Back to School

My first illustration project was to make an illustration of a random word pulled out of a hat and make it fantastical! I drew "school" which really struck a note with me as I've been catapulted out-a-stout(University of Wisconsin) across the globe to live in the monasteries of Japan and study in a Buddhist University(Ryokoku). Returning to the United States I went to Yoga School through Corepower yoga, circus school at Xelias Aerial Arts after that and am now truly at the most fantastical school yet, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design(MCAD).

I decided for this project I really wanted to use my experience with Buddhism as Buddhism is really a school of thought, that is conditioned thought processes. I've met a number of Buddhist monks tell me they are not even religious and have no faith! but that they are merely spiritual philosophers whom verify practice in action. Even philosophically debates often come out with nothing! I decided to portray the Buddha as a sad clown because although Buddhists say that Life is Suffering primarily due to desire, attachment or the belief that they are separate, Buddhist's know that it is through suffering that we actually grow, that through the eight-fold path we find the release of desire, and the right view of being connected and thus the Buddha clown has a blissful smile under his mask. I chose for the close up of Buddha to be holding the shambhavi mudra with his eyes. The shambhavi mudra is used to synchronize the hemispheres of the brain and can be practiced by focusing on your nose with both eyes and eventually on external objects as well. At first you may experience some pain and this is from the hemispheres fighting each other in which case it can help to focus on a deity to help allow the body to surrender to a greater power and relax into the meditation.

My final piece was about movement. I found the paper and discovered the motion which suggested an upward rising motion. Immediately I thought of a man being being launched from a kannon. Everytime I've left a school I've felt as if being launched into life with a new set of skills and knowledge. The other acrobats among the composition suggest students to the teachers as well as the nature of flying through space. However this piece is not finished, it is my intention to lay a net over this piece as every-time I attend a school I build a net for myself to land in;  I guess it leaves something for me to work on...

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