When I am on the edge I sometimes wonder what would happen if I chose to abandon Mahaloness? With economic woes, changing climatic conditions, uncertainty and a steady inundation of streaming information, it is no wonder being an artist is a difficult path to tread. In some ways it is a challenge to say what being an artist actually is, or to convey through words what this is all about. It could be that art is simply something we developed as a way to pass time. Through my own experience and commitment to art I can say that it is not always so pleasant, or romantic. I have been dumped, kicked, sued, critiqued, manipulated, lied to. I have had artwork stolen, damaged and even lost. My unwillingness to compromise does make my life interesting, and although it seems like a struggle to those outside of me, I will take this moment to remind them I am a mirror, and in doing so that I reflect their struggle as well. Many who have worked with me or for me, such s galleries that have represented my art, will testify that my intensity can at times seem overbearing. This is hard for me because I know it comes from my heart, and that my effort is a reflection of the fire that burns inside of me, bright. Through the bullshit I manage to keep working, some days harder than others, always working. I have no pets, no wife, no children, no car, no private jet plane, no home. My father once wrote a letter to me, many moons ago. He wrote, I will be homeless and without a job, strung out on drugs and, even disowned by my family. Though I am the farthest thing from strung out, my father’s statement seems a little harsh, considering I work with my passion everyday, art being the one thing I truly love to do. What was once an innocent childhood dream, I chose to live it outwardly, utilizing my talent for the benefit of humanity, fully committed to seeing it through. This might seem altruistic, and even egotistical to some, to this I say, when I am working on a painting I am egoless. It is the spirit that courses through me; being in harmony with heart, mind and soul. Even when I may not be feeling it, I work on art. I have lived modestly from my art, with the help of some beautiful individuals, and through their encouragement and unconditional generosity I am able to recognize how lucky I am, to be able to do the work I love, and to them I say thank you. I do admit that the last couple of years haven’t been so picture perfect, many times testing my resolve, once and a while I do get down, this makes me question my path, and this produces the perfect conditions for blockage. Stress, fatigue and a minimal diet, reminiscent of my early contemporaries, can make things difficult, and though suffering might be a human condition it doesn’t always lead to great art, even though there are a lot of cases where suffering made great art, quite often it goes unrecognized, until that persons gone. Even successful artists suffer, we all know examples of this. These kinds of thoughts can weigh me down, if I let them, instead I continue willingly to be in process, committed to making great art. I know that no matter what the outside world’s judgements might be, I do believe my work reflects what it is to be human, even though it might be my experience, there is a truth in my art that those outside of me can relate to. There has be moments when my stamina seems low. My willingness to make art is under pressure all the time, with a voice in my head that says ‘what’s the point?’. Possibly a reaction to the day to day challenges that come up without invitation. Through it all I remind myself I am a successful artist. If I don’t I have noticed that others will, and this helps me with the rougher patches. If I measure success by making money, than I am an epic failure. When I measure it by how many lives I have touched though my art, I am as successful as any known artist living, or past.
Mantra for me, feel free to make it yours. I Shane Haltman remain committed to my path, art made from the heART, trusting that the rest will come, and I will live and die by these words. I recognize I live in a world that I cannot control, I can control myself, and my choices, and as long as I do follow these words that my life will be abundant and joyful. My job is the joy of being, I will find balance, and carefully fight the battles that need to be fought, in order to push the edge, if I don’t push myself, there is no edge.*
*with the exception of muses who do, from time to time, inspire my creativity, and that’s another entry for another time.
FotoMahaloness: eaten by a great white and still kicking and a vision of heart energy