February 22

Episode 2: Art and Yoga


Listening to The Artistic Method Podcast

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What’s really cool to me… I find that, and I didn’t realize this, that the podcast in and of itself is a form of art. And that people were inspired by the podcast and want to express themselves in the verbal form. And I find that really motivating and I’m very happy that I launched this podcast during the Snowmageddon.

And, you know, I realized that a lot of people were without power and there’s food shortages and water shortages. And here I am launching a podcast, but I feel like that was the best use of my time. And I know that things will be getting back to normal now that the roads are passable. Supply trucks are coming in.

Water treatment will be back online and people will have their regular services restored. And, you know, Texas just wasn’t prepared to deal with that much snow and that cold of temperatures for a sustained amount of time. And that doesn’t happen very often. That’s crazy. And I’ve really feel for the people that went through something during that time.

I didn’t lose power or water in a very thankful for that. And I hope that people that did lose power and don’t have access to drinking water and can’t find food, I hope that they find the resources they need as soon as possible. And I have faith that things will turn around soon. I find that having a creative project helps me get through hard times.

So I’ve always gone to art as a form of therapy in dealing with whatever’s happening in the present moment. And although it may seem insensitive when everything’s in chaos and I’m painting and posting pictures of paintings. During times of crisis, for example, it’s not necessarily insensitive. It’s just a way to divert the attention away from worry or stress, or in a sense it’s just going with the flow and just doing what you want to do and spite of whatever may be happening around you.

Being creative is a lifestyle. It’s a way to approach living. It’s a philosophy. And I find that it, it takes me out of being so identified with what’s happening and, and taking it so personally. It gives me a distance between me and what’s happening, that I can actually observe things and really look into them from an outsider perspective. Because art is meditative and it gives you space in between your thinking and your reaction time.

So you really get to allow some of those negative emotions to rise and fall, and then have a more clear head and a more calm approach to how you perceive what’s happening. The fight or flight mechanism is needed, like in, you know, catastrophic emergency situations and you need that adrenaline, you need that energy, but most often it’s not the right response.

And that’s the response that happens. Having moments where you can disengage. And being meditative really helps you deal with these really hard moment in life. That and abrupt reaction isn’t necessarily the right response. 

Now, guests wanting to be on the show I’m really pumped about, and I’ve found that some sleeper artists are waking up to their creativity and are inspired and want to be on the show. And what I mean by a sleeper artist is someone that has fuck tons of potential to be an artist and maybe has done artistic projects in the past and has really reawakened to the possibility of what sleeps inside of them. 

And I think having people on the show that haven’t connected with their creativity in some time, might inspire them to get back into it and start creating again, because having a current project to talk about or promote is a little bit more relevant than just talking about what’s happened in the past.

It all ties together. What you’ve done in the past and what you’re doing now and what you want to do in the future. But if there’s only what you’ve done in the past, then it’s almost like talking about something that’s dead and we want to reincarnate your creativity and have a current project to talk about.

And everyone can do that. Everyone has some sort of creativity and artistic nature and expresses itself and infinitely different forms. Anything can be a form of art if you take it seriously and try and master that skill. 

And I don’t want to limit this podcast to just, uh, you know, tattoo artist or fine artists, visual artists. In my Facebook post where I released the fact that I’m doing a podcast, I made it clear that any creative type could be on this show.

We’re talking culinary artists, creative writers, sound engineers, dancers, performing artists, actors, just anything. And just because I didn’t mention it doesn’t mean it’s off limits. 

There’s creative sources that are outside the artistic realm that inspire me as well. Yoga and meditation is very near and dear to my heart.

And without it I wouldn’t produce art. Without yoga and meditation, there would be no creativity, no productivity for me. Now I want to get into that a little bit about yoga and meditation. And I am a yoga teacher, probably not the best one, not the worst one either, but it doesn’t matter. I teach yoga because I need yoga.

I do meditation because I need it and yeah, I help others with it as well. But the main reason I do yoga is because being a tattoo artist, I sit around with my arms out in front of me for six to eight hours in a session. After that my spine feels like it’s ripping out of my back.

I mean, the body is meant to be moving. It’s not meant to be sitting still. And that’s one of the main tips I would give new tattoo artists that are starting out younger. People probably don’t feel any pain sitting around for six to eight hours, maybe 10 hours for younger guys. You don’t feel any pain yet, but stick with tattooing for 10, 15 more years, and you’re going to start feeling it.

You have to move your body. I take a break about every hour for about 10 minutes, five to 10 minutes, and just walk around, stretch a little bit and then get back to it. It really helps. It really helps. And then I do your yoga, um, you know, maybe two or three times a week. And I teach at least one class a week.

If not two, on some weeks, it just varies. But teaching helps me stay dedicated and committed to doing yoga. Which without yoga would not be able to tattoo. So tattooing is just something that I experienced in my daily life, but I do some computer design and web design, and that’s no better than tattooing.

You’re sitting down whatever arm, whatever hand is dominant for you. You’re going to have on the mouse or you’re typing a lot and you’re using both hands, but that’s outstretched in front of you. And. Nerve damage back pain. It all arrives from incorrect posture or sitting for long periods of time.

Without moving, you got to get up and move around and yoga with, with yoga, you are stretching the muscles and your deep breathing and the combination of those two things engages the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s the rest and digest mode. I believe it’s the parasympathetic nervous system.

It’s rest and digest when you’re doing yoga and you’re stretching and you’re deep breathing. You engage that aspect. And so that’s opposite of fight or flight. This is when you can relax, you feel safe, you feel like you’re not threatened.

And what happens to the body is magical. Some people take it to a spiritual or metaphysical level, but if you don’t like those types of things, if that’s too woo for you, then on a purely scientific basis, what’s happening in the body is still fucking magical. It still does outstanding things. And on an emotional level, a mental level, physical level, like so many aspects of self are corrected.

Self-corrected through yoga. You can do it at home, just watch videos, but I highly recommend going to a yoga studio because you get to network and engage with the yoga community, which is so supportive. Now most of the time you go to a yoga class, you’re going to find a woman teaching you. And I find that women yoga instructors are way better than men because they’re more nurturing.

There’s just something nurturing about a woman teaching a yoga class, but. I don’t want to discount men yoga instructors at all. Men are great at teaching yoga as well, but I find that I have a different approach to teaching yoga than most women do, surprisingly, because I’m a man and yeah, there’s some weirdness there, I guess.

But like I said, without yoga, I wouldn’t be able to continue doing artwork. So it’s necessary for me to stay in the game at my age. And I think any age for yoga is, is just as important. And any age can do yoga. There’s modifications that you can do into your, you know, any age you can do chair yoga, but anyway, I do have a different approach.

I’m not so nurturing in my class. For one, I like to make jokes. I’ll say a few cuss words. My wife comes with me and she’ll talk shit about my teaching abilities. When I make a mistake, she makes it very clearly obvious and we laugh about it, but I find that that helps beginners not feel so self-conscious like, Hey, I’m in a yoga class.

What’s this going to be like, it’s more beginner friendly and accessible. And also I’m not as flexible as women are. Men are generally more stiff than women. And so in my class, I, I only do the poses that I’m capable of doing. So you’re not going to get tied up in a pretzel, or you’re less likely to damage something because I’m not going to push it to the outmost limits.

That being said, you still get a good workout and you still get the benefits of doing yoga with me and my class. But one thing that I do in my class is I bring singing bowls and my collection of singing bowls is growing. I do use metal singing bowls because I, I like them better than the crystal ones.

And I find that most people, most people are having the crystal singing bowls. They’re louder and they have more like consistent high pitched tone, but the singing bowls have a depth. And a soul to them that the crystal balls don’t have for me. I like the metal singing bowls better just for me personally. I have one gong so far, and there’s a bit of controversy on the gong because some people really dig that loud.

It’s a very loud, abrupt sound that can be a little jarring for a yoga class. I even think that, but I love the gong. Using seeing bowls in a yoga class as generally called a sound bath, it sounds kind of metaphysical or crazy hippie stuff, but a sound bath is basically just I’m playing the singing bowls and it’s relaxing.

It’s meditative and you just listened to it. That’s all there is to it. It’s, there’s nothing magical about it, but it is very relaxing and it works really well. I enjoy it. So going to yoga class, you’re going to connect with the yoga community and there’s many different types of people in the yoga community.

And many of them have gone to yoga, to heal from something. And yoga is very healing because it helps you helps you let go of a lot of the things you’re hanging on to, and some of the things we hang on to emotionally get expressed in the body. 

If you’re worried about something and you’re holding tension in your shoulders and you have a job where like, say you’re on the computer all day, the combination of all those things creates, you know, neck and back problems.

So doing yoga helps you undo the damage done in the body, which in turn allows you to start dealing with some of the internal reasons that you may have physical problems manifesting. And that’s exactly how yoga can help now in my class, instead of focusing on trying to manually heal people like me, do it through my words, I just let it be automatic.

Because I feel like healing happens behind the scenes without anyone having to say or do anything just when their conditions are. Right. So if you set up the right conditions, you don’t have to talk, talk about it or try to force healing to happen in this one hour class, when it might be healthier for healing to happen over a period of time.

Forcing things to happen is just, it’s not natural. And I’m a big believer in the natural way and allowing things to happen in their own time. And for me, that’s the best approach. And that’s why I have a lighthearted approach to my yoga class for beginners to make people not feel so self-conscious and to increase the accessibility of people that could come to the class.

Now, that being said, Very few people are coming to my class right now. And it’s a combination of factors. It’s for one it’s the COVID times. And you know, a lot of people still aren’t getting out and doing things with other people and, you know, that’s a personal choice that each person has to make individually.

And I wouldn’t want to influence someone to come out that doesn’t feel safe doing so. And then they end up getting COVID and blame me. I mean, you have to make your own choice when it comes to reintegrating with society, but it will have to happen at some point that band-aid has to be pulled off and people have to get back to it.

At some point in the yoga community, I’ve noticed that, you know, people go to yoga for healing and some people develop a dependency upon healing. Almost like they’re addicted to healing. And that in itself becomes a sickness. What I mean by that is people tend to develop, or some people tend to develop a new identity based in the fact that something’s not right with them and they have to fix it.

And it’s not true. It could be that, that person’s moved past what they were working through and this new identity has them locked in this healing pattern where they’re constantly trying to heal themselves. 

Now, if you haven’t witnessed this yourself, you may have no clue what I’m talking about, but if you’re a part of the yoga community, I’m sure you’ve seen it.

That someone’s just constantly needing healing or perceivably, they think that they are constantly needing healing, but in fact, they may have moved past what they were trying to work through or heal from. 

And just haven’t assumed that new identity, that new, like, Hey, I’m over this shit. I can get on with my life now, like still do yoga, yeah, fine. 

Still enjoy the things that, the methods that got you to the point of healing. But I think that’s when the person needing healing becomes the healer and they may have some apprehension about assuming that role, but once you’ve dealt with your own shit, you can help other people deal with their shit.

To a degree you can’t, you can’t help someone to the point they’re not able to be helped because it goes back to doing things in a natural way, in a natural timeframe. And so you can only help guide people and help people get up when they fall. But that for me is the masculine approach to teaching yoga.

I have a suck it up buttercup attitude. I don’t want to dwell on negative things that have happened to me or negative situations. I’d rather work through them. I’d rather get past it. And, you know, being caught in the healing cycle and being addicted to healing is a sickness unto itself. There’s something to say about the, do no harm part of the Hippocratic philosophy.

I don’t think it’s a part of the Hippocratic oath. All it might be sometimes the do no harm philosophy is, I think, the most important approach to teaching yoga is that don’t do anything in the yoga class or in yoga teachings that would cause harm. And that’s just the base start of an approach to teaching anybody.

Anything I think that just doing nothing alone does no harm. So when we start to do things, is it making things worse? Like if, if you do too much yoga and you end up hurting yourself, you’re actually doing worse than if you did nothing at all. So do no harm approach to healing, I think is a really important point to focus on as a starting point is to strive for not making things worse.

That’s a good place to begin. So what I’m trying to say is that people stuck in an endless loop of healing. Are actually doing harm because of their addiction to constantly try and heal and improve. If you realize that though, you might just be in the position to help someone else, it might be time to switch gears.

Yoga and meditation is just one of the things that inspire my creativity and topics that I enjoy talking about. Another one is green tea. I am a green tea fanatic, and I’ll have to get into that in another episode. More about that. But this Friday, Friday, the 26, February the 26th, Friday at seven o’clock.

I’m teaching a yoga class at one, love yoga in Texarkana, Texas, and I’ll be serving. Japanese matcha green tea. We’ll have a tea ceremony before the yoga class and you’re invited to come and enjoy some tea, the singing bowls and my yoga class. If you can’t make it, you can always do it next time. The Friday yoga classes are not consistent.

I just do those when I feel like it. Basically. Now I do have a yoga class every Monday at six o’clock and that’s also at one love yoga in Texarkana, Texas. Yeah. A lot of times my tattoo clients like to take my yoga class and. My client coming in this weekend wants to do the yoga. And he had requested that we do yoga on Friday.

I created that class for him, but everyone is welcome. Yeah. So the tattoo I’m doing on him is a trash polka style tattoo. And it’s inspired by his adventure on Mount Everest. And I believe I’m going to be doing a podcast with him to talk about his experience and the reason why he’s getting his tattoo soon, I’m going to release the tattoos.

I want to do what you’re designed to that I custom design. And present as tattoos I would want to do. Now, one thing to say about that is just because these are tattoos I want to do because I created them. Doesn’t mean that your idea is a tattoo I don’t want to do. It’s just that, I don’t know what else to call these tattoos that I want to do.

So that’s, that’s what I call it. And I designed these custom designs that anyone can get, but I’ll only do that design one time. Now the content I may do over and over, like say it’s a, and how, and designed this one out and only one person can get it doesn’t mean I won’t do an owl again. It’s just that this specific design will only be done.

One time. So maybe the next podcast we’ll have a guest and I’m looking forward to that because. It’s a little weird doing a podcast by yourself. Just talking yeah. To a microphone alone in a room. It has some weirdness to it. I am a little concerned. I learned about the logistics of doing a podcast with two people because it becomes a little bit more challenging on the technology side.

So right now I’m talking into one mic. And I’m set up for one person podcast, but doing a two person podcast is going to be a little bit more challenging to get the sound quality as good. I’ll need to buy some new things, which I’m totally, yeah. Fine with doing that. I just don’t know what I need. I don’t know what I don’t know at this point, but I’ll guess I’ll find out as I go.

That’s the evolutionary process of being creative. Until next time.


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