The Sad Truth About Art

Apparently there seems this ideal, prevalent among artists, of some space or time where they could safely pursue their creativity. Melville called, “The Calm” or something like that. Well there is a problem with this, that I shall demonstrate simply with these words, “With no sand, the oyster makes no pearl.

According to my understanding, a pearl is made inside an oyster when a grain of sand gets in, causing the pearl to secrete a substance around it, which over time (I have no idea how long) becomes a pearl. I assume the more time it spends in the oyster, and the older the oyster gets, the more beautiful the pearl.

There is one rule relevant to the artist, and I advise you write this down: “Art does not exist in a vacuum.” In other words, the irritants in the world and, more specifically, in your life, are those things that, when worked over and smoothed through art, become the masterpieces all artists secretly long to create.

Also there is no perfect way, technology currently notwithstanding, to draw from your head the exact, beautiful ideal you have in your mind. All you can do is tease it out as best you can, and you have to try, or it will come to life, take a few breaths, then die right there inside your noggin’.

So toss out both of these foolish ideals. There is no artist’s heaven in our sometimes heavily censored and materialistic modern society. Even though wonderful things like Netflix and YouTube exist because of artists, how the world works is generally without acknowledgement or appreciation of our work. Why do you think you encounter so many wonderful musicians along the sidewalks, standing or sitting as they preform with an opened instrument case or upturned hat close by?

So stop looking for that perfect space in which to create – even if you were to find it no creativity would be possible inside it. Likewise quit seeking to support yourself with your creativity. It is antithetical to all muses to be the provider in the relationship. That, unfortunately, is your job! But be thankful, because your annoying boss or coworker are just more grist for the mill. Turn everything you dislike or outright hate into a beautiful pearl!

I am not just writing this advise for you. I am writing it for myself also. I have struggled with writing, specifically having no interest in being a “professional writer”, despite my gifted understanding and use of the English language. In other words, I am a Poet and a Writer, but I would rather play video games and make content for YouTube.

Also I hate the “daily grind”, even the idea of it, even more passionately than most. But it has become clear to me that it is time to embrace this unwanted part of myself, and in order to pursue writing in any form, I will have to find a way to earn some money to clothe and feed myself. That is just how it is. I can wish all I want that it would be different or easier. But, as they say, “It Is What It Is.

Embrace the irritants, the negativity and the struggle. Acknowledge it, come to terms with it, make peace with it, accept it. Don’t try to spit the particle of sand out, or you will never make a beautiful pearl! Work it in your mind, secrete your secret desires and longings around it. Express yourself in whatever creative medium that most draws you. Create and transform all your undesirable experiences or situations into beautiful works of art. You can do it, I know you can.

Believe in yourself.

One thought on “The Sad Truth About Art

  1. I think that the daily grind is something nobody likes, but the rewards are kept for those who are able to embrace them. In the end, nothing worthwhile is easy (cliche, I know), but I like how you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Thanks for this post!

    Like

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