What Have You Seen?

IMG_1902Tell me love, what have you seen today? 

This question depicted in a mural by Shiv Suleman at Clarion Alley in San Fransisco, it popped back into my head as I walked around Greenpoint in Brooklyn today.

The plan was to attend The Other Art Fair, presented by Saatchi Art.  I had been looking forward to it ever since I came across a flyer informing me about this initiative, a few weeks ago.

This weekend was the perfect opportunity to explore the Greenpoint neighborhood, I’d been wanting to do so since quite some time. When a colleague asked me on Friday what I would be doing this weekend, I told her about my plans to attend Book Con 2017 on Saturday and this art fair on Sunday. To this she responded, “What a cultural weekend!”

I’ve been meaning to use my time over the weekend more constructively, in a way that will allow me to explore myself, express myself. I’m committed to fulfilling the promise I’ve made to myself.

So here I was walking to the art fair in Greenpoint, when I came across a sign which said “Open Studios Today”. This sign and the exposed brick building with an entry into an industrial looking passage was sufficient to draw me straight in. I had no idea that what I would find inside there would have such a compelling effect on me.

Inside the building, on many levels, were studios, incubators, workspaces sponsored by Green Desks – an environment so perfect for creative, disruptive, productive work. I walked across many such open studios, of photographers, and designers, and engineers, all of which were inspiring on a whole new level. All I could think was, here are these people, these creators, a different specie of mankind, hustling on this Sunday to showcase their work, their art, their talent, this is where I want to be. As I engaged in conversations with many of them, I learnt of their stories, their effort, their intent, their process, their purpose.

A videographer who shot aerial views of cities and projected them on different materials – a combination of technology and art.
An artist designing LED artwork of reflections and projections from objects and words that forced you to interpret a larger meaning.
A sound engineer producing photos of sounds through different dissections and connections between image and audio.

Later at the art fair, I stood there amidst all this brilliant art work by more than a hundred artists, inspiring more than a thousand minds with millions of thoughts. One such thought arose in my mind – the purpose of art is to evoke thinking, and art need not be associated only with an object, but more importantly with the creator of it, because that’s what we all are – creators.

Just yesterday at a Book Con panel, I met Erin Chack, an editor at Buzzfeed. I didn’t know anything about her prior to that, but something about her personality intrigued me to learn more. At first, I only wanted to go up to her and tell her how much I enjoyed her talk, and maybe get some advice, one writer to another. She was lovely to chat with, and we even connected on Twitter. It was then that I realized that she had just published a book  – This Is Really Happening – a collection of personal essays. If you read the description, I guarantee you that you will want to read the entire book. That’s exactly what I did. A quick kindle purchase, and one essay later, I found myself overwhelmed by emotion, a little happy, a little sad, and most definitely riveted by the candor in her writing. What she did, was create, and it is her creation, her art of words, that I will carry on as I commit myself to creating more.

In this present moment, as I sit to write this post, to document all these thoughts running through my head, of all these experiences in the last couple of days, I realize, I am creating – a story, an experience, a connection. Like I said earlier, we are all creators and therefore, we all have only one responsibility – to create.

So I urge you – dive deep into your soul and produce what is of value to you, because something tells me that it is definitely of value to someone else too. What you create in your life, of your life, can be an inspiration to many others. And that is the real meaning of it all, this art, this creation – to induce thinking, to evoke a purpose, to build a connection.

All you need to do is open your eyes and your mind. Look around you, the answers to the art of life are most often in such accidental stories that you come across as you wander through your own life.

Now tell me love, what have you seen today?

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