The truth behind the struggle
You hear people speak of the struggling artist. It’s almost a romantic notion to have that said to you or about you if you are in fact an artist. I hate that notion. You never hear of a struggling physician or a struggling carpenter. Only artist’s seem worthy of such a negative, yes NEGATIVE, connotation attached to their trade of choice. And it is even their trade of choice?
I don’t believe you have a choice when passion is involved and more importantly love. I do believe that if you continue to work hard and stay on track you will not be a struggling artist forever. You will be respected by your peers and more importantly by the public who need to support you both spiritually and financially if you are to succeed in todays world.
Success for an artist is not always about money. Success can arrive after years of trial and error painting that line, mixed perfect pink and thrust to the canvass and witnessing that, you finally did it! That pretty pink line is sublime, resembling the plump breast it encircles. Success is relative to the artist as is money, situation, time and effort put into the creation of art. The struggle is in creation.
That struggle can near kill you at times. It killed me. It did. It drives you mad. You can’t keep up with fingers. No, your fingers can’t keep up with your mind.
In college during one of many Creative Process classes the instructor handed out two sheets of stapled together paper. Written along the top were the words The Koan of Creativity.
Lawrence G. Bolt writes,
Often labour pains are associated with the body-building process. This is why the lives of creative artists sometimes take on a tragic quality. Until they have the idea set free, they hang suspended, as if it were, between two worlds (the idea realm of the creative vision and the physical world of manifestation).
That my friends is the struggle.
He continues on within the same paragraph,
Saturation in the creative vision may cause them to neglect other areas of their lives. The artist lives for the work even more than himself.
The artist lives for everything else but herself. When we fall in love it is with our whole being. When we feel sadness we ebb on the verge of desperation. When we are angry there is something truly to be furious about. We are honest. We do not trick people. We are the most sensitive people on earth yet the least likely to be respected within our own professions.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer writes,
Doing creative work is a lot like giving birth. And producing a healthy baby (good book, painting, sculpture, song, film, etc.) is possible only if we have engaged in the process that makes conception possible in the first place.
I urge you to read, look at, listen to and enjoy your artist friends creations. Ask them why and how they created that painting or wrote that poem. Complement only if you feel you want to for a false statement will never be forgotten by an artist. You will become lowly fodder. And if you are so inclined, buy their book or purchase that painting. You will be supporting an individual not a multi-national corporation.
And so, the glorious struggle moves on… until next week.