Sometimes you need it. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes it’s six and one half and you know the saying.
The processes I’m interested in are the ones of creation; the ones from which form the aspects of a world populated by manifesters. Creators with intentions and ambitions.
The physical plane is one in which we place the materializations of our thoughts. That which we devise and implement comes into reality; exists as an artifact in the world. These things live alongside us as art, tools, keepsakes, homes, vehicles… all of that which is the anchor of our expectation into the world.
You know this. I know this. We know this.
Yet somehow we as a whole are building a culture that is more and more unaware of process.
Most of us don’t know how cars are made.
Most of us don’t know how cars even work.
Most of us don’t know how jewelry is made.
Most of us don’t know what jewels actually are.
Most of us don’t know where our food comes from.
Most of us couldn’t grow our own food if we wanted to.
Most of us are lost when it comes to process.
This is the world we’ve built. As convenience goes up, most of the process is hidden. As comfort is increased, most of the process isn’t even discussed.Something about this rubs me the wrong way.
Call me curious, call me stubbornly self reliant, call me utterly fascinated by creation, but I want to know.
I want to know where the food comes from and how to process it myself.
I want to know where the materials come from that go into my art.
I want to know what studies my mentors did to find wisdom.
I want to know because process is where the value is.
Process Is Where
The Value Is.
Yet somewhere along the way we adopted a “means justify the ends” attitude and the entire thing got obscured from the eyes of the ones that purchase, hold, and interact with these physical manifestations. And that rubs me the wrong way.
But then I realized a funny thing, thanks to a conversation with @Matt Kr.
I obscure my process as well.
I produce art and power for people that want and need it, and yet the process, where all of the value is, gets hidden. I don’t do it on purpose, but in all honesty, I find myself at a loss for words. I find myself unsure what to share and how. I’m so close to it that I forgot to make it felt and known with the totemic work I do.
Yep. Rubs me the wrong way, too.
I’ve shared the physical process, sure. I’ve even got videos on youtube from years back when I filmed casting pours and stone setting. But if you just wanted the thing, you can get that mass produced from China. You don’t need an expert artisan when companies make low quality copies for a tenth of the price.
Sadly, a lot of people are going that route. And there’s something ironic and disappointing in a “quality knife” that goes dull, a “power amulet” made of plastic, and “fine jewelry” made of gold plated pot metal. But if that’s what you want, those are easy to find.
The value is in the process.
It’s in the study of the skills.
It’s in the research of the concepts.
It’s in the materials sourcing.
It’s in the mind of the craftsperson.
It’s in the heart of the artist.
It’s in the hours they take on the phone with you to make sure this thing is going to be what you actually want, and it’s in the times they aren’t satisfied with something most people won’t notice, so they redo it anyways. It’s in the feeling they hold while they’re working on your piece, and it’s in the energy that goes into your work where it can be felt, not seen. It’s in all of the places that mass produced knock offs can’t hold.
I think I assumed everyone knew that.
Or at least I figured it was obvious. And when I went to tell the story I kept ending up at the craftsmanship process, and left out the eighteen years of research, meditation, study, exploration, and apprenticeships that feed my art.
When I watch masters at work I can feel the gravity of their hours invested; the pull of something deeper than paint and canvass or wood and oil. Deeper than the gemstones in their golden seats, where eyes can’t penetrate and some piece of the artist lives.
I wonder at it all.
Will my art be valued for all of this that goes in undercover?
Will I be seen for the persistent commitment to creation?
Will the story of why I create be felt in this work?
The answers are obscure. It seems like it’s my job to share it. To tell it. Some resistance to egocentricity convinces me that the “art will speak for itself”. Or maybe that’s my own uncertainty around doing the story justice? Can a lifetime of digging into the deep parts of cultures left shallow by most be shared well? I wonder if it’s actually someone else’s place to tell my story?
I think I tried, but shortly after decided it was better to not.
You’d think I could tell this story better.
I’d think I could as well.
Somehow though the full breadth of what goes into the things I create, from conversations to creative works, totems to talismans, systems to shrines… somehow it feels bigger than words. But then I do it a disservice; and you, by not giving it a go.
In each thing I put into the world are layers of meaning, attention, and intention. I cannot not do this. These are complete systems; tools that come fully loaded from start to finish. Art that speaks of more than just ink on wood. I do this for you, whomever you are.
So here’s to sharing process, the good kind.
I’ll start practicing, as I hope you will do, too.
And if we falter, let’s not hesitate to ask.