Fear no Art, for You Are the Maker of Worlds.
I’m writing this to honor my fellow artists who presently need some encouragement. Truth be told, I do too.
I think of my writing as not so much my writing, but the writing, as it often seems channeled from some other place. I will sometimes even re-read my own articles for encouragement. To be quite honest, I think I need this format more than some readers do.
I have to say, the longer I stay in the game of art, the more I appreciate the fact that it exists at all. I appreciate the maker of the art, who has a heart and is putting it out there bravely. And perhaps that artist also has a day job, and has worked a whole lot of hours in order to afford the time and materials to make his/her work. If you make art, then you love. You appreciate the blank canvas, page, air space.
You put something in the empty void, and whether it is beautiful or not, it is still an offering. If you are making art, you are not hurting someone (or yourself), drinking, overeating, doing drugs, killing someone, or any other bad things.
Art is a peaceful demonstration, whether it is done alone in a studio or in front of a huge audience.
I applaud the artists who may be starting over again after being benched for many years. Life sometimes gets in the way: taking care of kids, clients, customers, etc. Picasso once said,“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Truth be told, I don’t know many artists who don’t have day jobs. Society will call you a real artist if your art makes money and you don’t have any other source of income.
Many years ago, my ex-boyfriend’s sister-in-law told me that so-and-so was a real artist and I wasn’t because I worked by day as a PowerPoint presentation specialist. In all my years of job-hunting, I’ve never seen an ad for an artist for hire, paying $30,000 a year, with supplies and benefits included.
And then there’s the self-sabotage. I don’t know if you are like me, but I put so much pressure on my desire to produce. I want to be an awesome art-making robot that only produces amazing, stunning and thought-provoking work all the time.
Dear Artist, I applaud you because you are not appreciated. Your contemporaries might say You know she’s artsy, as if to say you know she has that art disease that makes her great, creative, snarky, funny, with an unnatural color of hair, red lips, etc. In some countries, being an artist is seen as a positive thing. We have to find appreciation among our own, and thank God for social media as we can reach each other a lot quicker.
“What didn’t you do to bury me, but you forgot that I was a seed.” ~ Dinos Christianopoulos
Dear Artist, thank you for hanging in there when you are often misunderstood. Your view is one in epic technicolor, and let’s face it, reality can be pretty beige. I remember when I was laid off from a job I had for nearly 10 years and I went to see a headhunter for creative jobs. She bragged about how creative all these jobs were, and basically I got the freedom to change the underline on a font from black to green… oh, how exciting.
Anytime I came up with a logo, they went with my most boring painfully plain option. Every day after I left work, I just wanted to go home, put on a motorcycle jacket, slug wine out of the bottle, color on the walls, and blast some heavy metal. Or at least do a cartwheel down her beige hall… oh wait, I did do that, and I wouldn’t doubt that was probably the best thing Security saw all day.
As an artist with many other non-artistic things to do, I have often found it difficult to switch gears. Then I changed my mindset on the whole coming-home-from-work thing. I’m an artist when I take out the trash. I’m an artist who just happens to answering phones. I’m an artist who is writing a business letter. I’m always an artist, and therefore I don’t need to switch gears.
This is how I feel every time I have to go to a business lunch:
So for those of us who will never be famous, they ask, Why do art at all? For those in the game for sincere reasons, it’s because we can. Sure, after a hard-as-hell day at a day job, it’s really hard to work on our real work. And yes, sometimes something you absolutely love can feel like work.
I think of doing my art at the end of my usual work day as if I’m motivating myself to exercise. The first few minutes are really hard, and then it becomes fun, and then I almost don’t want to stop.
“To be an artist is not about fame; it’s about art, which is this intangible thing that has got to have lots of integrity, whereas being famous doesn’t really take any integrity. But I think you have to admit that you want to be famous, otherwise you can’t be an artist. Art and fame together are like a desire to live forever.” ~ Damien Hirst
Artists need discipline more than the public thinks we do. The public sees us as free spirits who live wildly, but some of the most prolific artists are also the most straightedge creators like Henry Rollins or Prince. For those dedicated to their craft, time is time that is meant to be well-spent.
There isn’t the Friday social night, Saturday date night or a Sunday brunch routine. The artist is inside making art while the rest of the world is clinking glasses over pasta. I used to feel sad when I didn’t have plans, so I’d just go out on my own or have a night with Netflix, but then it just wouldn’t be that fun. I might as well be painting. My current motto is: if no plans, then plan on painting.
Dear Artist, don’t forget you are a natural human being, and you don’t really ever do it alone. You are a natural human being who needs nature. Let the sea, the mountains, the oceans, the flowers, and even the leaves feed you. Also, fill yourself up with the good man-made stuff like books, music, and art. Be a cheerleader for others too.
Tapping into your personal power is not an ego trip. It’s using your power and the power of your guides, your ancestral souls, and your spiritual team.
When you use your power, you use their power.