Interstellar Paintings: Architect of my World

Interstellar paintings: Architect of my Universe

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

~Erich Fromm

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Another favorite of astro-photographers, narrow band filters with the monochrome cameras are often used to highlight the red and blue lights emanating from this captivating nebula in the northern hemisphere. Lights from these particular gases are barely visible to mankind, yet it has always been a fancy for mankind to explore the hidden realm. My predecessors in astro-photography have taken brilliant images on these celestial objects, yet this doesn’t stop me from taking up this hobby. No matter how wonderful their pictures look, they have nothing to do with me. The pictures every astro-photographer take mark their fleeting existence in the mortal world. Some humans have made their marks in this world by leaving their footprints as heirlooms. Astro-photographers are no different. The astrographs they take could be seen as the evidence of technological development in the history of mankind at a given time frame.

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There is no right or wrong answer in post-editing the pictures. Every astro-photographer can exercise their freedom of expression in the process, giving rise to a variety of versions of the same deep sky objects on the Internet. The fun of post-editing lies in the absence of rigid rules which everyone must abide by. These pictures of the night sky are each person’s interpretation of the celestial objects. Perhaps that’s the answer of why my predecessors and fellows in astro-photography continue pursuing this habit. No matter how captivating the pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope or Webb’s Telescope, they have nothing to do with us. No one can touch the mysterious universe, yet we all want to play a part in discovering the hidden pulchritude of cosmos with our foot grounded on Earth through the telescopes and astro-cameras.

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Some might argue that presenting the unedited astrographs is tantamount to standing by the truth. Editing pictures of the deep sky objects would mean that the public will not know how each looks exactly with our naked eye when we are in the universe. This view carries equal weight to me. Striking a fine balance of maintaining the true flavor while bringing out the best of the celestial objects through post-editing is an onerous task for me as an amateur astro-photographer just starting out my journey. Nevertheless, I endeavor to make an effort to overcome the difficulties and polish my skills gradually. It is a lonely pursuit in which my friends cannot participate, yet I am making new friends along the way who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with me. Astro-photography rebuilds my life.

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Before starting out my journey, I thought I could find the true colors of the nebulae and galaxies. Now they do not matter that much to me anymore. The longer I live, the more I appreciate all those who spent countless hours in front of the computers stacking the raw data and turning them into bewitching colorful astrographs which capture the audience’s attention. Post-editing is a time-consuming task, as it takes at least 2 hours to generate an autograph with the raw data taken by the cameras. Hardly can anyone speed up the process even with the latest technology available. Mastering the skills is no easy feat either. The freedom of creativity in astro-photography makes me realize how much time each astro-photographer has spent on perfecting their masterpieces before they are published on the Internet. People not sharing the same passion as them may think they are lunatics in doing meaningless stuff.

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Our minds can take us far. A magic spark lies deep within each heart, lighting the fire of our imagination. In the imperfect world where some individuals are barricaded in internment camps or war zones, freedom is a luxury. I do not take the freedom I possess at this moment for granted. Rather, I am thankful of having the opportunity to make the best use of my creativity in my interstellar paintings and astrographs. From the very first day I picked up the paint brushes and began my artistic journey, I knew I would be the architect of my own world. No prince in shining armor, no friends like fairy godmothers, no connections in the fine art industry. All I have is the determination to succeed with my creativity which cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence. By that I am not against artificial intelligence’s assistance in arts, yet the creativity of mankind will be limited if humans rely on it. It is the artist’s originality that sparks a prairie of fire of imagination, inspiring future generations to explore further.

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I want to prove to individuals claiming that everything that happens is inevitable and they could do nothing to change it. From the moment I picked up the paint brushes and began the trial-and-error process on the linen canvases, I knew that my life would be changed. A dream can become a reality once you put efforts in it. It takes courage to defy the gravity in the fine arts industry which focuses on artworks of some particular genres, yet playing by the book is no fun. “What if I can make the tides turn?”, the question hovered in my mind whenever I was painting. To be a trendsetter involves taking risks. There’s no guarantee that the limited-edition prints of my original interstellar paintings will always be well received by the public. Nonetheless, I am never a puppet who paint what the galleriests and curators collectively decide what the mass should like.

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I wish that people could join me to become the architects of their own cosmos through my fine arts exhibitions showcasing the original interstellar paintings. Though they will be permanently destroyed, the spirits will be carried on by the limited-edition prints. Without trendsetters contributing novel ideas to world, the development of every industry would be stagnated. Humans aren’t made to surrender their creativity which comes with the responsibility to shoulder everything that comes with it. Maturity stems from the time when one is ready to accept responsibilities for all his actions, yet this trait can never be observed in puppets. When I browse the online forums, I am particularly struck by the threads in which the starters are told that their lives are prescribed upon the pages of the diagnosis because of cancers. What they want to do is to live longer to fulfill the dreams they have. If no one can predict whether we can see the sunlight tomorrow, why not go after our dreams and live each day to the fullest?

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