Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
Many people have asked me how to reconcile minimalism with creative pursuits. Well today, I’d like to introduce you to minimalist artist Joshua Vegas, who both lives and creates by a “less is more” philosophy. Please visit his website to see more of his work.
Artistically, I’m known as Joshua Vegas, but my real name is Nneka Atto. I’m an emerging self-taught graphite pencil artist from Toronto, Canada, and my works possess a minimalist flair. Art has always been one of my passions, and I have been drawing and doodling since childhood. After experimenting with various media, I settled upon using graphite pencil to create artwork due to both its accessibility and versatility. No matter where I am, as long as I am in the company of some pencil and paper, I can create art. My work is largely influenced by minimalist philosophy, for I truly do believe that “less is more.” Once the excess has been eliminated, all that is left are those elements that have extraordinary significance, the most value. And this is what my artwork aims to depict. Also, being a graphite pencil artist, I tend to see the world in “black-and-white.” What my work may lack in spectral colour is made up for in sweeping greys, stark whites, and resonant blacks. Only when the world is stripped down to its bare minimum—when everything that surrounds you is in black-and-white—is when you are truly able to see that which is important.
Ever since becoming a minimalist artist, creating art in the style of minimalism, I’ve found that I enjoy creating artwork so much more. I have always loved it, but minimalism forces me to be that much more creative because I have to use less. I also spend less time on each piece, which allows me to focus more on, as well as generate, all of the ideas that I have swimming about in my head. Minimalist art is freeing, in that sense, which adheres to the very nature of the lifestyle and philosophy itself.
Generally, I feel that what the first world needs is a heavy dose, a strong surge, of minimalism. We have so much in our possession, yet we are taught to never be satisfied and to always want more. Of course, we are made to believe as such, for that is the way that a capitalist world works–but I digress. Despite owning, possessing, and clinging to all of these things, we, as a collective people, are not happier. Everyday, thousands of people wake up and slave over a job that they hate, for instance, just to pay the bills for all of their stuff, and then buy even more stuff to placate themselves with because they are not happy. Thus, the vicious cycle continues again and again.
But it’s encouraging to know that the secret to true, innate happiness cannot be bought. Why? For it is already inherent within each one of us. If we were all to let go, to minimize, the world would be a much happier place.
And that truly is encouraging.
To see some samples of my minimalist artwork, please visit my website at http://joshuavegas.webs.com.
Peace, love, and happiness,