Friday, February 27, 2009
Old friends and talking art
For the last couple years I've been occasionally running into an old friend who, at one time, I felt a strong connection with but, for various reasons, I drifted away from for several years. He's always been an artist and always known it, and the fact that it's such an integral, honest part of who he is is one of the things I've always respected about him. I, on the other hand, was raised in a culture where artistic passion was considered a severe moral deficiency and character flaw. While I knew pretty much all my life that I had an artist inside me, I was in serious denial about it back then, and it wasn't until after we had drifted apart that I really started to get past that and seriously explore the artistic aspects of who I am. While I've always known him as an artist, he hasn't always known me as an artist. In fact, I haven't always known me as an artist, either, so I'm a different person than either of us knew back then. Today he's a successful, well-educated professional artist. I'm a self-trained amateur art photographer with a few little successes and a full-time non-artistic day job, still figuring out how to let art be a significant part of my life when that life is half over. So, while it's always really good to see him, it's a little awkward too. The things that consume my attention and passion these days are things in which he's an experienced expert and I'm a beginning amateur, and it's intimidating. Still, we talked yesterday, a little about life and a little about art, and it was good. I've never been a good socializer, and I'm not easy to be friends with, but maybe we'll connect again.