Do you think you’re an artist? Mike Iamele does. Here’s why.
I’m a fan of art. I love walking through the cool halls of a museum and being affected by each and every piece. I think it’s way I love good food so much. The experience of biting into a beautifully designed plate and tasting the contrasting flavors come together in perfect harmony is nothing short of art to me.
So, when my dad suggested the Nathan Sawaya LEGO exhibit The Art of Brick, my mind started spinning. LEGOs—as art? Were they? Could they be? And what would it be like?
It’s become an annual tradition that we skip the Black Friday shopping madness and head to a museum exhibit the day after Thanksgiving. And this was my dad’s latest find.
So we packed up my one-year-old niece Ella and fought the Faneuil Hall crowds. We were going to see us some art.
And, as I passed through replica after replica of famous artwork “LEGO-ified,” I was impressed. I was amazed. I was wow that somebody could meticulously put 70,000 pieces of LEGOs together. But I wasn’t moved.
Not until we stepped out of the replica room and into Sawaya’s own work. I saw his perspective on the world. I saw inspiration and excitement. I saw pieces that left an impression on me. Truthfully, I saw him. His soul. Through LEGOs.
In the days since seeing that exhibit, I’ve been thinking a lot about art—about what we’re all trying to do here. Some of us paint and some of us cook. Some of us write and some even just connect LEGOs. And I’ve realized that it doesn’t really matter which tool we use. It’s how we do it. It’s what we’re really after. That’s what matters.
As impressive as the replica of the Mona Lisa was, I didn’t feel much. Sure, the detail was incredibly impressive. But it wasn’t the artist. I could feel that. Everyone could feel that.
See, It isn’t about the talent at all. It’s about the inspiration. It’s about getting to see inside another person. And, these days, that’s incredibly rare.
We can do anything with our lives. We can create products, sell services, build companies, write, speak, develop. We can do any of it with any tools that feel right to us. But what we’re really trying to do is move people, isn’t it? What we’re really trying to do is speak our unique voice out there to the world. To show who we are and what we’ve got to share. To connect.
And anything that vulnerable is bound to move you.
The last piece in the exhibit, undoubtedly Sawaya’s most famous, is a yellow man, from torso up, ripping open his chest and letting the LEGOs spill out. It’s supposed to represent how the artist opened himself up and shared himself with the world—by just using LEGOs.
And it made me think that it doesn’t really matter what we make or create. They’re just tools. All that matters is that we use those tools to continue to open us up. To continue to share ourselves and our wisdom with the world. To continue to bare our scars for the world to see. And to remind ourselves that it’s beautiful—it’s all beautiful—even the ugly stuff. Maybe especially the ugly stuff. Because that’s the exact stuff that people need from us.
If we can do that, then we’re artists. We’re all artists.
So go out there and build and create. Play. Have fun. Write amazing articles. Develop life-changing products. Offer the best services possible. But remember that, somewhere deep down, what you’re really doing is sharing yourself. A piece of yourself for the world to have. A piece of your passion, your vision, your inspiration.
And that’s art.
Last night, Garrett took me to a very nice restaurant for my birthday. The chef came over and asked if I wanted to sit at a table, but I much preferred the bar in front of the kitchen, to watch him prepare.
And, as we watched beautiful plates appearing before our eyes, Garrett whispered to me, “He’s an artist, huh? Just like you.”
Originally posted at BostonWellnessCoach.com.