The more I work, the harder I buckle down and dig in. I am lucky enough to have a day job writing, so I get to learn, grow, and improve my skills every day. It’s not always fun. Sometimes I hate what I do.
I hate the ideal that art is ever freeing and the greatest way to love what you do. Yeah, I love songwriting sessions. I adore most of the nights I spend painting, and a lot of the days I craft words into something with meaning. But not always.
Sometimes I have to force myself to keep going. There are days where I am 100% sure that nothing I make will ever have any true value. Then I wake up the next day and laugh at myself.
Art isn’t an escape. It isn’t purely self-expression. It is a lifestyle.
Like everything else, there will be good days and bad days. No one can escape that. The longer I do this, the more secure I feel in the fact that nothing I do offers any security.
Everyone has artistic qualities. I’ve met scores of people who write, sing, paint, dance, enjoy photography, cook up meals that are too gorgeous to eat. There’s a wealth of creative outlets available for everyone.
But I do not agree with this “everyone’s an artist” gimmick. (I hate gimmicks and hooks that work to trick people into buying more crap) Yes art is for EVERYONE. Yes if you create art, you have artistic qualities, but being an artist isn’t about fucking around with something every once in a while and maybe-kinda-sort-of finishing something every once in a while.
Being an artist is a gods damned life style. It takes dedication, hard work, perseverance, and the ability to look outside of one’s self.
The successful artists I know don’t fuck around. They WORK. They push themselves and it shows in everything they do. A lot of people who are more focused work to do whatever they have to finish, to polish their projects.
Polishing is probably the most difficult part of the job. Yes, job. Somewhere along the way, we were brainwashed into thinking that art is the only way to not have to work a job. Joke’s on anyone who’s not in it for the love.
You’re not going to make money off of your creations unless you go all in. And even when you do, it’s not guaranteed. That’s why you have to really want it and give a shit about your art in order to accept the lifestyle.
When you live it, breathe it, feed off of it, that’s when things start coming together. You might lose your mind in the process, but the love keeps you going.