I know I don’t post to my blog as often as I should. I feel that will change now. Why? Because of a dream. Let me start by saying this was not an ordinary dream. In fact it was extraordinary. Perhaps once or twice in our lives we have a dream that isn’t completely nuts but in fact provides us insight and answers to questions in our lives all in one night’s slumber. That is the dream I had. So I must get this on paper as fast as possible so I can capture all the important details because I feel there is an important message for all of you as well. Let’s dispense with all the suspense.
The dream begins by transporting me back to my high school. Its morning and I’m rushing to get to school on a very shitty old golf cart (no this is not how I got to school but in the dream it was). As I’m driving down the familiar path down a hill I use to walk to school I pass students that are getting a kick out of my golf cart as I wave to them. I remember feeling gleeful and happy as a I drove to school. Arriving at the school I realize I’m late for class but I don’t know where to go or what class I’m suppose to be attending first. The principal of the school directs me and when I arrive all the students are already there but there is no teacher. I take my seat among the other students and comment to them that I’m glad I made it there before the teacher, and tell them to say that I arrived early in case the teacher asks. They all laugh.
Suddenly I look up and on the board at the front of the room is written in big bold letters, “Mr. Castanon”, I feel confused for a second in my dream when it hits me like a ton of bricks, I’m the teacher! It was all a ruse! A prank! As if in my own dream I was the one being fooled yet the same one pulling the prank. Inception like isn’t it? It doesn’t stop there. I then take to the front of the class and admit to the prank as a way of breaking the ice with the students. Indeed the class I am teaching is ART! Starting to see some symbols yet Dr. Freud? It gets better. I then tell the students that only lame teachers assign homework on the first day and only lame teachers give out paperwork explaining rules of conduct. But I did have three rules that they must all follow in class. I tell a student to turn off the lights. It goes dark and written wildly on the walls with glow in the dark paint are my rules. They are graffitti’d all around the room and quite large. They read: “Be Distinctive, Be Fearless, Be Humble”. These are my rules for them in the class. I explain that in this room there are no labels, groups, pretenders, or posers. Everyone can be himself and take the time to discover who they are as an artist as well as an individual, which is the point of the first rule. This is getting deep right? The dream evolves into me creating art in front of the kids in different ways that only happens when you’re fearless and not restrained by doubt. I wish I could say what it was I created but I’m afraid my writing skills in this blog post would only confuse you. Here is the final shocker that reveals to me at the end of the dream what it all means. As I’m standing at the front of the class and I look at all the faces of the students it is revealed that they are all me. 20-25 students in this art class are all versions of me. The dream ends.
So what does this all mean? I think we can come to similar conclusions but here is mine. The classroom is symbolic, it’s my life or at least how I should be living it when it comes to my art. But the classroom is not limited to my dreams it’s a private place I can go to when I need to regroup and follow a direction that is true to me. The dream and all the rules and etc are answers that perhaps I’ve come to know but been unable to realize until the dream presented it in a literal kind of way. Each rule governs how I should conduct myself as an artist. I know they seem quite obvious but how many times have we been trapped in our mind trying to figure out how to make this art thing work? How to be successful? Perhaps you've told yourself the same rules but have you followed them? How fearless are you? Fearlessness in art is not limited to your creative ability and freedom but should include how you present your art and what you are doing to put yourself out there. Humility? Once you get to a certain level as an artist you must continue to evolve and learn. This means sharing your knowledge with others. What about the teacher and the students? Well I think we can all agree that my subconscious developed a creative way to tell me that no one call tell me how to handle or create my art that in the end the decision should be mine. Not to doubt my instincts. Here was what I encourage those of you that are reading to do, examine the dream and the symbols for yourself. What should it mean for you if this was your dream? Can this apply to you? Should it? Also think of the classroom as a place you can go to in your mind where you can be free to create where there exists no doubt or restraint. Where you can create wild gigantic art or small but everything you do and think in this room is a reflection of you.