#88: Akira Beard - "Love In Spite of Everything”

“Making pictures is one of the earliest memories I recall. Before learning to write the alphabet I was drawing from my imagination in crayons. And over all the years that followed, there has never been a period where I didn’t continue the practice. I remember for example just after graduating high school and living on my own as a dishwasher with no ambitions in life but to get drunk and high. But when the party was over I would be in the kitchen of a house I didn’t live in, drawing past dawn. Or even when I was a student at the University of California Berkeley, on my way towards a corporate life, having never conceived even the possibility where art could be a profession, I filled my notebooks not with words from lectures, but with sketches of teachers and classmates. And though later I would become a ‘professional artist’, I sometimes look back at such moments if confused with the roots of my creativity. It started purely as an act of autonomy, where nothing outside myself influenced or affected it. I simply drew because I enjoyed it above all else. Sure, like anyone I’ve had plenty of typical life experiences that have brought their own joy, but nothing compares in consistency and meaningfulness that making art has provided. Even during those unavoidable periods with living that challenges us most, drastic life change/loss/death, art has functioned as a medium with giving meaning to suffering, transforming it into an experience with healing. This I hope, begins to describe the art I make. The drawings and paintings you see on this site, are similar to snapshots with the lens pointed in Life's direction with penetrating force. I hope you enjoy any of what's reflected back. Thanks for visiting." - Akira Beard

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Identity
  • His Japanese American heritage
  • Akira’s self portraiture work where he addressed the theme of identity
  • The idea of “self, culture, nature”
  • Self-realization
  • The Buddhist concept of impermanence
  • The difference between a technician and a fine artist
  • “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”
  • The enigma of love
  • His body of artwork called “Love In Spite of Everything”
  • His 4 year path of discovery
  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Stoicism
  • Daily rituals
  • Anais Nin

Akira Beard's Website

Akira Beard's Instagram