Forty Two

“Forty-two!” yelled Loonquawl. “Is that all you’ve got to show for seven and a half million years’ work?”

“I checked it very thoroughly,” said the computer, “and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question is.”

                                                                           ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

In a couple of hours I’ll turn 42 . Some might say this is a good time to reflect back. Some might say it’s a perfect time to look ahead. Both options are probably best done outside of this humble blog, but this might be a good opportunity to explain why (and how) seempli was created in the past year.

Exactly one year ago I was asked what my vision is. I didn’t have to think twice, and the first sentence that came out was “Inspiring people to see the world differently”.

When I wrote it down I thought of one thing only: the art I’m creating. You see, I believe anyone creating art wants people to see the world differently. Specifically, artists want people to see the world through their eyes, using their metaphorical (or, in the case of photography, real) lenses and filters. Whether they have “a message” for the world, or they just see things other don’t, artists are really storytellers. And like any storyteller, they need their audience to listen to their story.

That’s why, being a photographer, the vision I stated was naturally derived from the need to tell my stories to people, and make them see the world through my eyes.

Fast forward.

Few months later I came across the piece of paper on which I wrote my vision. It was a challenging time in this little corner of the world, which is just a pseudo-positive way to say it was far from being good. I felt that so many people around me simply won’t see reality for what it is (as if I knew what it really is). So many people kept saying (and doing) the same things, refusing to even consider a change of perspective. The result was an ever-growing conflict, inability to come up with any creative solution, and a general sense of no hope. So, when I read the seven words I wrote down a while back, they appeared to have nothing to do with my art. I didn’t need people to see the world through my eyes. I just wanted them to be able to see the world differently, to try to switch glasses, to start noticing the things they are missing, to be open to other interpretations, and maybe to come to the realization that things might actually look different from the other side of the street.

That’s when seempli started to take form, with the premise that like many other abilities, the ability to change perspectives and see things differently (no matter what’s your starting point) can be practiced and evolved. I knew this is possible, because that’s the path I went through as an artist: at the beginning I couldn’t see anything special in the plain things around me. Gradually, I’ve started to look at things differently, until I found stories in plain objects, old buildings, and walls that appear to be empty to people passing by. And, if I gained this ability, there’s no reason others can’t.

It’s not like everyone must be artist. The ability to look at things differently has so many day-to-day benefits: in creative work, in relationships, and in how we understand the world in general. There’s so much to gain. And I knew all it takes is a little practice, and something to challenge us.

So, here we are. It’s almost midnight. A year after I wrote my vision. It took a different path, but I feel this is the right path. seempli is live with dozens of glasses for you to wear and use to practice the natural ability we had as children: to be surprised by the world.

It’s time we stop thinking in terms of the answer, and start trying to ask more questions. 

seempli you soon,

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