Saturday, January 31, 2015

Belated Flowering Nose Day post

Here it is already past Flowering Nose Day, and I just haven't had time to post anything here.
What I was afraid would happen has happened.  Seth's memory has grown dimmer; the grief that attended his death has become less, and we have moved on to other things.  As Robert Frost said in a poem called "Out, Out--"
"And they, since they
were not the one dead, turned to their affairs."

However.  In my affairs, I never forget Seth.  When he was small I taught him, and then when he grew up, he taught me.  The letter I am posting below is not only the heart of what he taught me, it is, I believe, the heart of what we have proposed as the meaning of Flowering Nose Day.
And so I give it to you, dear readers who love Seth and his art, as a gift from Seth.
Here it is:

 "Art is not the end in and of itself. Your art is a reflection of the way you view life, and if you EVER settle and decided you have arrived, then you have died. Your art is the most important thing in your life and you must give it everything you have every moment of you waking and sleeping life. It is only a SYMBOL. But it is the symbol you have chosen, so if you do not honor it, everything else in your life will reflect that. Suppose that you fall in love and suddenly you find girlfriend asking for more of your time when you really know you need to be drawing. If you are unable to balance these priorities, it is your life that will suffer. Your art is only a foot print that reflects the whole of your experience. If your art falls it is because you are struggling for a foothold in your spirituality (or whatever label you want to put on it.) If your art succeeds it is because you are connecting with the universe.
  "STYLE. Style will come naturally, but remember that no matter how great or accomplished you become you will never be Seth Fisher, or Alex Ross, or Carmen cannot be. They are are you. They will help you, but ultimately you must accept yourself while simultaneously never being satisfied with yourself. A paradox? Perhaps, but understanding the self requires you to let go of the rules of logic that you have been taught by so many misguided people. You must love yourself WITH your faults...then you may fix them. One by one.
 "I see the heart in your work. But if you want to be a professional comic artist sadly you must balance HEART with POLISH. Polish is what you give your work that tells people, i spent enough time on this that it proves that what i am saying is worth listening to. Ultimately heart is what people are searching for, but they need a method for sorting through the piles of soulless art, and most people choose to look at the time and care and polish put into a work and use that to choose what they will let affect them. Do not confuse polish with heart!!! Polish is the package...heart is the contents of the box. An empty box wrapped in many bows and ribbons is a waste of time for everyone.

"The size of your audience is relevant only as it pertains to your ability to make a living. Perhaps it is too soon, but eventually if you wish to retain your heart you must give up attachment to the idea of fame. People will buy ANYTHING. Your popularity is not a gauge for your worth. Seek to make work that makes people reflect on themselves. Then eventually even that will cease to be relevant. You exist as a human being to be a mirror for others because we (in own minds which we perceive to be imperfect) are unable to see our own perfection. But when we look at others we are able to see our own godliness. You will be the world’s mirror and in turn the world will show you who you are.

"And you thought we were talking about ART?!?!

"You are talking about your eternal soul. Do not let your art EVER cease to be the lifeline that connects you to your humanity. If you let this passion fall away, it will be reflected in every step that you make. You will fall away from the path that you know exists and begin to wander. You know what you need to be it. Every step that you make is painting. Every movement that you make is a brushstroke. YOU are the masterpiece, your comics are just the inevitable footprints that you leave behind you. Take care in every movement that you make in your life. Speak with every vibration of your body. The only way to do this is total honesty. This, i think, you have naturally. DO NOT LOSE IT!!! Wear on your chest proudly those things that you most want to hide. People will flock to you because they are dieing to make peace with these things themselves. Speak only with honesty. This is very will become your base if you let it.

"No matter how inspired you are at any moment, you will forget sometimes. You must use your dedication to your work to remind yourself everyday of why you are struggling. This is a vow you have taken and you should treasure it. It is not a burden it is a gift. You will hate your desk sometimes when you see your friends outside having fun, but this is when you will make progress. This is a spiritual journey. And one day you will suddenly understand the secret (that i should probably not tell you now): all this time your art work was YOU trying to teach YOURSELF something that you already knew (and that we will discuss when you arrive).

"Gather Wisdom.
"See yourself in others, especially those you deplore.
"Give freely.
"Never cause harm to others."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Vicki, I remember Seth more often than not. When I hear a certain song, when I see certain types of art, or remember back to when I was young, he is remembered, and for the rest of my days he will be.