Monday, July 30, 2012


I have many passions and, to make matters worse, my mind likes to tackle multiple projects at one time. Once stimulated, my brain works like a computer running multiple applications, each designated to a particular problem or interest. So while reading a novel about surgery, I might suddenly come up with a design for safer fire escapes in skyscrapers.

For some reason, I have a tendency to think of my interests as a pattern of parallel lines that don't meet. Perhaps because they are all essentially a series of thought experiments, until I manifest them as an art project.*

All this is my attempt to explain why I recently launched a separate blog for my new project: AKSHA.

AKSHA is a rebirth of sorts. My most ambitious project to date. And perhaps, its my hope that one day AKSHA will live on independent of me and my far-flung ideas.

At present it is art as an experiment in social enterprise. Over the years I've encountered many artists who've asked me for help. They either ask me a.) how to become an artist, b.) how to reach a broader audience, or c.) how to break out of the cycle of vulnerability that the fickle art market puts artists through.

Each time, I felt puzzled. I wasn't particularly famous or wealthy. I didn't follow a conventional path to an art career (ie. art school + residencies/ exhibitions/ awards + gallery rep = success ...I skipped art school.) Compared to some artists, I take a slow research-intensive approach to making art. I've been more interested in crafting one-off art projects to tell untold stories over the course of years, than in finding a winning formula for making artifacts that generate hype and sell well. (On average, my art projects take 3 years to go from conception to fruition.)

But I am realizing, that perhaps what I lack in convention I make up for in curiosity, hard-headed perseverance, and a genuine interest other human beings.

So here goes. My intent and approach to my Brushsong blog will remain the same. It is my self-serving journal, where I get to wax philosophical, dark and poetic about my creative process as an artist.

As an experiment in cultivating an on-line platform, AKSHA will have a more outgoing approach. Taking a page from business innovators like Timothy Ferriss, Alexander Osterwalder, and Chris Anderson, I will create content that may interest other people--be they artists, entrepreneurs, consumers or all of the above.

My agenda will focus on generating a culture of mindful art and commerce. Weaving "Innovative design and gear inspired by meditation and spiritual practice" with the intent to support artists working within those traditions. Developing the company on a blog means that everything is public--the booboos and bravos. I hope that you will join me in the journey.

*Being an educator I can't help draw it back to childhood and think that the segmentation is because we were forced to place every subject in high school--Biology, History, English, Math--in a separate notebook/binder, as opposed to experiencing them a parts of one integrated understanding of the world. (How wonderful would it be to have students integrate their knowledge and skills from each subject into one project at the end of each year or semester? Hey, wait a minute--that sounds like Art!)

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