Written by Glo(w)
Gender does not exist.
In recent times, it has become the norm to equate one’s nature-determined sex to societal expectations. Gender norms have proven to be detrimental to communal growth. How can a people rise with glass ceilings blocking the heavens? Gender does not exist; and yet, gender is an active limitation. Each sex has an abundance of wisdom and experience to share. These narratives allow humanity’s understanding to expand. As the world limits acceptable emotions and behaviors—based off of imagined gender—the world limits it’s understanding of itself.
Art has always been a catalyst for growth. Through art, individual members of society find an outlet for expression. Art is limitless. Each painting, song, improvised dance tells a story. Through this continual storytelling, a dialogue amongst artists is created. Conversations often derive from the feeling presented through creative works. As we watch, listen, and wiggle in our own seats, we are connecting to our deepest form of humanity. We are realizing our own emotions and tapping into the divinity that exists beyond societal norms.
Painter and musician Brock Seals uses his own experiences to serve humanity. As he creates, he contributes his perspective to the artistic dialogue that exists globally. Promoting a lifestyle of positivity Brock Seals effectively turns pain into passion. To find a hetero-normative man who exceeds gender norms is matchless. His expression of real-life happenings through art has the potential to inspire others to feel freely. Partnering with William Archetype, Brock Seals has used his perspective of life in St. Louis as inspiration for the upcoming film 50 Paint Bottles. Seals reminds us that our greatest truth lies within and extends beyond our human anatomy.
Center yourself, and get to know Seals and Archetype below.
ART-BAE.com: For the record, what mediums of art do you partake in?
BROCK SEALS: I do music and visual arts.
How long have you been creating?
SEALS: All my life.
What inspired you to start publicly using your creativity?
SEALS: At first, it was just a way to express myself, a way to deal with stuff that I was going through. That was through music. I could rap about real life stuff. As I started getting a little more popular, and people started gravitating towards it, I started to add the art. That’s when I started doing it more on a public level and looking at it as a business.
WILLIAM ARCHETYPE: My city inspires me, the people in it, the places , the atmosphere all make up what I write and shoot about, traveling and hearing people's stores also inspire me to continue forward
What’s your creative process like?
SEALS: Living life, going through different things. Good times, and bad times. Things that make me happy. Things that I may like. My creations are a response to all of that.
Do you specifically focus on the things that you like as inspiration when you create?
SEALS: Yeah. I try to always stay zen, stay positive over anything. But it’s real life. You get mad at some things. I try to channel that energy into doing something positive for myself, like creating something.
What have you learned about yourself through your creative process?
SEALS: I learned that I am sensitive to a lot of things that go on around me because I respond to everything. I realize that I notice a lot of stuff. I’m observant.
ARCHETYPE: The most important thing I've learned through my creative process is patience and pace. I believe that every great product was made with these two things. You need the patience to not rush, and pace to make sure that you don't overlook or underlook things.
Is there an important lesson or factor you want people to get from your work?
SEALS: That it’s real. I want people to be able to relate to it. If I’m going through something, I want to make something that could help someone else to get through what they’re going through.
ARCHETYPE: I try to include social issues and certain emotions that I feel are prevalent in the black community. I don't really go by current issues too much but I try to envision and paint the picture of what people really feel on a daily basis. I get that from vibing in certain cultural areas around the city. Staying true to what's St Louis is super important to me.
How do you think the creative process would be different if money wasn’t a factor?
SEALS: I try to not trip off of the money now, which is why I do what I feel. Sometimes, when you have to do stuff for money, it kind of cramps your style because you’re limited. You’re doing what someone else wants you to do. I’d rather just do what I feel. If you like it, you buy it.
How important is it to you for artists to congregate and work together?
SEALS: I think that’s possible every now and then. Artists sharpen other artists. Some people like to be solo. That’s cool sometimes. It’s not necessary to create with somebody every day, but it doesn’t hurt to reach out and work with other artists.
Do you think there are global differences in the way artists and healers are respected?
ARCHETYPE: I don't know if there are actual differences in the way artists and healers are respected just because they both provide a certain kind of technique to help people. I think healers are more hands forward, while artists are more emotional and spiritual healing from afar. So I think they both have the respectability of the world and are appreciated. It may just come in a different form. The world loves what they do, and they may get taken advantage of sometimes , but all in all I think they get praise from the communities in which they serve.
Tell me about 50 Paint Bottles: what inspired this project?
SEALS: That started as a photoshoot. I was working on some new Art by Seals merchandise. I had William Archetype—the director—shooting the photoshoot for me. It was a such a dope response. People were asking, “aw, is this a movie?” just because of how it looked visually. And we were like, “Man, maybe we should do a movie.” That’s how it began.
There are often images of black masculinity present in your work. However, they provide an uncommon visual aesthetic. Tell us why these images are important to you.
ARCHETYPE: Well, I think I more so provide an image of black vulnerability as opposed to black masculinity. I think that black men now in this day and age are sometimes looked down upon when it comes to expressing their feelings, or being unsure of things. I know we're obviously supposed to be strong in nature, and are supposed to hold it together, but we also have certain feelings that society thinks we shouldn't have. We're all human. I think men of other races get passes with these things. I read an article where a white man—39 years old—was referred to as a kid when he made a mistake. A black man would never be considered a kid. He has to be a man at every age. That's a lot to put on to a person, especially when you looked at as the strongest human walking this earth. So, I try to put subjects in those vulnerable moments because the average doesn't really get to see that side.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
SEALS: Remain humble.
Is that hard for you to do?
SEALS: No. I gotta stay humble over anything because it can be taken away. Money and things just push the ego.
50 Paint Bottles will be showing August 10 at 6:30pm at the Tivoli Theatre.
Follow Brock Seals on Instagram @SealsBrock. For artwork and music, visit www.brockseals.com.
Follow William Archetype on Instagram @WilliamArchetype.