It’s absolutely impossible to rely only on Soho Princi’s tiramisu, orange apes democratically elected and God, to live a peaceful existence. What we need is a strong pair of crossed fingers, patience and a massive dose of ruthlessness. Maybe, some of Alain De Botton’s books. Especially in artists’ case.
I have recently found myself in front of a tiramisù at Princi’s, Wardour Street, Soho, in the company of some friends. We arrived to the conclusion that even numbered years are bad luck. It’s not only us saying it: in reality, it is more or less a given fact. Just look at 2016: Brexit, Farage’s madness, right wing extremists, desperate migrants and Mr Trump. In other words, help!
The common denominator that derives from such a terrifying sequence of events is identifiable in the word “faith”. We need faith in our lives. Not necessarily in a traditional God: it can be in human kind, in our government (experience tells me that is a very rare case indeed), or in the good that resides in our society. Or, why not, in ourselves.
After all, we are the starting point of everything: we elect our presidents, raise our children, we invest in the future. It doesn’t matter how hard the establishment tries to convince us of what little power we have, it is true, and it is necessary to always keep it in mind. It is therefore natural to turn to our faith and ask it to guide us to be the better version of ourselves; to have the strength required to do what is right; to maintain control over ourselves when all falls apart, and be patient.
It is clear enough, it all starts from us. And the one message I have personally always found to be really positive is “to invest in ourselves”. Age aside, because every human being is in the vortex of a constant evolution. Travels, studying, being passionate, friendships: these are all very bland examples, but also at the base of what shapes us as individuals; people who will give birth to new ones, who can vote and take decisions that influence the change of our society and, in a long term, the world itself.
Nonetheless, even before investing in us, it is fundamental to know who we are. Some people live to work, others for their family; some strive for money, some commit to passion; and there are people who, like the protagonist of our fourth story, Dana, choose an alternative career. Dana is an artist: her life revolves around her study, colours and inspiration. Dana doesn’t know what an office is, what face an incompetent manager has, and the never-ending struggle with human resources and the IT desk.
It is important to know and to never compare ourselves with others. To have faith in what we want and in our daily choices that aim to make our life better and worth living. It’s fundamental to be selfish when starting in the adult world. I imagine (as I am here talking partly because of personal experiences, partly because I have faith for things to work this way) that it might be right from this very starting point that the better version of ourselves then blooms, to then contaminate everything around itself.
Every life is complex, and an artist’s life can really be such a thing. It is not a career that parents tend to encourage; that society takes seriously; that makes one feel safe when planning for the future. It is a career that produces goods that no one really cares about. It is a life that has a constant need for high quality contents. It is always a struggle to keep control on one’s integrity, talent and objectives that are not determined by the high spheres of a department. But most of all, it is a constant training of the mind. Reading, writing, to visit exhibitions, to talk and learn, meeting new people, travelling: it is an expensive and often tiring upkeep, because to who is involved with it, this is a proper job and career. This is the way Dana feels about her life, and in a moment of weakness she abandons her duties and loses, as a consequence, the inspiration she needs.
Working alongside all the ON! Storie’s illustrators I have discovered a community of artists full of passion, positivity and faith in their career. Every artist who collaborated with ON! Storie is a source of inspiration for the project itself. This is the reason why we care so much about the profiles and interviews, because our objective is for them to inspire who is on the same path as the artists portrayed, or who is considering such a lifestyle.
We hope for the 2016 to end better than how it started. Even more, we hope to have the energy to make it end in the best way. Have faith brothers and sisters, have faith!
Ms. Kelly, the illustrator behind our typing machine of the week, is represented by Handsome Frank. You can follow the agency on Instagram, or visit they website. You can also follow Emma on Twitter, or take a look at her web page!