On March 12th, 2008 I (A.Voss) started a simple blog with the purpose of peering above the wall of conventional thinking to see what was out there. Over the years I have disappeared down a number of rabbit holes, any of which could have beguiled me for a lifetime. I have always been determined to keep my sense of humour while questioning everything, even the stuff that ‘feels’ safe and right.
My spiritual, political and personal outlooks have shifted, sometimes subtly and sometimes to the point I feel I barely recognise the person I once was.
No matter how good your intentions, you don’t get to 54 without making mistakes. Some of these mistakes were so big that they still reverberate decades after the fact.
I am not perfect. I do not have all the answers. However, I have lived an eclectic life. When I write, despite being crippled by dyslexia and without the trophies of academia, I feel I have something worthwhile to say. Something born from a heart and mind that refuses to just go with the flow. The road less travelled is a bumpy one, but boy it does have some amazing vistas, not to mention some stupidly amusing dells.
Born in the late 60’s into a sleepy Middlesex suburb on the Metropolitan line, it became obvious to me I saw the world differently. From an early age I enjoyed making people laugh, which I did often. However, society can be very cruel to its jesters. I had a different name in those days, but I was also regularly called ‘moron’, ‘idiot’ and ‘spack’ , obviously it goes without saying I did not like that very much. Bullied until my early teens, I grew up rather socially awkward and conflicted as I still am today. I am someone just begging for attention who would rather never be seen. I left school at 16 and never looked back. Taking a job in the family hardware store, I started creating artwork in my spare time. Eventually I held a few local exhibitions, but my art was as ‘weird’ as me and not really what the local ‘norms’ wanted.
I met my long suffering wife in a nightclub in Watford, England called Paradise Lost (which kind of says it all really lol) In the early 90’s and we have been together ever since.
In 1993, we moved to America for three years as my wife was born there. During that first year I discovered digital art whilst taking a course at the Art Institute of Seattle on desktop publishing. I found the medium I had been waiting for all my life. Upon quitting the course, I just let my imagination run wild. Purchasing my first digital camera in the late 90s, I coupled photography with my knowledge of digital manipulation giving me even more scope. I enjoyed turning people ‘typically women’ into warriors, vampires and fairies. I was lucky enough to have owned my own photography studio for a while, but I soon got bored dealing with people and their unrealistic demands. Returning to a more artistic side, I then created digital images for meditation and contemplation using photos I had taken in nature which can be viewed and purchased on Zazzle .
Like most ‘Arty Types’ as my father would call me when he was alive, I have always been ‘different’ and have loved and hated that in equal measure. I believe difference is good, even if in the eyes of those who seek to separate and alienate, I’m just another deluded fool. I know only too well what is said about people like me that don’t follow the conventional wisdom/dogma of the day and what can happen to them… Jesus on the cross comes to mind.
I have seldom subscribed to the pre-approved and pre-packaged ways of seeing this world. Over the decades I have never been able to find a tribe where I would be truly welcomed or feel at home.
Note I have no wish to change people’s minds or get them to see the world ‘my way’. However, I would like society as a whole to ‘wake up’ and start thinking for themselves instead of following the flock. ‘When you follow the herd, you end up with other people’s shit on your shoes’… I seek only to reassure those who feel, as my wife and I do, that they are not alone. I think likeminded people do tend to gravitate towards each other, but we are seldom the types to ‘form a club’, in fact such an idea is an anathema to people like us. A few years ago, I would of said this is a site for ‘the freaks’ and meant it with love, now we have entered a more sensitive time I say it’s a place where difference is tolerated and indeed celebrated.
– A Voss