Designed in October 2017 and never actually released on my website as a design to purchase, Fundamental was a representation of me in my rawest form and focused on natural elements and imperfections. It was the first mandala that had layered shading, and was the first time in years I worked with charcoal again, even though I actually loved working with it in college.
Backstory - I mean the intro to this blog covered the highlight - Fundamental was about me. So October 2017 I was going through the stages of interviewing for a Gym Supervisor role in London (well Gravesend) and it was around the time I was basically sold in my head I was moving out for the first time, away from home, without family coming with me, just me and a brand new city because these interview stages were progressing quickly, and soon enough I was spending more time in London each weekend than I was at home. Well not exactly a brand new city, the end goal was London which I was quickly becoming familiar with anyway thanks to the ex (who has been mentioned in a few of these), but it started feeling like home more and more each time I was going down. I used to refer to it as leaving behind parts of my heart there each time I went and had to come back.
I wasn't feeling myself at this point, I mean I was crazily determined and motivated for the next chapter, but in terms of me deep down, I wasn't myself. I was quickly becoming agitated with a lot of things in my daily life and for once I craved newness, an escape, a chance to just go and be me, or at least find out what me being me is because I always felt like I never really knew that? Like ok cool we learn about who we are through school and college experiences and what we like and don't like, but in terms of who I am when I'm by myself without a comfort zone around me - that's who I wanted to uncover and get to meet.
My art started reflecting my views on the world, my thought processes and how I was feeling and truth be told I didn't even begin to recognise it much at first, until I started spending more and more time staring at each piece and writing down any thoughts that came to mind from it whilst I was mid-flow creating or just finished. And so came a piece that reflected my mindset at the time - Fundamental.
So when I shared it on social, it had the original caption of -:
"Fundamental | amazing what you think of or what your first thought is when you look at something isn't it? Mine, reminds me of the basics. Cause that's what a mandala does right? It reminds us of our place in the grand scheme of things, our relation to infinity. So I present 'fundamental', the basics, the first mandala I've ever done with ring shading by hand with charcoal, the first one to truly represent me; in all it's imperfections. Reborn was something else, reborn was an awakening, fundamental, is me going back to basics, but deeper, digging down into roots and correcting anything I believe to be wrong or not good for me and my journey, it's the beginning of change, new stories, new journeys, new moments and heck new mandalas.
I initially thought of perfectionist - the irony behind it, because my mandalas are far from perfect. There's a flaw in each one, whether it's a line out of place or slightly bent or a budge up I've made, but then it would have unravelled something else entirely - why do we live by this idea of being perfect and thinking in a way that's "socially acceptable", who gives a damn?! We're called individuals, for that precise reason, we're unique to each person we ever have some form of contact with in our life, yet we fail to embrace that and use that to our strength. So what's truly the idea of perfectionism?"
Breakdown - I unveiled a lot in that caption to be honest, I realised I was quickly becoming a person who for once was finding her voice for another purpose - not screaming at others or being a teenage hothead anymore, but learning about myself, the process, what life is right now and what the hell I plan to do with mine. I didn't want people to know I was nervous about moving, all people saw was the excitement because it's all I allowed them to see. But beneath the surface I was trying to solve myself too - ironic because I know it's a journey and who I was 3 and a half years ago is most definitely who I'm not right now, writing about my past self, but that past self was my foundation. Those months leading up to the move and the first few months after especially, I started finding myself. But when it comes to these self-discovery periods, a lot of people make it out like it's quite a beautiful journey and it's like little hurdles one by one you take on and deal with. I'm sorry to say this, but for them if it happened like that, then it's beautiful, but for me - it's like someone threw a whole tonne of bricks at me and I have to learn how to not get buried in them every single time. My journey has always been bunches of overwhelming thoughts at once, and this was one of those times again.
So why did I say fundamental was a replica of me? It's made up of simple elements, there's not too many shapes and designs involved but its the way it's been layered. Elements hidden by the charcoal shading under the layers - there's 3 ways that I interpreted it, and there's nothing to say all versions aren't true.
1- there are flaws hidden away in me that very few have ever seen or will ever see, hence the comment about perfectionism in my caption.
2- there's more than meets the eye, lying dormant in the shadows for now until I'm ready to reveal those parts of me, be it good or bad, they're yet to be discovered as part of my own journey - tying in with the mandala.
3- what we see stemming from the shaded elements represent the me I am today, but how many people can see the deep-rooted shades, the deep-rooted darkness that moulded me into who I am? (this is a huge follow on from Anticipation by the way, which you can read here)
It was one that triggered me in the way of causing me to dive deep.
Reflecting on my life and how it was at the time, what patterns did I want to change, habits I needed to break, things I needed to learn before I moved out vs what I would learn living out. It was one of those pieces that made me seriously evaluate my life at the time, there was a huge change coming and it was coming seriously quickly to my face too, so how was I about to be ready for it. Thinking about home comforts as I had it - wake up, train, do a shift at the gym, home and eat and sleep, back to the gym for a shift, doing absolutely sod all in between vs 'crap Sim, you gotta learn how to start doing all these things you don't even do at home' - thankfully I already knew how to cook so that was a blessing. Where Reborn woke me up, Fundamental took me to the stage of being ready to deep dive into getting myself in check, ready for the next step, next chapter, next level up.
So why the name 'Fundamental' over 'Perfectionist'? In all fairness, the caption for social gave it away, it was the first word that came to mind when I saw the end result - a reflection of my mind and the thoughts that ran through it and got me to where I am now, sharing this with you all.
I was also struggling deep down with this idea of perfectionism, and that was something else Fundamental helped me to address - why are we so obsessed with living a perfect life? People could look at me and say 'your life is perfect', they could look at me today and still say the same thing, but what the hell is perfect? Is there such a thing when to every single person their interpretation of it will never the same as the other guy walking down the street? I'm far from being perfect, I'm a perfectionist with the standards of my work yes, of course I will be - I'm my own worst critic and a lot of us are the same, but to label the piece that challenged me as a name I couldn't agree with because of the view that this idea of perfect is fake, it didn't feel right.
I mean you Google definitions of fundamental and it comes up with the likes of "forming a necessary base or core; of central importance." or "a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based." and this piece for me formed the base mindset I took with me to London - this mindset of growth, reflection, self-observation. It was using the core base I had inside of me that I knew, editing it, building it and cutting bits out of it to help form this new ideal, this new version that would carry me through my next chapter.
The piece was fundamental, not by name but by purpose, for without it and it's triggers, I probably wouldn't have the same mindset or vision I have today.
Thank you for reading & keep your eyes peeled for future piece meanings being shared across the blog and also socials. Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and even your own interpretations in the comments below or if you wish to let me know privately - I'm always social on emails and my social media channels.
One love - Simmy. x