Thursday, September 29, 2016

everything, practically *

please note that this article contains nudity. please also note that this article is long-winded. please lastly note that this article became a sorta manifesta written by me to me. if there are angles that prove helpful to you, too cool. (basically, i pep*talked myself back into being me.) 
~ xoxxx, la artista, kelly shaw willman *

foto: statia grossman

"$elf-portz" #14 *feelings*

it's sorta funny. i set out to write these epic, organized blog articles sometimes, but really, it's that this one wants to be an exercise in flow ~ in sharing a diary*like, inner*world*on*display*sorta*reflection that honestly speaks to what i've been experiencing these last few months. ... and i've decided to approach it by trusting that all the things i've been observing + considering will find their way out, cuz abiding by bullet-note prompts doesn't feel cute right now, giggle. :P :P :P

so, here i go ... about ... everything, practically *

1. i've been thinking a lot about a time in the past (maine, united states, 2010*ish) in which i was first coaxed by spirit to make nude performance art. for me, *coaxed by spirit* means that a force and feeling (greater than me) asked that i channel healing though expression, that i fuse (conceptually) sweetness with dirt. 

i do not believe this remembering is an accident ~ on the contrary, it's incredibly timely and filled with symbolism, a message. as a being who lives a spiritual, eclectic (artist's) life, signs/dreams/words*unspoken all guide me as i need to be guided ~ i believe in this sorta thing, have experienced it since childhood, and am incessantly deepening my connection to an understanding of it all ~ visions and intuition playing a foundational part. reviewing images of this (first-time) nude art reminds me that i, in spite of having a considerably introverted and highly empathic personality, put it all out there (in my own way) when it comes to my artistry. 

"grunge*quest" ~ movement 1 (foto: janna o'shea)

i decided a long time ago that my own personal journey would be on display through the medium of performance art ~ that my stories, my progress, my setbacks, my ritualizing, my changeable aura ... would be made a public offering intended to bring an experience to viewers, evoking conversations that i participate in by making more art, and honoring along the way aesthetics i am loyal to: the genre of experimental art, diy/lo-fi stylings, and the *creative underground.* 

... i know that i was coaxed to make this nude art in the past to begin healing some raw personal trauma ... and i am coaxed to review this art now, because it reminds me that i did not question making it ~

* i got naked.

* i was brave. 
* and i endured harassing emails about said work, but kept the art public nonetheless. 

what about re-empowering all of this fierceness once again? 

what about going more deeply with my *divine masculine?* ... which to me means standing consistently in my confidence, not giving two hoots what anybody's gotta say about me, my work? what up, machete*yielding*warriorrrr? :P

"uphill invisible swimming" ~ movement 4

"uphill invisible swimming" ~ movement 5

"uphill invisible swimming" ~ movement 5

"uphill invisible swimming" ~ movement 4

i've been experiencing a pretty transformational phase the last 2-4 months of my life. to expand upon this proclamation means admitting i've been generally overwhelmed, depressed, nervous in my belly, i've allowed my plate to be too full, but quite interestingly, my life also sparkles brilliantly. my near*future is forming in a way i wholly adore, i have incredible friendships still and always, i live in costa rica, i am INSPIRED, and i KNOW that i'm aligning with my deeper purpose, my niche, my money-making.

2. let's remain on the topic of art for now. i've also been thinking *a lot* about a video from a favorite artist, BUNNY MICHAEL ~ SEE BELOW. i highly encourage you to watch the whole thing. her ideas in the beginning about being perceived through the lenses of egotism, narcissism, and delusion (by family, for example) have been coming up for me recently ... while there are brilliant reminders throughout this vid's entirety, the end also provides a gorgeous highlight ~ (skip thru if you must.) ... "dear artist, we need you. when you are living free, we feel like we can too." 

i needed to hear this ~ to be reminded that i am enough, to be reminded that in spite of coming from a place (with systems, conditioning) that does not readily understand or support artists, that keeps women down, i must keep forging the path for myself, for us. ... i have always known that i can do it, that i will make it in my own way, that my goals are worth pursuing ... and in living out these beliefs, believing that there is value in my expressions ... well, it doesn't mean that i am some gloating invaluable crazy person with too much self*interest.

3. so the moral of the story thus far? be fiercely true to you, to your unique vision. push boundaries if pushing boundaries pleases you. my art speaks to my own path/experience, but i also understand now its greater intention to uplift the divine feminine, to heal past generations of women, and to do so through a distinct*kelly*lens that empowers my own sexuality, my own feminism, my own participation in the community of sisterhood. ... there is def a:


a lil' 

... and i'm coming to realize i neither need nor hope anymore that my aesthetic will resonate with everyone ~ (this is my divine masculine at play!) ... this is also a new understanding that allows me to thrive without tip-toeing around imagined (or real) concerns coming from thee outside (looking in.) 

... i will expand upon all this in a separate/focused article, but one more point i will make here is that i observe and experience the objectification of women ~ a huge topic. i've been challenged to consider recently that in expressing myself in a sexy*style i am contributing to this problem ... to women being perceived as objects for men's viewing or fantasy-oriented pleasure. for me, what is at play in my personal expressions, is self*love and reclamation, no matter how bootylicious a performance image or vid may be. ... in eve ensler's "vagina monologues," one particular story speaks to a woman wearing a short skirt, and that it doesn't mean (there are dozens of examples provided) that she is inviting cat calls or mistreatment of any variety by baring legs. ... i am creating a safe (art) space to express myself as i please ... as a sacred entity with depth, depth! ... how does my creative message bring this depth to the forefront (or maybe sometimes just the periphery) whilst being real, sexy, tearful, vulnerable, human ~ anything i need to be; i explore this.

foto: statia grossman

foto: statia grossman

"uphill invisible swimming" ~ movement 6 (embellished)

4. ok, so i wanna create a little stylistic transition now and express more concisely some of the things i've been learning lately. a lot of this learning is distinctly tied to my new life in the south caribbean jungle of costa rica. without access to this particular community, i'd honestly not be learning as i am. 

ok, so mainly, i live amongst a whole crew of powerful women who are successful entrepreneurs; it's AMAZING. each woman has her own unique thing going on, and there is so much space for growth, heart*centered*money*making. i have recently realized that in order for me to really grow my creative business as i envision, i need to propose some financial backing, not much honestly, but enough to hatch my "next level." i say all of this to ultimately encourage you to do the same if you need it. is there a person, business, or crowdfunding platform that would help? i have learned so much about my own vision and goals by simply surrendering to this need. i am writing a proposal that is well-done, organized, smart, and i'm proud of it. so, 

* ask without expectation about an outcome. have plan b's and c's.

* my dear spiritual mentor, reverend saundra porter thomas, reminds me, "building your empire takes a team. your queendom needs support." again, ask. don't beat yourself up for needing help. financial backing is brilliant, so is excellent mentorship ~ pursue it, and maintain open communications throughout. i have gone so far as to publish spending reports online, because i wanted my indiegogo campaign (last year) to be transparent. "this is where each dollar went."

* keep yourself "in the know" about grants, residences, and opportunities to submit your work. you deserve the next, next, and next levels of your business/artistry. keep putting yourself out there. 

"$elf-portz" #16 *roses rise, promise*

* in being able to apply for the sorts of things mentioned in the "*" above, allow yourself a window several times a week to research and apply. artists really do need TIME. a friend of mine from canada who recently received a grant to write her children's book mentioned to me that in brussels, the government recognizes that artists need TIME, baths, daydream*space, time to be, time to heal, TIME, baths, baths! ... makes me sigh so happily that this offering exists in parts of the world.

5. niches. discoveries. what do i mean? in recently forming a proposal for some funding, i have discovered my own unique niche. it brings me back to being first an artist vs. a business person. 

i am an artist. 

and i've discovered also that there is nothing wrong with honoring my need to be alone a lot. with plenty of privacy and quietude, i feel the most balanced, the most safe, the most productive. when i do then decide to be a part of activities in the world, i am likely at my best. i notice an imbalance in myself when i've gone through brief "party girl" phases in my past, or when i try to have a "full calendar" vs. honoring the need to focus on myself.

also, i have a TON to learn about marketing. who can help me with this? i am blessed to attend a seminar in the new year that will help me to fuse artistry with business. from an expert. keep learning. discover your strengths, your niches, but be willing to admit where you need a teammate, or teaching.  

kelly's golden rose ~ foto: krista abramoff

6. patience. it can take 2-5 years to solidify a small business' functioning. i hear of people having quicker successes, which is awesome, but remember too, especially if you're operating mostly solo-like, you may need to relax into needing a bit more time. and again, how can your time be supported? (savings? grants?) i've also felt incredibly grateful for the abundance of information these brilliant women entrepreneurs i've referenced above share publicly. engage with it! sidenote: i'm not the only one who has needed to borrow $20 at the end of the month. i'm not the only who has run out of money! :P i am not the only one curious about learning more mantras and mudras. i'm not the only one who has mourned the loss of a friendship ~ women sharing these stories reminds me that my moment of struggle has been experienced by many before me. ... while i really do enjoy being reminded that i am not alone, i wish also to express (especially if you identify as an empath) to have plenty of time just for you, for just your voice and your vision. don't allow yourself to be too influenced by others' methodology, especially if you're feeling super*clear by your own unique offering. stand strong, you cutie sponge.

7. on perfectionism. i recently read a tweet that said something like, "be careful, you creatives, of the double-edged sword that is your perfectionism." i was bowled over, y'all. a bit of a related angle is that i've been feeling pretty self*conscious lately about my age, and not soooooo much because my crow's feet are like, "HELLO," but because some part of me feels like i should be more accomplished at age 34 than i am. for me personally, there are a few angles that help me to diffuse this. my 20's were rough. i am grateful to be alive. perhaps someday i will expand on this, but i have reminded myself lately that that decade was about becoming whole so that my life could pop *now,* when i'm more ... me. BUT! back to perfectionism, which plays a tightly*wound role in my life sometimes ~ i've been able to make friends with it lately, to recognize when it's too rigid, and therefore re-form its role. at the time i read this tweet, i needed it, cuz i'd been cycling through the shadowy stuff (which needs to be seen and experienced so that we can ultimately transform it) ... but i was like, "girl, really? wtf is this old*skool body dysmorphia? grrrllll, what is this paranoia about people not liking you?" i think i needed all of this to rear its head again so that i could say, "whoa. there is hardly space for you in my life anymore, mean thoughts." so, perfectionists of the world :: know that you can re*form anything that feels too tight into something that floats like this here gorgeous morpho butterfly ~

and i say this to you and to me ~ don't hesitate to reach out about the dark stuff. i think we try to tuck it away and handle it on our own a lot. your inner*circle will show up for you. 

8. have amazing b/f/f's. collect them like the golden gems they are. when i am DOWN, i have those girls who know exactly how to speak to me ... who realize i may struggle to know what i need and how to ask for it, but simply give me time ... and nudges like, "Hey love, I was thinking of you on my way into work this morning. And my thought for us was, 'right now we are being asked to deepen our connection to our own well of emotion and those little spirit whispers we get.' It's a lot, and it may require some intensive solitude. If you're being called into deeper solo time, you're doing the right thing by taking a step back right now." 

oshun altar in brooklyn by marissa arterberry

9. what do you realllllllllllllllllllllyy need? i need to not have neighbors. i need a living situation that feels incredibly peaceful. i need my self-care to be consistently intact. i need to make art everyday. i need more money, and it comes. if your needs are not being met and therefore come up in your mind*body*spirit on thee daily, buck up, talk it out, work it out, and make the changes, but be nice to you as you explore and enact "the how's."

10. as my friend, selvin, says, "paint it good." spend time with elders, storytellers, wisdom*keepers. they always bring you back. keep it positive as often as possible, but don't try to shush your human experience either.

foto: dawn d.

11. i am working on a totem pole of words in tattoo-form. i began with guiltless and forgiveness, and envision the next two as, unapologetic and shameless. remind yourself of what you're working on. surrender to the jungle. get back on the pony. giggle the next time you get bucked off. get mad the next time you get bucked off. take breaks from social media. take breaks from telephones. have deep convos with your boo. keep your daily rituals flowing. partake in community. take breaks from community. collect fallen flowers. ocean.

be amazing to you. 

"rule your own life on your own terms." ~ amber rose

angel*reader, gracias ~ k *

foto: krista abramoff


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