatsuits, yellow envelopes, and small garbage bags entered the train. It was obvious if not by their uniformity, that by their energy they were of an accessional type. They were freshly released ex convicts. Just before this, an attractive young woman was on her cell phone talking loud enough where I could hear her talking to a friend on the phone how she felt so alone on this trip. Then 2 of these felons occupied the seat in front of her, and her voice lowered completely. It was overtaken by these 2 men, having an entertaining conversation which the whole coach could here. One of them was a gang member based on the contents of his speech. Although physically intimidating, I felt scared in the slightest for the impression I received from them was a joyous one. They appeared happier than anyone on this trip on our coach car, exuberant maybe with their new found freedom. If I had some alcohol in me, I could see myself overcoming any intimidation and joining them. But I kept sober in my seat, and began to draw. Although drawing, the focus was on what one of the convicts was saying aloud on a cell phone that one of the passengers was kind enough to offer. I also thought about the poor girl that sat behind them, quiet suddenly and hiding until her stop was to come. Although not a photograph by far, playing with the moment produced a drawing from it.