Symbols of life
AN ART ESSAY
JONAS JÖDICKE has been creating and imagining fantastic worlds ever since he can remember. What started as a hobby has now become his profession. Here he shares with us what art means to him, and offers a poem associated with each work of art.
Art has always been a crucial part of who I am. It’s as though art chose me, not the other way round. Pablo Picasso once said, “Painting is stronger than me, it makes me do its bidding.” I can only attest to that. The urge to let my inner feelings and thoughts become reality has always been very strong, especially growing up in a creative family with six siblings, two of which are also full-time artists.
When I turned 14, I stumbled upon a video on YouTube of someone painting on their PC. I was immediately hooked and asked my parents to gift me a graphic tablet and a student version of Adobe Photoshop for my birthday. Digital Art quickly became my favorite medium.
After finishing high school I decided to go on a two-year missionary trip with my church, which was a crucial time of self-discovery and spiritual growth. I think the spiritual dimension I added to my fantasy art after that journey really struck a chord with many people, and within a year I was able to fully sustain myself as an artist.
I choose animals as the subject of most of my pieces because, weird as it may sound, I feel it is easier for us to relate to the depiction of animals on an emotional level than it is to relate to the depiction of humans. Unconsciously we tend to judge people by their looks, skin color, proportions, gender, and so on, which can prevent us from focusing on the essentials. I give my animals slightly human traits such as deep, emotional eyes, and it almost makes the viewer feel as though they are looking into a mirror. It makes them realize that they themselves are divine beings.
I am especially fascinated by the interconnectedness of light and dark, portraying the bipolar relationship between the forces that govern our universe: cold and warmth, day and night, good and evil, body and spirit. Portraying both sides of the spectrum in one piece of art creates a tension that the viewers can feel inside of them.
In my ‘Symbols of Life’ series, these two poles, represented by animals, are actually bound together in a mix of affection, love, necessity, and also pain. My belief is that each of them cannot exist without the other: stars could never shine without the dark of the night. The same applies to relationships between humans. We may be as different as day and night, but still we can and ought to be bound together in love.
Many of my pieces also evolve around the theme of guardians, those heavenly beings who watch over us. I believe in God, and through my art I try to express what His presence feels like to me.
Art is more than a hobby or a profession to me. It is a means of giving voice to the thoughts, feelings and truths I carry inside, which can’t be expressed any other way. It helps me access the peaceful space of divinity inside myself and all around me. When I create, I feel as though everything but me and the piece I am working on disappears for a while, almost like during meditation.
I believe we were all made to create in one way or another. Whether it is through art, music, cooking, writing or photography, being creative connects us to our deeper consciousness and to our fellow human beings. It brings the unconscious to the surface and teaches us a lot about ourselves.
Many of my pieces have helped me better understand certain issues I was having at the time I was working on them. They contained messages that were meant for me. But when others looked at them, they saw something totally different and interpreted them in their unique, personal way. That is the magic of art – one and the same piece can tell a million different stories to a million different people.
We may be as day and night,
as different as black and white,
yet there is no reason here
to fight a war because of fear.
Cause you’re just you and I am me,
come, open up your eyes and see,
that no matter how different,
it’s love that binds us in the end.
Yin and Yang
Balance is a state of opposition,
a state of two forces facing each other.
There is no light without darkness,
no peace without pain.
It is our choice which way we face
and in the end that choice
…determines our eternal destiny.
We live, we die,
we laugh, we cry,
we’re low, then high,
we fail and try.
We hope, we doubt,
we breathe, we shout,
we’re soft, then loud,
we’re meek and proud.
Eternity is meant to be
a never ending harmony
of dusk and dawn,
nor split nor torn,
for as we die,
we’ll be reborn.
Circle of Life
In life we face both low and peek,
we fail and sometimes we succeed
to gain fulfillment, joy and peace,
until we find that missing piece:
Someone to hold, someone to feel,
someone, who makes our joy so real,
a lover, friend, a child, our God,
someone we can truly love.
Is war the answer,
is hate the way?
Is life just a game
of predator and prey?
Give me your hand,
feel my heart beat,
put down your weapons
and let us make peace.
For we both know,
we can’t hide,
we might die together,
if we chose to fight.
Art, poetry and article by JONAS JÖDICKE
June 29, 2020
May 31, 2020
May 31, 2020