It’s not necessarily the best way to be and can result in the loss of friendships and other human connections. But some creative artists are known for becoming so absorbed in the flow of creative productivity that they lose sight of everything else until the process slowly eases toward completion. They (we) can only hope that once all the lightning of unleashed imagination and nervous energy relaxes, they (we) will have something worthwhile to balance out the price paid.
This scenario has been fairly descriptive of my life for the past year or so while creating art and assembling texts for a book I had hoped to see published in November. A couple of COVID-19 variants named Delta and Omicron, along with the pandemic-induced supply chain crisis, decided that was not going to happen. So, instead of waiting until next spring, when hopefully it shall see the light of day, I’ve chosen to periodically share excerpts from the work in progress.
With the above in mind, my most recent art print posted for sale on Fine Art America is a very special one titled “Love Letter to the Earth and Life Itself Number 3.” In addition to being part of a triptych included in the book, this is also my way of pledging support for the Letters to the Earth project. Not to be confused with the classic American author Mark Twain’s Letters FROM the Earth, the Letters TO the Earth initiative got its start in Great Britain and has now spread around the world. Not surprisingly, given his call for existential creativity, author Ben Okri has also lent his voice in support of the initiative.
The following is taken from the artwork’s product page and provides context for the inspired intentions which led to its creation:
A Blossoming Earth
“Love Letter to the Earth and Life Itself Number 3” is one of the last images created specifically for inclusion in my current artbook project, a blend of visual fine art and literary texts. This artwork also happens to be my 200th post milestone on Fine Art America, which is a big deal to me because the creation of art (my own and that of others past and present who inspire me) has always been an important part of my survival strategy.
The title was inspired by the worldwide Letters to the Earth Project, which was established in 2019 to encourage support of policies and practices designed to reverse catastrophic climate change caused by humanity’s activities. At this point, we know the climate crisis is very real because things like giant melting glaciers and entire towns wiped out by raging fires that burn for months refuse to be ignored. But that doesn’t mean beauty no longer exists in our extraordinary world because it does.
Author of Dreams of the Immortal City Savannah
Co-author of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
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In his November 12, 2021, essay for England’s The Guardian newspaper, Booker Prize-winning author Ben Oki urged creative artists around the globe to dedicate their inspired labors to the production of works addressing the catastrophic crises of the current era. In his words:
“I propose existential creativity, to serve the unavoidable truth of our times, and a visionary existentialism, to serve the future that we must bring about from the brink of our environmental catastrophe.”
It just so happens that many creative artists already advocate not only for environmental justice, but also for economic justice, gender equality, and antiracism. That Okri declined in his op-ed/essay to comment on the last in this year when the verdict for the trial of the death of George Floyd made headlines around the world, and the trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery was moving toward a similar outcome, is a little baffling. After all, ending death by racism and xenophobia is no less a global crisis than preventing mass destruction from human-induced climate change. Neither, for that matter, is a coronavirus capable of masking itself and attacking our species in different mutated guises: such as Delta and Omicron.
Does any of that mean Okri’s call for more mindful considerations of climate change should be ignored? Not at all. But how any given creative chooses to respond to it is up to them. My own compulsion to address climate change is apparent in the article, “The Art of Reversing Climate Change Denial,” in artwork currently on exhibit in the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport Art Gallery, and in the book, Dreams of the Immortal City Savannah.
Contemporary award-winning American author of classically-styled works in history, poetry, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and journalism.