Recently, Hugh MacLeod wrote about the need for products to be talismans. Like the Bible people carry around for comfort, or your lucky tennis shoes, or for me, the locket I wear around my neck – these things hold magic for us. They embody a quality that we need, whether it symbolizes love, or helps you to feel safe, or powerful, or whatever.
When I was 12, I had just started wearing rings (an obsession that lasts to this day – I’m always wearing a minimum of 4, and they all mean something to me). I had one in particular – a copper Celtic ring that was my lucky talisman. One morning, in a rush to get to school, I’d forgotten to put it on.
We were having the school debate championships that day, and I was on one of the finalist teams. But the second I saw my ring was gone, I knew we were done for. We came in second.
Now I’m not implying that my ring had anything to do with it – but for me, it symbolized the Universe being on our side, on my side. Without it, I felt powerless. Silly of course, but we’ve all done it.
We all have those magic objects in our lives that mean so much more than their original purpose. I love objects like that and practically collect them. I want everything that I own to have meaning, to be special, to be imbued with an out-of-the-ordinary power. Of course, it’s all in my own head, but that doesn’t change how it makes me feel.
So what’s all of this got to do with art?
It was like a light bulb went off in my head when I read Hugh’s words. It was like I’d finally stumbled upon the word I’d been looking for to describe what I’m trying to do with my art.
I want my art to be your talisman.
It’s been happening already. Collectors write to tell me that my art helps them meditate or gives them hope or reminds them of a brighter future. Or maybe it symbolizes something important to them.
But now I have a word for it. I’m not just giving you something beautiful when you buy a piece of art. I’m giving you magic.
I can’t tell you what kind of magic. That’s up to you. You’re the one who imbues it with the special power that you need. Some of the pieces will call to you – they’ll whisper your name, softly. They’re reaching out to you. They know that you need them.
Others you’ll stumble upon by surprise. Sometimes, you won’t know till later which one is the one for you.
That’s why I’ve never been one to get overly attached to my own art. I create my art as a gift to the world; I fill it with magic and then give it away. My art is meant to be shared. It may take years for it to find its home. Some pieces may get recalled and painted over. Then a new piece evolves, a new kind of magic emerges.
Not everyone will find the magic. It’s special, secret. Only the right people will get it.
But if you’re one of those people? Then you know exactly what I mean. You may not have found your piece yet. You may not be able to afford your piece yet. It may not have even been created yet. But you know that it’s out there, waiting for you.
And I can’t wait to make it for you.