End NOTE on Art

Your art shouldn’t be dirty to be popular

You read that right! Even though people like a wayward art, they don’t take such down the aisle, to momma or to the school dance. In fact, if your art isn’t well-behaved or teaching others to be so directly or indirectly, your art is best placed in hidden corners. Your art is put up in dark places, cal de sac drug mafia kind of dark place and then if your art is hot, it begins to smoke, choke those who love it and if you don’t control yourself, you too begin to hate your art, and it would hate you so that you can’t tell others that this is my art. You would betray your art even without a kiss (not every one is bold like Judas) That’s the point where your art isn’t good to see so it becomes lonely, vomits a crime, is sent to jail and drags the family pen name into the mud: dust to dust kind of shame. Don’t be surprised to know that your art can commit suicide out of frustration.

Don’t be deceived,

Your art came with a Pride package.

It’s fine to feel a little achieved after every moment of survival but learn to curb the ego, alter it a little, don’t give it an altar or the alter-ego takes over and soon, you cannot find your fingerprint even on your finger. Your art become unrecognizable, it is yours but then again, it’s not yours. You cannot own it and so she elopes with her man who looks exactly like you but isn’t you. So when the writer’s block is over, she returns like a prodigal son. You must accept your art back with all of your heart. Then you must throw a party, write a cheque and write a paragraph, a stanza, a verse, a scene. Write quickly so she feels welcome. She… He… It doesn’t matter (Art has no gender)

The last thing I can remember for now is,

The art should have a God.

Not must but should. Here is the plausible list:

  1. God
  2. mammon
  3. and down to your self.

Your art must be owned and feel the need to be accountable.

Which bags the question of why is your art alive? for God, for money or for self. It’s the same thing as for eternity and an everlasting grid, for the end of the month and TGIF sensation or the ATM discharging moment, the grrrrrrr sound or for you. You are a bottomless pit so I don’t know what your art is for if it’s for you.

So on this note, I end this note…

the End.

Guard Your Art With Diligence

Continuing my Notes to Self on the art:

Guard your Art with Diligence
They want your art to reach people and places you, the artist, can’t and wouldn’t reach.

It – the art – has to speak languages you don’t even understand. It has to get to borderlines of war and peace; of oppression and equity. It has to criticize and it has to judge (judge not that you may not be judge? Well your art has been judged!). Your art has to think and make others think. Your art has to trouble the waters and it must not sink when it walks on said-waters. ‘Peace be still‘ will be for your art when you arrive so bring it and most importantly, your art has to be on its own. Be able to live in another house from you, talk differently, talk back at you when you write, play lawn tennis with you even if it’s just you against the wall (pun intended!). Your art must set you against the world. If it doesn’t do this they (check previous post)don’t believe you.

You art has to have a heart.

Your art must fall in love and love others just like it loves itself. Your art must be ready to follow you for sacrifice even when there is no ram in sight (yes! remember Abraham and Isaac?). Your art must walk by faith and not by sight. You must teach your art to pray, to believe; to trust; to own itself because when you are gone, it would be left alone to fight for itself. Your heart must love but it must love you and this is very difficult because your art is a teenager every other day.

Which brings you to the tough one.

Your art must not be raped by the wrong ideology.

In fact your art must keep it’s virginity till… Well forever because if your art becomes a mother of anarchy, wrong doctrine and false perception, the wrong perspective and all the bad secenerios of the world today, you are a bad Parent artist. So curb your art when it talks back at you but listen to your art when it is hungry. When it is angry, admit why and provide the answers why it shouldn’t. Your art is pious if you think it is and it is the best to see this too. On a second thought, your art should get pregnant at the right time. Good art brings good doctrine, wisdom and long life.

Your art has no gender but it is endangered.

Giant-Panda kind of endangered. Your art is not feminist, racist, Marxist masculinist, fascists and all that; you are! You are a bottle, your art is wine and ugly wine-shapes are because the bottles aren’t so beautiful. Not to state the actual scenerio. Your art is bitter because you are. Your art hurts people like knife piercing through the heart almost like a double-edged sword because you either are a swordsman or woman; that or you’ve been equally hurt. Your art is you but don’t try to be your art. It is dangerous.

To be continued

This Art is not Yours I

This world is not my home
I’m just a-passing through

Thank you Jim Reeves, I’ll take it from here now.

(clears his throat)

This is a note I wrote to self about writing because the pressure could sometimes make one forget how to even do what one was ordained to do when it comes to a paper and pen or fingers and an Android phone’s keyboard (in most recent times).

This Art is not yours

We make art – not for ourselves, alone but – for others. And this “others” are people who wait for us in our dreams, when we are awake, in the darkness and and even in the market. In our lifetime, we may never know them even if we want to but they are expectant and as a word of encouragement, they really exist.

They would need your art to say something serious.

Not too serious like SERIOUS so that they don’t mistake you for one without the inclination to have fun but serious in how David kills a Goliath and it gets them asking: how did…?

They want your art to mean something

First to you and then to them but to you first and most importantly to you. Because if you can’t strike the importance of what you give, it’s not even important. This is the space for passion. The kind of drive and blood that keeps you awake even when your body wails for sleep. The motivation to push further so that when you are done crossing the Red Sea, the Pharaoh wouldn’t want to follow because it’s a miracle that you still breathe after making your art.

They want your art to scare you.

Not Casper the ghost scaring humans kind of scare or tattoo all over the face kind but SCARE you. So to meet up, your art stays in your reflection: when you admire yourself, you are reminded; when you walk, you are reminded; when you talk, you can hear two voices arguing and it’s your mouth that is the speaker. Then you ask, who are the people really holding the microphone? That should scare you and that’s another story for another note to self.

This scare is not confusion because you know what it is but it should still scare you. It should scare you in the way Peter was afraid when he denied Jesus trice. That’s the scare they want or else your art isn’t worth it.

To be continued shortly.

Feature Art by Nathan Pieterse


I do not conform to ‘not conforming’. Not to say that I actually conform but to assert by conviction – beyond condition(s) – that I do not. In the essence of my thought, I do not consider conformity an option to be deviated from. It doesn’t exist or for better references to other realities, it shouldn’t exist.

I am however contented with space and design. By this, I mean that I don’t think outside the box. I know that there is a box, and I sit in it, I colour it with the colours of the universe and soon, my box is an endless space of designs I recreate such that every creation, not like the former, is self-defiant to the opposition of God and with the ability to serve it’s own purpose; sometimes, far greater than I had – from the onset – imagined. The reason for this adamancy is because soon, so many think outside the box and out-of-the-box is the new box, the infinite and boundless space becomes bound by a finite hunger to recreate from nothing. In the same way to be like God.

To create is not a flaw but to do so with a flawed hunger to outwit another is the flaw.

In the best design, I am not a supporter of competition. Not competition in the sense of development to learning but in the view of winning at the deliberate expense of another’s life. So, to live at the cost of another’s death isn’t actually living. This is my point of conflict.

Therefore, I don’t question for answer(s), by better reflection, I have come to an understanding that I am not wired to question what is the truth. And opposing the notion that one must question to find truth, I am persuaded that the truth lies in answering the questions of life and not necessarily in questioning for truth. My creation is not a question rather it is an answer to the challenge for which I was created. So this is my mindset, which is in the similitude of proffering solutions in the place of dwelling extensively on the problem.

This has thus formed my thoughts from tot to thinker alike. Perhaps this is also the reason why I demand to answer intentions more than the actions or their inaction counterparts. It is so, that I am aware that the action is only peaceable when the intention is truly peaceable and that even in a peaceable action or inaction the intention must be peaceable otherwise the action is in itself violent. This is also what has beamed my perception to contemporary struggles and movements: for as long as I consider you first a creation of God then a human being and subsequently as belonging to gender: male and female, I do my dealing with you as I would unto all that God has created bearing in mind the truth that God is in all that he has created.

By virtue of this, a consciousness to answer the call of justice isn’t solely by human law but by the conviction of the conscience. This is why conformity doesn’t exist because I recognize a higher place beyond conforming, beyond humanity and beyond the divisions of competition, prejudice and the Hunger to outwit God in others. This is the form off conformity.


Art by Khaled Dawa