I firmly believe in “creative fulfillment”, and that helping others find theirs is the meaning of life. I didn’t know how to start living or succeeding until I deciphered what that term meant to me.
In a timeline driven age — a timeline marred by ads, lost women trying to lure strangers, redundant and vague memes inspiring lemmings to chase similar mediocrity/never change and “cute” societal hashtags that do nothing more than separate us — it’s easy to see why there are over a million suicides per year. ( 1 person every 40 seconds.)
I escaped the womb in ’85 so maybe I grew up in a slightly earlier time when kids had to work for acknowledgement let alone praise, music inspired you to change more than blindly ‘turn up’, black moms looked more like Morgan Freeman instead of Morgan Miller — not afraid to openly sympathize with Marvin Gaye’s father — and images emoted something you couldn’t say, a feeling that resonated with your core.
Somewhere along the line we made a U-turn as a community. Creative fulfillment was replaced with “likes”, temporary dysmorphic satisfaction and routine-driven anxiety. As our news cycles get faster and the appetite for ego consumption inevitably weakens with a surfeit of its taste, it’s also no surprise to see the influx of people yearning for a new depth or purpose. Hopefully found in what they let distract and inspire them.
To further distinguish this article from being a novella version of a quote or rant in your feed, I gathered two artists who personify talent, intuition and industrial strength “flavour” (turning their works into instant aphorisms) to get a glimpse at their process and purpose…and to observe where they find happiness.
WHAT MOVES YOU TO CREATE?
Sara Lioux: The urge to create has been with me for all of my life. I believe my unconscious drives my creativity, and has a heavy influence on what I make. I draw visual inspiration from the world around me in the forms of patters, colours and compositions (both natural and man-made), and I interpret it into my work in ways I find meaningful.
The human brain has the tendency to seek connections and find patterns, and I believe this extends not only to psychological connections but to visual ones as well. The desire to replicate this beauty is part of being human, and I find the process very therapeutic.
Raphael Souris: I’ve never had one particular reason to create. It came to me naturally, I have always have a more or less vivid imagination. My everyday experiences drive me to create, what I see, people I meet. My travels are a big source of inspiration: the overall experience of a new country and new culture. Thankfully, I am just at the beginning of a long creative road.
WHEN ARE YOU EVER SATISFIED WITH SOMETHING YOU CREATE?
Sara: When I feel like I have created the “perfect” composition, it generally happens through trial and error. This is why a lot of my work is collage-based and it is easy to manipulate images and add colour. When I have found the right balance of colour and composition it appeals to an unconscious element within me and I experience a feeling of gratification.
Raphy: I don’t think I will ever be satisfied with anything I create. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I create but there has not been an instance where I have been truly and 100% satisfied with one of my creations. Actually, I don’t think it is recommended to be satisfied with your work, because I feel that when you are satisfied, you stop trying to improve your work. Satisfaction with my work would not give me the push I need to experience new things, progress and acquire new skills.
WHO ARE THREE PEOPLE YOU VIEW AS “MUSES” FOR YOUR WORK / AMBITIONS?
Raphy: I don’t really have muses, but more like examples, people I look up to. From famous photographers, writers, painters…I admire them for their creativity, raw talent and hard work.
Sara: I wouldn’t say that my muses are people in the more conventional sense, although I do find inspiration in other ways. As a lot of my work comes from somewhere deep within me, I would say that my unconscious is a muse as it drives my creativity and I am often inspired by my dreams. These interests began when I discovered the work of Carl Jung and his theories on dreams and the unconscious, and as a lot of my work is based around this , so I would add Jung to my list of muses. I also see the world around me as a muse, particularly the repetitions, shapes and colours found in nature.
THREE SONGS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR ART THUS FAR?
Sara: My work is quite dreamy, and when creating I often listen to music with no or very few lyrics. It’s the sounds of the music which boosts my creativity, and as much of my work is digital, I find that digitally produced sound accentuates my process well. I’ll say these songs, because they are reminiscent of dreamy landscapes and have an ethereal quality to them….Phaeleh’s Afterglow, Ask the Mountains by Vangelis and Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb.
Raphy: I’ll have to go with the whole Woodstock era. It is truly an inspiration, and Jimmy Hendrix’s Little Wing is a real creative boost for me. On a more recent note, I’ll say Wait for the Moment by Vulfpeck and Kendrick Lamar’s Alright. The first is more funky with touches of electronic music. I love the mix between the styles, and that is how I see my work, a blend of styles and influences. As for Kendrick Lamar, I just like his music to be honest. ________________________________________________________________________________
Whether you’re inspired by creativity on your respective platform or driven innovation in your industry, as long as you can find a purposeful challenge in your role, you’re set. Surrounding yourself with others who support you nad have like mentalities is vital. Of course you can’t and shouldn’t seal yourself off from conflict in a bubble. Though you’ll find that you need less answers out of life, that outside opinions matter less and that happiness can be cultivated on a whim.
The problem of “purpose” is subjective, and for one to know where to place their “purpose” can be tricky. Sometimes a heartbreaking minefield of unexpected turns, impatience, self-doubt, leaps of faith and millions of other pitfalls down different rabbit holes. What I’m trying to say is that wherever you find that void-filling gladness that resonates within, run with it. Innovation will come because it is the by-product of time invested, genuine love for what you do and a fruitful imagination and disciplined process.
With every image and exhibition, Sara and Raphy have allowed me a look at their own purposes and the honour of watching them grow as people and artists.
No one can tell you how to live, but that shiver you get when something moves you is key. Find your shiver.
By Eddie Starship Pain