The Portfolio of Justin Simoni
Skazat is my digital sketchbook. It records many of my thoughts, autobiographical stories, trivial life events, observations, experiments of all kinds and whatever else is on my mind. It is rough at the edges and perhaps doesn't make much sense to anyone else except myself.
Skazat is not a weblog, which I find to be mostly the rehash of what someone else has thought and felt. I don't care about how many people view it or if anyone views it. I don't care who links to me; skazat is an island as far as I am concerned.
Skazat is not a journal in the traditional sense, as it's not purely the recording of what I've experienced. I take parts of my sketchbooks, photos I've taken, scribbles on scraps of paper, overheard conversations and I document them through my personal filter. It is a meta sketchbook. I have access to it anywhere there's a connection to the Internet. I can make copies of its contents easily.
The ability to use the hyperlink to make nonlinear associations excites me, as it transforms my linear digital sketchbook into how my mind more closely works, but with an added bonus of not really forgetting something, once I've scrawled the Moment. In that way, it becomes an indespensible tool.
Art is at least in part created from one's personal life events, no matter how unrelated or irrelevant some of those events may be. Too many of my largest pieces have come from scribbles of my life. I keep working on Skazat to keep myself at least partially grounded and allow myself to look back through my life and the various stages I've gone through. In the very least, it's a very complicated bunch of notches on a wall.
I cannot see the output of an Artist as just the final Masterpiece. To only view those few things is to learn nothing of what was trying to be expressed. The Art of anything is in its process. Paintings for me are the destination, yes, but the fun is in the journey, as cliche as that sounds. Tops of mountains are lonely in a good way because it's not easy to reach them.
One of the benifits of keeping such a meta sketchbook is the ability to look back and connect a finished piece with its beginning. A final painting is nothing but a contrived material, without a story behind it. That's why the awful Impressionistic watercolor calendar besides a receptionist is not Art and something that has a history - that has a purpose and almost a soul - is. The receptionist may think of the calendar's images as pretty and it may well be. My job is not to make pretty things, but true Beauty in Art is never out of the question.
The question on what kind of impact technology has on the arts shouldn't be such a mystery: Artists will and must use the latest technology to express themselves. It's a natural thing much more than something I felt has been forced onto me. Rendering a piece in a traditional medium, such as oil brings upon itself the history of the medium itself, and the skewing from that subjectivity can be an incredible hindrance. One shouldn't avoid the past, but learn from it, extend it to the present and work with it, as a tool - just like everything else.
At one time, Science and Art were synonymous. I don't understand why some people don't understand the value of exploring their subconsciousness and personal feelings they have, let alone the chaos around them. The problem may be that we cannot express these things logically and quantitatively, but have to resort to displaying the mystery itself.
Some people also wonder why I would put such a thing up for anyone to read and view. One of the responsibilities that I put on myself as an artist is to share. Art and the ideas it presents to the viewer cannot be shielded behind bars if we ever want to progress as a culture and society. I also cannot be afraid of what I do, who I am and the choices I make in my life. To be afraid is the outcome of being ashamed and there hasn't been much that I've been so ashamed of as not to share and learn from. I just think of the treasure that I started in 1999. I couldn't possibly stop now.