The Art Of Mak­ing Mis­takes – Floris Van Zyl

TO PAINT, YOU NEED THREE THINGS: THE EYE, THE HAND, AND THE HEART. COM­BIN­ING ALL THREE OF TH­ESE IN­GRE­DI­ENTS, FLORIS VAN ZYL IS CHART­ING HIS OWN DIS­TINC­TIVE PATH WITH PAINT.

In Flight Magazine - - IN THIS ISSUE -

If there is one thing that mak­ing art has taught artist Floris van Zyl, it is not to be afraid of mak­ing mis­takes. “The jour­ney is con­stant, be­tween lis­ten­ing to the in­ner voice and mak­ing the choice to take ac­tion. The minute you make a de­ci­sion, if you feel it is dishar­mo­nious with some other plane of ex­is­tence, only then should you go back and try again.”

Van Zyl did ex­actly this when he traded in his suc­cess­ful ca­reer as a graphic de­signer for a go at be­ing a full-time artist. For 17 years,Van Zyl had put up with manag­ing clients and del­e­gat­ing tasks, be­fore fi­nally throw­ing in the towel in 2008 when the global eco­nomic col­lapse was the per­fect ex­cuse to close up shop.“I’d had enough of run­ning a busi­ness be­cause, ul­ti­mately, the de­sign­ers were do­ing all of the cre­ative work, I just had the con­cepts.

“Ar t for me echoes life, it is a metaphor for all life.To cre­ate and to give brings pur­pose and rea­son for liv­ing.At some point in our evo­lu­tion­ary process, each of us be­gins to re­alise that it is not the hav­ing that ful­fils our soul, but rather it is the act of cre­at­ing that brings us sat­is­fac­tion.”And so,Van Zyl de­cided that his hap­pi­ness would lie in cre­at­ing art, rather than just con­cep­tu­al­is­ing it. He

sold all of his pos­ses­sions and went on a bike trip through the coun­try, soon dis­cov­er­ing a dif­fer­ent world, free from the ma­nia of metropoli­tan life – the life of an artist liv­ing in a small town.

THE LIFE OF A PAINT­ING

In his work, Van Zyl mi­grates be­tween re­al­ism and ab­strac­tion where, for him, true emo­tion lives some­where be­tween what the world would like to see and what he wants to por­tray. “My mind al­ways wants to pull back to what it knows, con­stantly search­ing for the known, the safe, and the recog­nis­able shapes in the ab­strac­tion pro­cesses. It takes courage to come to the edge, and jump, let­ting go and al­low­ing the art­work to hap­pen.”

When asked where he draws his in­spi­ra­tion from, Van Zyl ref­er­ences his sur­round­ings and per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences. “I see our cre­ations as a re­trans­la­tion of ex­pe­ri­ences, through our senses and soul aware­ness, through our own unique ex­pres­sion. Peo­ple try to like the same things, but the truth is that each of us sees things a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ently than oth­ers, and that is where we grow – when we come to value our dif­fer­ences more than our sim­i­lar­i­ties.”

In some of his lat­est works, Van Zyl aims to de­pict the strug­gles faced by both an­i­mals and hu­mans alike.“Hu­mans, like an­i­mals, fight for a num­ber of dif­fer­ent rea­sons,” he ex­plains. “Some of th­ese fights may take place to keep ri­vals out of a good feed­ing area, or a park­ing spot at the mall. Within this is the con­cept of right­eous­ness – a very del­i­cate thing to work with, be­cause it has an el­e­ment of anger in it. Right­eous­ness is judg­men­tal. It is all about power and who is more pow­er­ful than some­body else.”

THE ROAD AHEAD

Look­ing ahead, Van Zyl hopes to spend an­other year in the Western Cape, work­ing from his stu­dio in McGre­gor – a quaint town well worth vis­it­ing if ever you are in the area. Van Zyl de­scribes it as:“A place where ev­ery­thing be­comes very clear and am­pli­fied en­er­get­i­cally.A place where one comes to face your­self.”

Go­ing for­ward,Van Zyl en­deav­ours to face him­self through his art­work.“I am truly start­ing to value the mess-ups more, as they teach me how to carry on, in tune and more on point with where and who I re­ally am. Ev­ery­one should be coura­geous enough to make those mis­takes, as they can teach us a lot.”

To view his work, and to find a list of gal­leries which fea­ture his work, visit www.floris­vanzyl.com.

Courage

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