Using Art to Discover My Purpose
I, Noah, am 19 years old, a budding artist, and live in the city of Zurich. I have always been interested in art somehow. Whenever I saw a painting as a child it was like a friend, a creation from a completely different world. A free, beautiful world where everything is calming.
The art world for me is like a building with many floors. Floor 1 could be about art that expresses love, for example. On floor 2 are the artists who process grief, anger, and fear in their works. Floor 3 for brave experimentation, and so on. That’s why I like the art world so much, it has a place for everyone – a floor for everyone. And that’s why I do the whole thing. Paint these pictures and write my lines, which consist of heartbreak, fear, anger, love, and reverie – something for each floor.
I grew up in a small village in the canton of St. Gallen, in Switzerland, where you have few opportunities to pursue your dreams. In school I was always a dreamer, always wanted to distance myself from the norm of society, for various reasons. Like for example, anger. I wanted to rebel, but not hurt anyone in the process.
Luckily, skateboarding at the age of 14 drew me to Zurich every day after school, where I also got more and more friends. Having all my close friends in Zurich, being a country-bumpkin, and with more problems than friends at school, the feeling of being in the wrong place in life was even stronger. At 16, I started an apprenticeship as a printing technologist in the Nebendorf. An ever-increasing frustration built up in me. Just this feeling of having to live in this village that disgusted me. I really couldn’t stand the village life anymore, so I quit the apprenticeship on the first day and left my frustration in the village and moved to Zurich, to my former girlfriend. It was not planned, but I lived with her for almost 2 years.
I looked for jobs but found nothing I could really stand, because I just can’t lie to myself. I can’t look in the mirror in the morning and say I’m going into business happy and motivated if it’s not true. And then, by chance, I learned something that made my world come crashing down.
My world turned upside down…
At the age of 5, I lost my father in an accident. But then, when I was trying to find my purpose in life in Zurich, I learned that my father had been a heroin addict for 25 years. This gave me anger, frustration, sadness, fear, hatred, and pain all rolled into one. It was like a slap in the face. Shaking and screaming, I lay in bed not knowing how to deal with it. My heart was ripped apart in an instant and I was shaken and then thrown into the deep end. That’s definitely how it felt, to suddenly know who my father really was. He’s not scum or a failure to me, but it wasn’t the image I had of him and knowing that he suffered his whole life and experienced those many things still hurts today. So, I didn’t know how to deal with these new facts.
Then the thought came to me to draw. And so, I had already found my therapy: to let all this out and to process it through art. My whole history connects me with art. All my works – every single one – are connected with my deepest feelings. I have no problems opening up, none at all, but I needed a vehicle to express them. All of this is “me”, and this is my art. They are honest creations, which are based on emotions.
Artists need to be aware that people who admire their creation can be inspired. That the art they look at can influence them – consciously or unconsciously.
I want to help and move with my art. I want to help, and I know I can. To do that, my work has to be honest and true. I despair a lot because I think: “Man, Noah. You’re sick of every profession, what’s going to happen to you?” It also hurts to think: “you are a lazy, unmotivated young man, ” although I know, 100% from my heart, that I am not. Because I am painting and writing for days and nights. I deal with my dreams all the time. Many have told me, “Noah, take a break, you are studying too much and too fast.” But I can’t, it feels wrong. I’m not in it for the money, I just want to create. Inside me is the urge to let “it” – whatever “it” is – flow. To create, to create, to move.
I want to change something, in a positive way. For me, and for others. At the moment I make my work in my small 1 room apartment in Zurich. The space is small, but my dreams are big. I want to realize ideas that arise in my head. I want to encourage and bring a change in the world. Design my floor and contribute to the fact that others also find their world, a free beautiful world where everything is more positive and fulfilling.