A strong desire to travel.
But a desire to travel where? I suppose the best place to start explaining this project and therefore me is to start in the place I did. I was born in Peru Indiana, an unassuming midwestern town like many others aside from the small detail that it is the Amateur Circus Capital of the World. That’s right. A town of just 11,000 people is home to a permanent circus building, with annual shows whose performers are kids from 7 to 21 years of age. These highly skilled adolescents are trained by the seasoned veterans of the show who performed in their youth, as did the generation before them and so on -all the way back to the founders of this circus (one of whom was my late grandfather).
I hadn’t given much thought to what that kind of environment does to a kid’s development until I sat down to write this. While I never directly participated in the circus, I was surrounded by it. Seeing your peers do things that people gaze upon in awe, that people believe are beyond their capabilities- that has to instill a little extra confidence and drive to reach for something beyond your grasp.
I wanted to address wanderlust because to me it isn’t just the urge to travel in the traditional sense. It’s the urge to find out what’s out there, go places, try things, get out and prove stuff to yourself. All of my life I’ve felt this pull toward something bigger. This has translated into many projects and many risks.
At this point, I have lived in 5 cities, backpacked through 5 European countries and visited even more, had art shows in a dozen cities, opened a handful of studios and galleries, and I honestly couldn’t count the number of jobs I’ve had. There’s a deep-seated restlessness to me that leaves me with little peace. I’ve always used art to help satiate that because in art entire worlds, universes of possibilities exist- it is boundless. But as I experienced more things, had more shows, saw more places, I became more and more frustrated with that restless feeling. Thinking to myself, “what’s it going to take for me to have a little mental peace?”
I never want to lose curiosity for life, the thing that drives you to wander, to wander in seek of fulfillment rather than from anxiety or discomfort. Trying things to see if you’ll fit in here or there. All I can speak to is my own journey, but the second you start trying to build something that’s all your own, that speaks to who you are, that thing that only you can bring to the world- that’s when discomfort switches over to fulfillment. It was when I started asking myself similar questions that things started to fall into place.
If you’re following along, I’ve mentioned museums and cinemas and love and sorrow, a plethora of events, and I’m going to do my best to address them all through this. It was a journey, brought on by wander and risk, never letting excuses or complacency stand in the way of clearing my own path.
Try things. Have new experiences. Travel- even if it’s just through a paintbrush. No one is asking you to live your life like anyone else. You’ve got to seek what fulfills you as a person, so long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else, chase that fulfillment with all you’ve got. It’s better than wondering what could have been- after all if my classmates can fearlessly fling themselves between trapeze bars, twenty-five feet off the ground, who’s to say you shouldn’t take a little risk of your own?
Co-Founder Atlantis Collective Gallery