This is a fantastic article written exclusively for my Weblog by Frank V. Cahoj. Please feel free to comment here or send him emails. He’ll be happy of this.
An Artist Portrait (Part One)
My name is Frank Cahoj and I have been an artist since I was born. I can say this in confidence without remembering my birth or much of the first years of my life: I can say this because one is either an artist or one is not. Technical skills, knowledge, know-how, are all irrelevant. There is something in the genetic makeup of a human being that makes them an artist, and it is sewn within them from birth. However, there are those who do not recognize this, as being part and parcel to their existence, and may still not become an artist even though they possess the blueprint. It is through recognition as well as possession that an artist can truly exploit their divine talent. Since birth, I have attempted to hone in on this skill, at times successfully, at times bitterly unsuccessful, most often unknowingly, and to use it to my advantage in life, business, social and cultural situations.
I spent most of my childhood dreaming these unbelievably lofty dreams. I created a furniture manufacturing company when I was eight years old—I was going to build furniture out of two by four scraps my uncle had in the garage and sell the pieces to anyone willing to buy. I created a barbershop when I was five, in the backyard, with the goal of cutting neighborhood kid’s hair and inadvertently horrifying countless parents. I created an advertising agency—Icon Solutions Inc., when I was eleven; the business plan is still in a trapper-keeper folder in an attic somewhere. I knew nothing about any of these things, yet my drive to create and be creative at a grassroots level negated any lack of knowledge I had on the subject. I wanted to see things cultivate. I wanted to be inside of a creative process at all times, without the responsibility of seeing any of it through. I thought, “if I can perpetually be in a state of creating—I will never get anywhere—but I won’t be bored!” So I created these things that never happened, because I never let them. Once the creating was done, I went on and created something else.
Somewhere along the way I matured, partially, and primarily out of necessity. My parents were divorced early in my life, and the burden of growing up, and growing up quickly, was a condition of survival. I learned about money, and what it means to have money, and what it means to not. I realized that creations that amount to nothing and never materialize become ghosts and vanish without a legacy or a memory of them. I had created so many things that I had no idea what I had created and why. Suddenly I had no use for all of these things; they were invisible to me. My focus shifted. I became instantly a perfectionist. I began to analyze and research everything I did before I became too involved. I would weigh the pros and cons long before implementation of anything I wanted to do, whether it be going to the park or writing a story or playing a video game. I became anal. And I became very, very, very bored. I stopped creating for a while. I didn’t feel like it. I played with toys and became entrenched in sports; I gravitated to things that were physically concrete, that I could touch and use and that were practical. I left the abstract for the benefit of escaping my own drive to create, in fear of utter and lifelong disappointment. This, all before the age of thirteen.
You’ll read Part Two in the next days.