I’ve got a lot to say here to my friends, family and fans on Facebook and beyond. I’m going through some major changes lately. No, I’m not doing anything extreme like a sex-change or joining a religious cult. I’m here to stand up for something even greater. You may get turned off or become enlightened by this very real side of me I have kept bottled up. But I can promise I won’t go Charlie Sheen on you, so here it goes. Warning, this is my longest post yet, over 1,800 words. But you might enjoy it!
Was there ever a time in your life where you have to re-examine your priorities, your actions, and just about everything in your life? It’s a very interesting time to live now, the world’s changing a little quicker, the climate’s changing, everything’s changing and there probably is more discomfort in the last few years due to economic, political and spiritual forces fighting in a Roman lion’s den.
So during this change, you have to adjust and reorganize your life to the way you see fit. Things you did 10 years or even 10 days ago may not suit your lifestyle anymore. It’s sad to let things go. But it’s getting frustrating at bad habits that’s tough to let go. Do you take your ego to the throat and beat it to the ground to gain control? But it’s worse to hold onto things that have little or no meaning in your life anymore. Nature always changes, why not adapt your living patterns from nature? Even all you city dwellers still live in nature, it’s just a few skyscrapers have gotten in the way, that’s all.
So why am I writing this letter? I need something in writing to express my views. I want to look back and see what the hell I was really thinking? It’s time for me to focus on what’s working and what I need to focus on. I’m looking inward and not liking certain things going on so I must be proactive in order to move into the direction of a better life. I’ll be 40 in June. I’m not going through the usual midlife crises. But a spiritual midlife crises is more accurate. They say, “time to grow up” or “raise a family”, or you must have this or that. I have never felt like I was mainstream growing up and it’s been very hard trying to fit in as an adult. I’m tired of trying to fit in. At least to others’ expectations. Now I will respect and nurture my individuality as I have never before. I must for my sanity and own survival. I feel like I’m entering my second childhood, like a clean slate is coming. Like what I’m about to do will finally become real to me. I’ve always been more spiritual than religious. I embrace new thought more than old religious thought for example. Maybe I feel it’s time to really redefine ourselves. Appreciate the present moment. Feel grattitude. Live for your own expectation. It’s the perfect time, why not start now? Human history is changing. Maybe looking at the abyss of the unknown is a bit negative, perhaps embracing the abyss is more positive. And enjoying the moment is getting tougher all the time. Society is always distracting us from paying attention to the present, to our own values. “You must behave like this, buy that, do this, not that, etc…” Are we becoming cyborgs? I’m trying to not only remain human but to grow more humanly each day! Otherwise there’s no hope in my opinion. You must love yourself to love others. But first step in change is becoming aware of your insecurities. I’ll be damned if I’m the exact same way at 60. The body may age, but the spirit and hunger for a beautiful life I hope will grow stronger. Change is not suicide, stagnation is.
I want to tap into the dreams I once had, to find out what kind of art I’m suppose to create and share with the world. Frankly I feel out of touch much of the time because I don’t like watching the news, hanging out in malls and so on. There’s a price to pay when you’re not living the American lifestyle. But I’ve always seen myself something more, so I don’t mind being viewed as some kind of outcast. I could care less about expectations. I have way to many of my own to deal with. Sometimes I felt that I have wasted so much valuable time painting stuff that is not truly me. I was never about selling out, but painting what your heart desires and hoping that others can relate to. Frankly, I’ve had little support from my own family for years and I have paid the price. It’s only recently where I’ve reconnected to certain people of my past that I’ve appreciated and reconciled certain aspects of my past. I know I’ll never be more than 5’2 and be a model so everything can be handed to me. Well, maybe for one day, I would like to experience major ego gratification. But I can’t change what has been given to me. Once I accept that, I can sleep better at night. But I’ve learned when you do stay true to your ideals, you do risk losing most people from your past. It’s a sad fact. I wish I could have retained everyone who loved me, but for some reason people evolve and change. Maybe I need to learn what unconditional love is all about, I’m not blaming anyone. I’m an artist by vocation and have to be selfish.
Any creative profession requires more ego, individuality and selfishness than most others. It could literally kill you if you’re not strong enough. Selfish is not a dirty word if you use it right. You have to take care of your basic needs like food, shelter, income. It is all about you, but never forget that you’re still part of the human race too. Most artists also have an unselfish side too. They want to create some great art to create beauty in this world. I appreciate all the love that my friends and family have for me. I need love like you do. I need that element in my life very much, even if I don’t express it too often. I want to continue doing my art, as I see signs that it’s evolving into something more beautiful than I could have imagined. It’s worth doing, I think about it all the time, even when I don’t do it. I don’t like the term “marketing”, yet artists must do this to earn income so they can live a more fullfilling life, and not in a job where they don’t belong.
Being an American artist has a more negative stigma than most other countries. If America wants to be a true superpower again, it must embrace change, not revert to 1950’s ideology, conservative and religious persecution. Maybe it’s because I really value freedom of expression. It’s a human need, not an American value. Comedian Sara Silverman had a great bit about Martin Luther King saying “I have a fucking dream too Mr. King!” I love that line because it’s not about shitting on someone’s principals, it’s about creating your own. I don’t believe we’re meant to be sheep, yet our actions may say otherwise. I’m not saying I’m above all that, but I’m starting to respect my own values, maybe you should respect your own too? Then we can crap on everyone else’s! (just kidding?)
Above all personally, I wish America would stop cutting arts out of schools and embrace artists and the creative economy. I wish artists had the respect like Europe or even Canada have for their artists as a respected profession. To me, “starving” artist is as offensive as the “n” word. It does no good and keeps the negative stereotype alive. It’s time to kill it, and that means artists must start standing up more and embrace the good we do to make this world beautiful. The recent recession has shaken the bad apples from the tree. Now it’s time to replant and grow more trees.
So what I could predict for a few personal changes, is that for one, I will not continue after April 30 to have a Facebook account. I’m shutting it down because though I enjoy everyone’s company, it’s too much distraction and I have wasted a lot of time for my lifestyle. It’s not the best forum for my ideals. I’m not sure what response to get from everyone, either fuck off or I’ll see you on the other side? I enjoy relationships with substance, not shallow ones. To me, Facebook has become all about a popularity contest. I never liked that “high school” mentality. It’s time to refocus my energies that will benefit my life and my friends/fans. You can email or contact me anytime, I want to be one of those artists who are very accessable. Some artists don’t want the time or day with anyone. But I’m a creature of social habit and need interaction with the human race. I appreciate the values and potential of technology and I’m not an addict of slave of it either. I didn’t own a cell phone until I was 34. I didn’t have my own website until I was 31. I remember what life was like when Atari games and there was no internet. Maybe I feel like I want to go back to a more healthy, un-Ipod time, but it’s a different world. What we make and look at social relationships is up to us. Don’t let the internet master your own humanity, or we’ll be slaves forever. I still love PB&J, old Superbeetles and polaroid cameras by the way. And I’m still growing up and finding myself in this crazy world, just like you. You are not alone, trust me.
I love Twitter and recommend those who want to keep up with me, and of course I would enjoy that very much, follow me at Twitter.com/Joshualanceart. I also love Twitter because it’s real time and 140 character limit. It’s more of my speed and I see lots of potential. I plan to focus my energy on my website as well as making more videos on YouTube. I have always loved the video format and have learned how to create, direct and even compose the right music. It’s a beautiful artform and helps express a more accurate picture of my life as an artist. I look at it as an extension of my craft and not a marketing tool. It’s a new art form for many and I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future. But YouTube and Twitter are here to stay, I can feel it.
This letter’s original purpose was to say that I won’t be on Facebook soon, but to my surprise and maybe yours too, I have really gone off the deep end this time. Maybe that’s intentional? And you can tell me if this is a worthy article or not, I’ll still respect you in the morning.