Even on these chilly and overcast days I’m making an effort to get outside and take a walk every day. This morning I walked along the river at the city docks.
I watched an older gentleman feed the seagulls, tossing slices of bread into the air, one after the other. Along came a young mother and her toddler. The little boy gleefully chased the seagulls, running back and forth along the docks, laughing, gesturing, and exclaiming, “Birds!” Trying to keep him safe and away from the dock’s edge, his mother shouted “Stop!” but he carried on, paying her no mind.
I asked if I could take a few pictures of the little boy. He was delighted to show-off and seemed to not mind having his picture taken at all. A few frames and this mother and I connected over our shared joy for the innocence of childhood. I offered to send her the pictures I took. I hope she likes them.
Art is not a skill contest, nor an innovation contest. Art is an honesty contest. If we can be precisely who we are, in the most intimate and candid and courageous way, we will start to connect to the universal. Our job as artists is to become powerfully personal in our work, and if we touch the source, the most central wound, the deepest of wells, then we will actually touch the universal. The work goes from intimately personal to what’s personal to all of us. –Ran Ortner