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Tom Novak – Baker City

I have to open myself up to the universe.

“Not all artists agree with me. When I do a piece of art, it’s about me. It’s who I have to be in order to do it. That’s what it’s all about. I have to open myself up to the universe, to the tree if I’m drawing a tree. And as I’m drawing a tree, I go ‘Oh, I hadn’t seen that before.’ And I get real intimate with the tree. And all of a sudden, you just kind of flip and you’re there with the tree and that’s it. It’s just me and the tree. For a brief few moments we are one, and I feel the tree, I hear the tree, I respond to the tree, and the tree opens up its loveliness to me. And I see things I hadn’t seen before. And that’s when great art happens. Not that my art is great. But when you go through a museum, you look at something by some old master, and you’re driven to tears as I have been. That’s because for a brief moment, you’re free, you’re on the same frequency, as that piece of art, and you feel what the artist put into it. It moves you. That’s what art is about.

I meditate and Jack Kornfield is the guy I listen to the most. He had just finished one of his books and he had a bunch of creative people sitting in a big meeting. And they were all talking about how their inspiration comes. One said, ‘Oh, I just hear it. I just hear the music. Can I just write it?’ Somebody else said, ‘It comes to me in a dream.’ And somebody else says, ‘Oh, I see it in the leaves of the tree.’ And Jack said, ‘Oh, we all have different ways. But it was very clear. We weren’t doing it. It was coming to us.’ And when we’re on that vibration level, as a human being when we can rise to that, we become one with it. And you can be moved by your inspiration. It’s something out there, the collective human consciousness, God, angels, aliens, I don’t know. But it’s very necessary for us. And I think artists, musicians, writers, people that are into the fine arts, feel it more than other people do. And when they’re in tune with it, great art happens. And great art isn’t going to happen, if there’s no connection.

So when these ideas come in, you’ve got to listen. Meditation helps you be receptive like that. Meditation is just a nice way of bringing mind and body together at the same place at the same time. Like drawing the tree. When that flip happens, and I see something, and I’m really looking at the tree, because I’m trying to make an exact copy of that tree. I’m thinking of nothing else but the tree. I’m meditating on the tree. And that’s when the flip happens. And that’s what meditation is about. Becoming just my mind and my body together at the same time. I’m not in the past worrying about what a jerk I was and not in the future even worrying about what we have for dinner tonight. I’m not in any of those places. I’m right here with the tree. I’m right here in meditation.”