Genesis Collection 1 / 13
As the first president of the United States, it fell into the hands of George Washington to decide what the head of the government would be called. Many titles where suggested, such as "His Excellency", "His Highness, the Protector of Our Liberties", “His Elective Majesty” and “His Mightiness”. George Washington rejected these pompous titles, and instead chose a modest title for the time, "Mr. President". "Mr." is profound. It is a title all men share. The meaning of using this simple title, is that Washington and all presidents are not above their fellow men. This is very important, as this modest title holds the spirit that the president is there to serve the people, and that he is not above them. The title "Mr. President" was very uncommon at this time, when most heads of state held monarchical, imperious titles. "Mr. President" is an expression of republicanism, and it was at the time a revolutionary act in and of itself. Such was the power of Washington's example, that centuries later, most heads of state use a title that a modest man once chose. Creative Process What is the most modest art style possible? That would have to be pixel art, the style we chose for this piece. We then had to decide how to paint Washington. We chose to base his portrait on the Athenaeum Portrait, also known as The Athenaeum. It is an unfinished painting and the most famous painting by Gilbert Stuart. It is also the portrait that the $1 dollar bill is based on. Washington was 65 years old when he was painted for The Athenaeum. Therefore, our piece is 65 pixels wide by 65 pixels tall. In terms of numerology, the image has 65 * 65 = 4,225 pixels. That number is exactly divisible by 13, the most prominent number on The Great Seal of the United States. Further, 4 + 2 + 2 + 5 is also 13.
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You want to achieve something. You have a vision you’d like to make reality. Do you know what it will cost you? Do you know who you will need to become in order to accomplish what you want? Everything we perceive is the result of a series of accumulated events. Living beings, companies, nations, projects, families… everything contains in itself an accumulation of steps that have made it what it is. The more complex an object, the more steps were required to produce it. A spacecraft requires more steps than a paper plane. A nation more effort than a family. When a goal is ambitious, the number of required steps increases. Probably more steps than you imagine. Big goals can be intimidating, but are they truly? If you examine any accomplishment, it is composed of a series of smaller efforts. You can divide any task into pieces that are so small, they are all easy. Nothing is hard, it is just not divided enough. Divide a task until you can conquer it. If it seems too hard, divide it more. Divide it into more parts, divide it into more people, divide it into more time. Divide until nothing is bigger than you. Divide and simplify your project until success becomes a matter of time. A matter of choice. A matter of will. Not a matter of complexity. Not a problem of being intimidated, doubtful or afraid. Not a matter of not believing in yourself. Can you see it? You can simplify any goal into simple steps. And you can complete any one of those individual steps. Once a task is fully divided, all steps are easy. And if you can complete any single step, then you can complete all of them. You can make your vision a reality. You really can. There’s a goal you can achieve, a life you can create, and a person you can become. If you decide it so, if you will it so, there is something amazing waiting for you. It will be yours if you persevere. Creative Process
Genesis Collection 6 / 13
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The Statue of Liberty is perhaps the most iconic symbol of freedom in the world. Donated to America by the friendly French, its original name is “Liberty Enlightening the World”, or “La Liberté Éclairant le Monde”. Imagine living in a land without freedom, a land of little opportunity. You gather your courage and decide to relocate. You embark on a long journey, leaving everything behind. What awaits you in this new land, the land of the free? As your ship arrives at New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty greets you, resplendent. It is a bittersweet moment. Your old life ends, and a new one begins. Inside the pedestal, we find a poem by Emma Lazarus: “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”. At the feet of the Statue of Liberty are broken chains, celebrating the end of slavery achieved in 1865. In her left hand is a tablet, with the date of the Declaration of Independence in roman numerals. July 4th, 1776. Both of these events were incremental steps towards freedom. Creative Process I imagined this incarnation of the goddess Libertas, shrouded by mist and clouds. New York City is hidden, because Liberty is not restricted to this city. Liberty is an idea that applies to the entire country, and further. In a way Liberty was dedicated to the entire world. “Liberty Enlightening the World”, she is called. With the city faded, Liberty can be anywhere and anytime. I intentionally requested her smaller in the frame, to showcase the power of the beams of light emanating from her torch. She may seem small, but she is very powerful, and her influence reaches far and wide. It may appear that clouds can block rays of light, but this is a mistake of perception. The light shines through the clouds. The light of freedom can never be taken away, it can only be willingly surrendered. It is always ours, if we will hold it. And if it is ever surrendered, it can be taken back, with the speed of a thunderbolt, as quick as thought.
Genesis Collection 8 / 13
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How extensive is the law in the USA? In the case of criminal offenses, there are so many that the federal government has been unable to precisely count them. In 1983, the Department of Justice tried to count all criminal offenses. They could not produce a concrete number, but concluded there were “over 3,000”. Nearly 4 decades have passed since then, and that number is now closer to 5,000 criminal laws. How much legislation has Congress passed? Since 1789, there have been over 30,000 statutes passed. Each statute can be between 1 and over 1,000 pages long. The 111th United States Congress, for example, passed a total of 383 statutes in 2 years. One of these statutes was the Affordable Care Act, over 1,000 pages / 300,000 words long. These are a few examples. We are not even counting the amount of legislation from each State, executive orders, etc. The law is so complex, that not even the Department of Justice understands it fully, much less citizens. Even lawyers, who dedicate themselves to the study of the law, specialize in specific areas of the law, since no single lawyer can specialize in all of them. It’s that complex. Hundreds of billions of dollars and countless hours are spent each year navigating the law. A great amount of wealth could be recovered by simplifying the law. Excessive regulation makes the nation poorer. Furthermore, the amount of laws is so excessive, that a situation could arise in which virtually everyone is guilty of something. This could lead to the abuse of power, in which a citizen is targeted, and a crime is “found” to convict them. Whoever studies history knows that this is no exaggeration. Finally, excessive rules undermine our freedoms. In some places, you can’t freely collect rainwater, tend a garden and do other essential human activities. Laws are essential for a functioning and civilized society. The law should exist to bring harmony and justice, not to diminish our wealth and our freedoms. The law should be simplified, for the benefit of you, me, and all. Creative Process The best symbol I could think of, representing the main source of legislation, is the United States Congress. “Red tape” is a term that defines rules and regulations that are excessive. These 2 concepts were combined, the artist patiently drawing excessive amounts of red tape emanating from Congress. Grey clouds were added, diminishing light, to portray the diminishing effect that excessive legislation has on society. Green trees are present, representing the beneficial effects that Congress has actualized upon society. The color palette is intentionally reduced, to create a very dramatic, powerful, and memorable effect upon the viewing consciousness.
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An Errata Journal is a journal of mistakes, errors, failures, and limitations. It is a powerful method to understand why we are making mistakes and correct them. To change a negative situation into a beneficial situation. To become better and to live a better life. Our brain has limited ability. By grounding our thoughts into paper or screen, we enhance our ability to understand the topic we are thinking of. People can go their entire lives without understanding their own behavior, without understanding how to improve. We should understand what to do and not do, and why. If we can enhance and quicken this understanding and improvement cycle, we can make great progress in our life. A habit of journaling dramatically strengthens our clarity, development, commitment, and success. Why am I not the best version I can be? What mistakes am I making? Why did I make them? What triggered them? How can I change my environment to create less errata? What rules must I adhere to? What poisons must I renounce? What do I have to say no to, in order to make more progress? How can I be better? Et cetera. The number of questions we can journal on the road to self-development are abundant. What questions come to your mind? What are your replies? What further questions arise from those replies? The deeper the roots of your inquiry, the taller the tree of your wisdom. Creative Process The tree represents the thinking process used in journaling and self-inquiry. It has its roots deep in the earth. This earth is full of mistakes, which nourish the roots of this self-inquiry tree. The tree creates a space to house wisdom, represented by the owl. This owl of wisdom radiates light, making things clear and seen. The owl of wisdom can see in the dark. The scene is placed at night, when the unconscious is more open. The moon is crescent but not full, meaning that there is more wisdom and light yet to be attained. Other life forms decorate the scene, representing the interconnectedness of all life. Your mistakes and successes affect all life around you. The tree of self-inquiry gives fruit in the form of apples. These apples are nourishing in themselves. The errata journal itself is hued in the color of transmutation. The fireflies emit their own light, representing the innate wisdom found in all of nature.
Genesis Collection 10 / 13
George Washington wielded such power and influence, that many feared he would retain the reins of power and rule the United States indefinitely. But Washington was committed to the greater good, to his fellow man, and to the republic. At the height of his career, Washington sacrificed his power and gave it away, so that this republic may be formed, and a nation of the free would be wielded into existence. When King George III of England heard that Washington might resign his power, he said: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world”. In speaking these words, the English King recognized that the value of such an act would be so great, that nobody else alive in the world could compete with it, not even himself. The King’s judgment was correct. There is no greater measure of worth than virtue. This virtue or lack thereof, makes the world better or worse. It is a cause of happiness or suffering, when present or when absent, for self and for others. You can’t have a fair society if government officials are self-serving. Selflessness of elected officials is paramount in order to have a healthy, happy, and prosperous society. Creative Process I wanted Washington to be depicted giving away his power. The best symbol we could imagine, that represents the power he gave away, is the American flag itself. We chose the version of the flag used in 1797, the year he gave up his power. That version had only 15 stars on it, for the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Kentucky, which composed The Union at the time. We could then show Washington giving the flag to John Adams, the second president. But Washington did not give power to one man, he have power to The People, to The Republic. Washington created a tradition that all presidents follow. All presidents give up their power to the next president, chosen by The People. Therefore, we chose the viewer to be the recipient of the flag. Power was given to the people, and the viewer can be anyone among the people. So Washington gives the power to the viewer, to you! I then had to decide the location to place him. Washington is no longer alive. He no longer walks the Earth. Therefore, we depict him in the sky, a more ethereal location for someone long past. The sky also makes for a more memorable, unique piece.
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I know what I should do. I know what is best for me. Do I do it? Sometimes. Why not always? There is something that pulls us against our will. We can call it our shadow. This shadow has propensities, triggers, and impulses. When we are sad, afraid, angry, stressed, anxious, et al, we are more vulnerable to this shadow and these impulses. We might decide to follow this shadow and gratify it. We do what isn’t best. We indulge in our craving. We poison our bodies and weaken our minds. We lash out. We deliver words that cannot be taken back. Some shadows are clearly destructive, while others seduce us with the promise of a dopamine rush... but the dopamine always fades away. When the false allure of the shadow wears off, what are we left with? How do we feel afterwards? It doesn’t feel great. We might judge ourselves. We might conclude we are guilty. Stupid. Undisciplined. Unworthy. We might punish ourselves in a vicious cycle, spiraling downward. On the other hand, what happens when we do what is best for us? Like forgiving ourselves and others, embracing a positive idea, cooking a healthy meal, exercising, saving money, solidifying a new habit, learning a new skill, doing a good deed, helping someone, building our legacy? We feel lasting satisfaction. There is no dopamine crash. We feel stronger, happier, more capable. Our self-respect and self-esteem grow. It creates a powerful upward spiral. Every day, when our shadow presents itself, we have 2 options. We can allow it to conquer us, or we can conquer it. We can spiral up, or we can spiral down. We can be a shadow victim, or we can be a shadow conqueror. Creative Process I chose the classic shadow as a symbol to represent our lower impulses. Our shadow pales in comparison with our luminous self. Like a shadow, our impulses appear constantly. Like our shadows, there can be a lot of impulses. Most importantly, we create our own shadow. This is usually an unconscious process, but it can become conscious. The character faces his shadow. The round is just beginning. The result is undecided. This represents the battle we face each day. I requested a pencil, sketch like art style to represent the changeability of the battle against our lower impulses. This battle is waged every day, with varying outcomes. This pencil style reflects this changeability. The shadow can be enlarged, reduced, changed, even deleted. The boxer’s body can also deteriorate under the domination of the shadow, or become stronger by conquering it. So his body is made of pencil as well. The gloves on the other hands, are made of red ink. They cannot be erased like a pencil. As human beings, our gloves are always there. We always have the choice to conquer our shadow.
Genesis Collection 12 / 13
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I see many mountains that I could climb. Some mountains look climbable, while others intimidate with imposing, colossal height. As I stand there analyzing these mountains, I realize I’m not making any progress towards any of them. Analyzing is not doing. To climb a mountain, I must first decide to climb it. To decide to climb it, I must first believe that I can climb it. To believe I can climb it, I must be a capable climber. To be a capable climber, I must climb. To climb, I must take steps. To take steps, I must take the first step. But the entire path is not clear. Should I not fully understand the path, before walking it? As I ponder this question… I realize that’s impossible. Parts of the path are seen, but most of it is hidden. This is the nature of the path. I can see were the path starts. The further the path goes, the less of it I can see. But as I take more steps, more of the path is revealed. To see the entire path, I must walk it fully. After engaging in self-reflection, I embark upon a mountain that I believe I can climb. The mountain will be taller than I expected, but by requiring more steps, I will become stronger than I imagined. The person starting the journey can’t complete the journey. The person completing the journey, is not the same person who started. You become suitable as you walk. The unfortunate man makes no contribution. He never decides to climb anything. So he dies underdeveloped and unfulfilled. But this is not my fate. I have decided it so. I have my mountain defined. Creative Process I chose a mountain to represent a goal, a journey. A hand is pointed at this journey, at this goal. The hand comes from the perspective of the viewer, so it can be anybody’s hand. The skin color is unclear at night, it could be anyone. I use the right hand, since most people are right handed. Part of the path is visible, part of it is not. The further the path, the less of it you see. The viewer self visualizes along the path, playing inside the mind the next steps along the journey. “Artchemy #5: Self Reflection” is present in this artwork. It means that self-reflection is an essential part of defining any goal. There is a shooting star near the mountain, representing the mysterious forces that may conspire to make your wish come true. Colorful lights decorate the mountain. They can represent many things, from beauty, to intelligent guidance, to feelings. The scene starts at night. When you arrive at the summit, it will be day. You and your environment will become more luminous. The artist drew 33 birds, but I did not request any specific number of birds. I just requested birds. 33 is a number of mastery, the mastery that is achieved when a mountain is climbed. This was spontaneous! I was happy to see it. From my perspective, spirit has co-created this artwork with me.
Genesis Collection 13 / 13
This piece is a profound artistic interpretation of the Great Seal of the United States. All symbols are present here as well. Instead of an Eagle, we have a Phoenix. According to Manly P. Hall and others, the Phoenix is the true identity of the Eagle of the Great Seal. The Phoenix is a symbol of regeneration. It has the ability to rebirth itself from its ashes. The olive branch on the left side of the Great Seal represents peace. Here it has been replaced with 8 stars from the constellation of Columba. Columba is Latin for dove, the bird of peace. The dove constellation also holds an olive branch in its beak. The “D.C.” in Washington D.C. represents the “District of Columbus”, in Latin meaning the district of the dove, the district of peace. These were the intentions at America’s founding. In the original seal, the arrows represent war, and the capability of the United States to defend life, liberty, and property. The head of the eagle does not point here, meaning that war is not preferred over peace. In our version, the arrows have been replaced by 8 stars in the constellation of Scorpius. The scorpion constellation has a weapon in its tail, replacing the arrows. The Scorpius constellation has an interesting mythology: the Scorpion was sent by Gaia to stop the hunter Orion and his genocidal agenda to kill all animals on earth. The battle was epic, and in the end, the Scorpion killed the genocidal Orion, protecting life on earth. Above the head of the Phoenix is the constellation Canis Major. In this constellation we find the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. When the Declaration of Independence was made, our sun was conjunct Sirius and Canis Major. We placed 8 stars of Canis Major, including Sirius, to commemorate this founding moment. The original shield in the Great Seal is without external support, no lions, elephants or the like carry it, meaning that the United States is a self-reliant nation made of self-reliant individuals. This self-reliance is represented in our version by the Phoenix itself, who flies by his own merit and radiates light through his own fire. It replaces the shield as a symbol of self-reliance. The glory and its 13 stars are represented by the halo above the head of the phoenix. The glory is further represented by the fact that this artwork is #13 in the collection. The motto "E Pluribus Unum" of the Great Seal can be translated as "Out of Many, One". This is represented by many elements combining into one element. The many elements including the eagle, the motto on paper, the arrows, the olive branch, the shield, and the Glory, have all been united and are represented by a single element, shared by the stars and the Phoenix. That common element is fire/light. We have 3 constellations with 8 stars each, 8+8+8 equals 24, which can be arranged hexagonally in the same geometry as the 13 stars of the Great Seal. This is an edition of 888 pieces. 888 + 888 is 1776, the year the United States declared its independence. 888 also represents divinity. Creative Process The United States is suffering in many ways. Many of its founding principles are being challenged. There is a degeneration of morals, values, and virtues. But despite all of this, I believe the United States will rise again, like a phoenix. There will be a renewal and a regeneration, that is positive and beneficial to all. I materialized this belief into this artwork. The United States shall renew itself! Not as an empire that abuses its power, but as a peaceful, prosperous, and enlightened nation.