Everyone is an Artist • Crafting one’s life • Living one’s truth • Art as a process, not a state • Believing without knowing. . .
The process of creating the Sakki-Sakki Tarot has taken me on a journey of unending visual and philosophical discovery. On this journey I found the Artist in me, and thus the 79th card, “The Artist”. The Artist card is not traditionally a part of the Tarot, but a special addition to the Sakki-Sakki deck. It serves to awaken the Artist’s point of view—whether towards the creation of a work of art or the crafting of one’s reality. The Artist shows us how we can live a full life by engaging the archetypes of the Major Arcana, and all their aspects, in our lives. Chiron, the Wounded Healer, was chosen as the astrological attribute of this card to aid us in embracing our Artist and healing the relationship between our inner and outer images.
The Artist card represents the Universal Artist, and shows a stage decorated with colorful curtains. The curtains are wide open, but the stage is empty, devoid of any performer. Yet, this does not seem to be an abandoned stage: The lights might come up at any minute, and the show might begin. The multicolored curtains frame the total darkness of the stage, creating an atmosphere of casual mystery. Seeing it, we’re curious—stirred by high expectations rather than fearful anticipation. We know that this stage, now empty, is on the verge of coming alive with artistry—and with life itself.
The curtain has opened. The Artist, self–centered, walks on, hits his mark at center stage, and performs his art, speaking and living his truth. At the end of the show the curtain will close. Showtime is over, but the Artist, who possesses higher standard of consciousness, keeps shining in his own inner world, expressing himself in private, nourishing the creative soul. The Artist is still an artist backstage. Being an artist is a process, not a state. It’s a way of experiencing life. The curtain represents the separation between two parts of this process, the public show time and the private work-in-progress, and addresses the working artist’s issue: whether to show, what to show and when?
Artist Andy Warhol said once that in the future, everybody in the world would be famous for fifteen minutes. Some artists go for their moment of fame; to others, fame just happens; and there are those who feel world famous from hanging their paintings on the wall or performing in their living room, in front of their loved ones.
Every Artist spends most of his time behind the scenes, working. There, all of his creations are for his own experimentation—he eats his own cooking. Behind the scenes an artist is looking for problems to solve. The Artist creates for the longest periods of time in solitude, not knowing whether what he does is good or bad, interesting and worthwhile. It is very difficult to define what is “good.” Is it something pretty? Something stirring? How can there still be art to create? Hasn’t everything been created already? This problem, knowing what it is one spends so much time on, is a major part of the journey.
The Artist keeps looking for what’s important—something that he can express and a way to express it that amounts to his special contribution. An artist needs to feel he’s creating unique, original and authentic work. He wants his finished work to go forth and connect him to the rest of the world. He creates with no security, and no guarantee of success. An Artist sometimes fears to succeed just as he fears to fail. Other times he fears not to be able to repeat success—that his audience will eventually greet him with silence. He fears he will be scrutinized and criticized; but the urge of self-expression overcomes all fears, and the Artist continues on his path.
Being an Artist with no audience is no less important than showing one’s work publicly and having fans. When a work of art becomes visible to others, open to praise and criticism, vulnerable, then the black void of the Artist’s stage grows wider and deeper. One comment can make or break the Artist, but also give new life to the work, and allow the Artist to explore a new level of existence.
One of the most frustrating lessons an Artist has to learn is the difference between the ideal world of imagination and thought and the real world, where the laws of chemistry and physics hold. In the mind, one can imagine perfect creations at lightning speed. What happens when one tries to translate these imaginations to the physical world? The red does not look good near the green, the background is too dark, the composition trails off the page, the paint dries too fast, the budget is too small. This is Reality Chemistry.
Sometimes we work too hard on something, with little results. The amount of effort does not always equal the volume of success. Regarding the pursuit of artistic mastery, justice may not always exist in the microcosm, but it does in the macrocosm. Following your heart, honoring your creative urges, exercising discipline, will eventually offer you rewards—most of the time, unexpected ones.
The Artist may seem applicable primarily to occupational creatives, such as the painter, the musician, the dancer, the fire-eater, the chef, the actor, the milliner, the writer. But in actuality, an artist is someone who pulls together impressions, images, memories and ideas from the present moment and turns them into something new. Being the Artist of your Life goes way beyond creating objects of art. An Artist is anyone who wants to use creativity to affect one’s life. Art is about the way we do every task, small or large. An Artist is someone who makes a point of creating his or her day—every day.
One morning, design your breakfast: Poached eggs? Sunny-side up? Dress before or after eating? Music? The news? Leisurely? Rushed? Sitting in your kitchen or under a tree? Making a to-do list? Meditating over the morning paper, or a poem? Not having to talk till one hour after you wake up? Leaving yourself open for unexpected events? Don’t take these dimensions of your breakfast for granted. Choose them, suit them to your preference, apply your intention, even if you don’t have complete control of how things might turn out.
When You pick The Artist card
When you don’t know which way to go, focus on working on your art, because this will show you the way. Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t judge your work so brutally that you’re afraid to show it to people. Don’t get hung up after a successful creation out of fear that you cannot repeat the achievement. What you have created is perfect for its time, but you need to move on to explore what lies ahead—and keep doing your art no matter what.
Astrological Association: Chiron
Wounded healer • Loner • Wisdom, patience and mastery over inner darkness • Rebel • Knowledge of suffering • Key to One’s Path