Thursday, September 3, 2015

The "Illusive" Muse

I have been blessed for 15 years to have a place in the fine art world, sitting and collaborating with many talented people,  and I am just as miffed as I have been since day 1.  I've never dared called myself a "Muse".  I would rather the people that choose to use me to inspire them for their individual creativity bestow the honor of that prestigious label upon me.  I am having a wonderful,4 yr, ethereal run recently with an artist I treasure as both a creative equal and a dear friend.  Andre Kohn, a revered painter and successful gallery owner in Scottsdale, AZ, inspired me to think about the role I play in our process as we create collaborative works for his gallery.  He uses the coveted word "Muse" in his "musings" to articulate the contribution of my specific talents he implements into his creative process to create the work he displays and sells.  I am satisfied and inspired when I complete a project with him, but I reflect for days afterword about the praise given.  I wonder if the meaning is "elusive" because I cannot fathom using it to describe my effort.  Then I think about the other word, "Illusive"....I become obsessed.  I look up the difference and am revealed the following:

"Elusive vs. Illusive:
An elusive fairy is one you can't catch, but an illusive one was never really there at all. It was just an illusion!

Anything elusive is hard to get a hold of. It eludes you. Existentialism, love, and small rodents are among things people find elusive. If you can't understand what "nothingness" is, find that special someone, or catch the little mouse who eats your cake at night, then those things are elusive.

Something illusive, on the other hand, is not real, even if it seems to be. The word illusive is used mostly in literature, where we find our favorite illusions. If flickering candlelight is casting scary shadows on the wall, don't worry, those are illusive villains. They aren't really there.

An elusive fairy is one you can't catch, but an illusive one was never really there at all. It was just an illusion!"

There it is!  My clarification in all of Mr. Webster's glory!  I think about it for weeks, months, and wonder how to put it into the written word and , most importantly, embody into my calling.

It has been almost 2 years since I've written.  I needed the time to be still and really think about what it was I wanted to say, the voice in which I wanted to say it in, and how I wanted it to effect the people who were listening.  Sometimes it is good to reflect and to regroup.  I realized the "voice" in which I was speaking in was attention grabbing, yet lacking in a deep impact to the soul.  Wry humor and wit has it's place and some of the things I came up with were vastly entertaining, but I found as I was growing and changing, the scope of my opinions and the spiritual connection to what I do and several artistic endeavors around me were not being represented as fully as they should.

These days I am in the unique position of still being called upon to be the vessel of many people's creativity and to act as an important element in the collaborative process.  I am also blessed to have the opportunity to work with a wise and graceful mentor and team of people who have inspired and impacted me greatly in the direction I am traveling these days.  It is with this guidance that I believe I will be led to my highest potential and reach a level of satisfaction with myself and the way I navigate my career and connect to others.

 Of course, beauty is a desirable asset. One that is so highly coveted by people that they are seeking the secrets to the fountain of youth with rabid gusto. They are pouring over fashion magazines and TMZ, embarking on exhausting health and exercise regimes, and spending millions on surgical procedures. I feel beauty is a legacy, it is a gift that comes to some by happenstance. Good genes, a spark in the eyes, a tilt of the head, a pout of the lip, and even the arch of the back, can hold the gaze and inspire even the most hardened of creative hearts. Something deeper is what holds the attention longer and keeps an artist inspired. I truly believe the difference in people and the individual spirit they possess is what will set apart the "Model" from the "Muse"

I have seen many different souls set out to inspire and conquer the artistic population. Some try it out for a bit and move on to other callings, while  others stay for a long repast and produce a body of work that spreads out like gentle seasons over the years.  There is a beauty to an individual growing and changing over the years.  To put the wisdom and experience they acquire in their journey to good use by marrying this with a mystery or grace is a heady process.  It is very subtle and quiet.  Very often people will misconstrue "impact" with "shock".  You see it over and over in society today.  The raise of a hemline and the lowering of the standards seem to be the norm on TV, in pop culture, and in the world overall these days.  I find I am saddened by the fate of the quality of "mystery" in today's culture.

I cannot say I have the answers or the secrets, but I can say that I see more power in the hint of something to come or the anticipation of a secret that is about to be told.  Sometimes it is just the twinkle of the eye or the sly curve of the mouth.  The success to longevity or a return is to always keep something left to the imagination.  In a profession as "naked" as figure modeling, it is especially challenging.  We leave ourselves so open and vulnerable to the artisans we are called to inspire.  We are all different.  Young and old, large or diminutive, male or female, we are all striving to make an impact or create that one masterpiece.  We are so fortunate that there is a huge need for diversity in the arts, otherwise there would be no need to question or challenge if everything was the same.

Things will always change and there will always be a need to question and create, however, the lasting force of mystery and the idea of the unattainable will be the driving force in the creation of any art form. That is why, when labeled by my artistic peers, I choose to be the "Illusive Muse", rather then the "Elusive Muse".  Weather that comes from a person, a lyric, a thought, or a visual, there will always be the perfect balance of the glorious chase of capturing "beauty".  A merry chase she will put us all through, indeed.  

And with mystery as her greatest champion, how can we all lose?