My practice of Buddhism and eastern philosophy parallels my approach to art. Buddhists believe in the philosophical construct of codependent arising. In short, it is the theory that nothing exists in total independence. It accepts the opposite. The Buddhist believes everything only exists as a relationship to other things and entities. For example, the apple doesn’t exist alone as an apple, but it exists as food for animals, or the embryo for the tree, or fertilizer for the ground. Without the tree, the animal, or the ground, the apple is merely an abstract. It doesn’t physically exist. When applied to art, the Buddhist believes that art is purely extrinsically valued, as a Buddhist believes that all things are extrinsically valued. I align my paradigm as an artist with this ideology. It may seem clumsily romantic, but I feel my approach to art designates a role for me in a dependent relationship with my art. My art is a dialogue between the piece and I. I don’t assume my art represents who I am. My art isn’t an illustration of my ego. But a representation of mindfulness and presence. I find once I am finished creating the piece, my role as an artist is diminished, and a different dialogue arises between the piece and the possible viewer.