Art as a moral choice etc.
After a few years of doing what I do, the complexities of this profession are are simultaneously very clear and very muddied. I don’t think that anyone goes in to a career in art with anything but a complete love for what they’re doing, after all, the odds of success aren’t exactly appealing to a person rich in business savoy or even a game plan as to how to make their unique vision accessible to people as a means of generating a respectable income. Why do we do it, then? That’s hard to say but I can honestly say that after knowing as many artists as I do and knowing the history of artists, there are clear and undeniable similarities with the majority of artists. I don’t think that even the most unfamiliar of people who knows anything about art is ignorant of the ironies and contradictions of the artist. We tend to come from backgrounds of isolation, loneliness, self-doubt etc. etc. but some how, we all have come in contact with other artists and importantly, non-artists that have shown that they understand what isolation is all bout… It’s this ubiquitous feeling of two things as I see them TODAY: #1 We all understand what it feels like to believe that we’re not good enough #2 Conversely to the first, we all know what it feels like to have that uncanny feeling of being something special, something worth while. To balance the feeling of self and self worth we tend to be self-deprecating when what we want is to feel that we can safely be inflated by an external source… It’s these outside members of society that give us the validation for ourselves that we so desperately feel that we need.
The fact of the matter is that X amount of work is hardly ever going to reap Y amount of gain, I can’t think of another procession that this law is enforced so heavily as in art. When you’are successful in art, it’s easy for people to think you’re the toast of town, someone that has fought for the American dream, believed in his/her own self worth and succeeded, just by believing in the power of individualism perseverance. On the other hand, you could melt the souls of your shoes by pounding the pavement, work yourself to the bone to prove this and fail… straight land on your face. THIS, I think is the thing that holds many artists back from trying to push forward and I don’t think it has anything to do with the unwillingness to do the work, more, I think it has everything to do with the fact that there are NO grantees… Even if you are successful for a time, it’s easy to believe that society is going to look at you as less than any other profession with empirical value …tenacity seems to only be worth the outcome it yields… This is a sobering realization that serves to drive 90-95% of any artist in school right to a job they deem respectable.
I have NO desire to quit what I do, art has left an indelible mark on me… After 4 years of doing this solely, these things are more than pronounced, they’ve shaped the very way that I look at the world… I love what I do. Lately I feel that I may have become a victim of my own ambition… I hope this doesn’t sink me as I can’t imagining a stopping point.