I have been curious to share this story and experience, as I had already heard of many others going through something similar, only that this story begins far away from my home, my family, friends, and detached from any regular activities.
A few years ago a number of 26 artists from all over the world were chosen from a list of almost one thousand applicants, to attend an Art and Meditation Retreat in the forestal reserve of Himmawan, in the Northern part of Thailand, far away from any city or town, in a forest reserve donated to the Theravada Buddhist Monks who are an integral part of the Thai culture.
The idea was to spend over 2 weeks in total isolation, no cell phones, no TV, no radio, no social media crap, just practicing some morning yoga and a very disciplined routine of around 8 hours of deep meditation every day, at a rate of one to two hours per session, stopping only to eat and help out the tasks all monks do to maintain the monastery in top conditions, back to meditation, falling each day deeper and deeper into silence.
EVERYONE SHOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS, AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIVES!
The interesting thing is that we were all encouraged to develop an Art project, something that would be the result of experiencing this prolonged internal silence and inner peace, as a token of appreciation to the monks who led and helped us every step of the way. Among the artists, you could find dancers, sculptors, opera singers, marionette makers, musicians, photographers, all coming from so very distant parts of the world, and each and everyone developed amazing projects and cool results!
To my surprise, I came up with an idea that I have had issues with for a long time. When you review the history of photography, only a VERY FEW selected artists have really made great and unforgettable pictures of flowers. Why? Simple, as flowers are so pretty, to begin with, it is relatively easy to produce a "standard" picture that looks phenomenal to the shooter, but in reality, they are just images of pretty flowers. At least that is how I see it.
I decided to embark into an exploration about what can I do with images of flowers that MIGHT have some relevance or at least a different outlook. I took very simple images of amazing flowers, using a painter’s white canvas as background while shooting in the amazing valley where the monastery is built, those flowers clearly having the same colors of the tropical flowers we can find in South Florida and the Caribbean, set myself to explore the possibility of geometric relations within flowers, and eventually ended up with a set of images where flowers vanish and only petals and petal mathematical mutations popped out, sometimes looking like mandalas, giving birth to a portfolio I initially called " The Secret life of Flowers" as I was surprised at how many unusual geometries lie within a flower, but eventually, during meditation, I re-named the whole thing "Petallika, a set of Petal Mutations”.
Years have passed after I returned from Thailand, back to my life and work, and I was able to present some of these large-scale Petal mutations in different gallery shows, starting with the West Palm Beach Art Fair and then other shows around Miami. Feedback from other artists, graphic designers, industrial designers, interior designers,etc and their comments and observations led my process to REALLY consider a way to commercialize those images WITHOUT compromising its Fine Art content.
This is the core foundation for the online Store, WEARABLE ARTIFACTS, where women will be able to find unique, timeless, classic top-quality Art-to-Wear pieces of casual yet elegant, sophisticated clothing, plus some home accessories, all printed with the Petallika Collection.
The original images will still be for sale in galleries and with Certified Limited Edition Series for Art Collectors, and the general public will still have access to some small-format posters for some of these images, but the true experience is to wear something unique ArtWear that will not be found anywhere else. We are still working on the final marketing and business strategies, but in my head, it is all done!
So, from Meditation to Creativity to Business, I can certainly attest that the process works, and it all starts with giving us the chance to be in silence, even if only for a few minutes every day. When was the last time you tried, really tried, to do this??
#meditation #creativity #business #ventures #creativeprocess