Artists have never fitted in, that's their job - to be different. Interviewed for The Homeless Library, artist/musician Andris discusses the fear and delight of this difference. He also talks about other kinds of difference, being homeless in a foreign country. From Latvia, through Europe, to Ireland and then mainland Britain, it's been a long journey. Here is Part 1:
I am an artist by ideas, I'm a real deal artist in the core. In the centre, that's my entity. I was fifth in class, disabled. One talent was drawing, my real talent. My brain started to unlock, I started to learn like a genius.
Many people can't remember themselves when they are two years old. Those memories are weird, not normal, you see the same world but you see more, real vivid. Only people like William Blake and me, us have seen things. We are sort of connected to the source. It happens on paper, in songs. If you are asleep and you open your eyes and see what's there and more. It's a gift, a big big gift. Many see it as a threat.
People think anything alien is a threat. We both know that. They get afraid, but there's nothing to be scared of. Even me, I am knowing there's nothing there nothing evil on the face of the world. It can frustrate, make you feel different.
I read about the esoteric thought. Everyone has a guardian angel, opposite sex. Once I was in that state and I seen it. 14 centimetres from my eyes. Seen the face that's watching me - beautiful, intense. I would say she was more surprised than me. Normally they watch us and we don't open the eyes of the soul.
When you see something like that, it's not easy to convince others who are living a common sense life. You can see in their eyes "You retard", stuff like that. People don't want to accept - people don't understand how to put a thought in it.
Everyone has potential but we decide what we want to be, how we open. I still see stuff in good mood, or very bad, I see the things. You must be pushed in someway.
When I meet people which call themselves normal, they took about things which don't hook me at all. I have noticed when people have talked with me about common sense stuff, I'm getting bored. I know water is water. When it gets to zero degrees it freezes, why talk about it. Or you went in a pub and got drunk. So why talk about it? It's low level. With normal people, I'm getting bored. Sometimes I'm even freaking out people.
Initial stage when I interfere with people, they appreciate. But when we talk about common sense stuff I don't know what to talk. That's why I don't nicely interfere with people. Maybe someone has a similar life, but normally our experiences don't apply to each other. When they find out I've got no family, they think I've got issue. But when you want to understand advanced stuff you have to put energy in, thinking and consideration.
All artists are like this, something specific. See things, dreams, vivid I would say so. They are not normal people, not ordinary. If you want to do good stuff you've got be in-ordinary. You shouldn't be usual. Impress people with something new, something creative, somehow original. I can draw, carve sculpture. I think maybe I should make a miniature queen next and put it beside a big one. It would be wicked, you can write that idea down. I could sell myself in such a way. People would ask who made it, wouldn't believe I made it. I have very vivid imagination, imagining a big and a small queen it is wicked.
People shouldn't think about value. As soon as they are born they're starting to walk the road of life. They think this walk isn't happiness, but it's aim is happiness. That isn't true! People walking this road named as life, they think they have to reach happiness. You don't. What sort of life would it be if there was no happiness, only happiness at the end?
I got to be honest. But will it be typeable down? All these observations, it's to help. But it's a job for you, for James, for Heidi (staff at The Booth Centre). If there wasn't homeless people there wouldn't be the need for help. This place is like that. It used to be beneficial for me but now it pulls me down. The environment, drug addicts. I can't get normal common sense people. And everyone knows if I am with them, I'm one of them. Not staff, but clients. Eastern Europeans. I was homeless doing alcohol. Now I see those people which were two years ago me. Now I'm dressing better, looking a bit better. Exercising, quit smoking. All East Europeans see I'm getting out of minus, and they're getting jealous, gossiping me. If I'm capable to help. I say you don't interfere with me when I'm outside. I'm not arrogant, I like to approach people. But when they're abusing, I don't be around them.
I'll tell you one thing, you need a safe place. The safe place must be safe. Every artist is doing drugs whatever. But they need a place to slow down, remember what they've done, meditate basically.
Speaking to normal people, I start to realise they're not normal. I haven't spoke with humans on street, doing something meaningful. I think I will go alternative pub, where there's people like me. With every student I'm speaking I feel very good, levelled evenised and accepted. I can't find point to speak with people that are young. When I was 20 it was same I was talking with people who were older, 30, 35.
I twice dreamed resurrection. I know it happened. Two years ago I was complete punk and I decided I want to live, to be joyful. Life is not bad. It's not life, it's you, as soon as you change yourself life will change. And as I changed myself I noticed things getting better. When you rely on someone else, it's the most strongest way to live. You can take notice but don't follow life. I have now made so many enemies because of this, they used to be friends. I used to say I'm not going to take your opinions. Mostly I will suggest myself.
I decided "Andris make every situation beneficial to you, make something good". Then I'm sure I'm not bad, I'm at least helping someone. I'm one of those grateful ones - I try to convince people life is fine and if you believe that it's going well. How to keep yourself positive? You have got to shout at yourself to get rid of other people's problems. You got to develop yourself.
Andris Lauva was interviewed for The Homeless Library by Phil Davenport at The Booth Centre, July 2015. All videos by Andris Lauva, all rights reserved. To see more YouTube work by Andris go to his YouTube channel.