A Few Quick Facts About Me:
My Favorite Artists at the Moment:
Collections Currently (11/20/2018):
What I like to Do, Plus Some Details:
Why I Make Things:
I was born in Burbank, California, in the den of my home in 1997. I'm the son of a Turkish immigrant on my father's side, and have American-southern roots on my mother's side.
With two, much older, siblings to be compared to, I was considered "the baby" growing up, and sometimes I feared my family, given how much younger I was than my brother and sister, hesitated to discipline me my fair share. Nothing inherently wrong with that, I suppose; however, it was clear to me from an early age that if I wanted to do anything I could be proud of, I would be the one keeping myself accountable.
It was a challenge, at first, to force myself to be my own coach and drill instructor. It was hard to find time to be friendly to myself.
For the longest time, the fields I was indulging in were purely academic, and non-creative. I liked making things, that had always been true, but I hadn't yet felt that urge to make what I would consider art.
Admittedly, art didn't mean much to me at first. I went to school with plenty of arty kids, but I could never indulge in those things they so readily could. I felt a type of emptiness walking through museums, as my friends all talked about the "magic" of the forms of the sculptures and the emotive nature of the painted lines and shades on canvasses. They looked nice to be sure, but not transcending-the-laws-of-nature, nice.
Of course, this was not a sentiment that lasted, and I think that's because, things, in a nutshell, started to get hard in my personal life.
Over the course of high school, and even into college, the control I once had over my life felt like it was slipping. People I loved abused my trust. Friends stopped forgiving me for my mistakes, leaving me, year after year, with fewer friends. I was suffering from depression, starting to self-harm. My mother was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer (breast, lung, brain). The tension in my household was mounting, as my father was angry at my mother for initially refusing treatment, and for hiding the cancer from everyone. The tiredness in my father's eyes, and his clear desire to finally retire, knowing he probably couldn't anymore. My not being able to see eye to eye with my siblings anymore. Everything was weighing on me so heavily, and just being a young man, I felt I had no power to make any of these things better.
I couldn't sleep anymore; I couldn't cry either. I felt like nothing was real, and yet, indeed, it was reality that was crushing me. I was afraid, and I was desperate for a way out.
Slowly, I started focusing more and more on making things, and connecting myself to them. I stopped writing silly songs, and I started writing songs I was afraid to write, things that faced realities I was scared of. I started making music that made me feel things, and I felt my world start piecing itself back together.
That feeling people got, about art, about the statues and paintings in museums, I started getting it too. It felt outside of it all, beautiful respite from the world's ugliness. I didn't have anyone to talk to, but I certainly could pour myself out into my art, especially my music, and I felt happy again.
Making music is what keeps me going, and I hope that one day, the music I make can help others keep going too.
Have an ambitious day!
─Jake A. Kalender