The Journey

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Have you ever been on a journey and had no idea where you were going to end up? As the phrase goes: that is the story of my life. I’ve been creating art longer than I can remember, but I never knew where it would lead me.

As a child, making art was my favorite form of play; I would draw for hours on end, completely content with nothing more than my pad of paper and pencil. Training the hand to trick the eye was nothing short of magic to me. If you were to tell me back then that art would eventually be my job, it wouldn’t have made sense to me- I was just having fun. I have been asked several times how I got to where I am today. The truth is, I don’t know. It would be like asking a mountain climber who just struggled to reach the great summit how he got there and he replied, “I’m not sure. I just enjoy climbing.” It might seem strange to many, but there is great joy to be had in the midst of struggle. The summit might be the end goal, but what a man is truly after is the unrelenting joy that beats back the torment, which threatens to break him. If you look close enough at my journey you can see the joy I was chasing after by looking at the torment I submitted myself to. First, I endured the torment of practice. I am almost entirely self-taught in all of my art forms and I bear no degree from any art college. From the time I was young, I found experience to be the greatest teacher. I can hardly describe to you the elation I had as I noticed my work getting better and better through persistent practice. Through the torment of practice, I learned of the joy of self-improvement. Second, came the torment of striving. Striving is that particular kind of struggle in a single direction towards a given goal. This was never more realized for me than when I was pursuing my certification as a Master Penman. The goal was set. The required skill level was determined. My magnum opus was under way. I strive not for titles or accomplishments for their own sake, but for the level of excellence I swear myself to in the process. After enduring all that was required of me to reach that goal, I found great empowerment on the other side. Through the torment of striving, I found the joy of excellence. Finally, comes the torment of exposure. My art lacks its full purpose until it is seen by someone else. What is created in secret must be made public. All my art is truly a bid for connection; like a handshake, I extend from my right hand an embrace of a different kind. Don’t assume that I am not nervous with every piece I unveil. But what I have come to discover in this process is not to simply reveal something about me, but to reveal something about the viewer as well. If I can describe in some work of art something that we are both passionate about, then I have formed something greater than an art piece- I have formed a relationship. And through the torment of exposure, I have discovered the joy of relationship- the joy of you! So, I welcome you here dear viewer, to not simply look at my art, but experience it with me. I welcome you further to join me on this journey. I am still a developing artist and I pray that I always will be. I have no idea what summits my climbing will take me to- I am just enjoying the ascent. I will always be subjecting myself to torment for the joy that is locked therein- may you share in my joy (and may I not be the cause of your torment). Thank you for reading. Thank you for looking. Thank you for experiencing. Jake Weidmann

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