Saturday, March 5, 2016

Post 350 - I Am Not An Artist

There are several reasons I don’t consider myself an artist, even if other people might.

The main reason is simply that I'm not emotionally wired properly.

I think of artists as inherently emotionally vulnerable. Artists need to express themselves, but they are also dependent on feedback. Positive feedback can sustain them for a week, and a negative comments will will crush them for a month.

The need to make every piece better than the last - to feel like they are being seen and heard and loved - drives artists forward - and makes them fucking nuts.

Artists with talent, who can get enough of the right feedback can achieve amazing things. Those who can overcome their emotional weakness and realize art is totally subjective and fame and fortune are a joke, can become rich and famous as artists.

Those who never overcome, produce the most brilliant works, but never get the recognition they deserve (or crave) until they are dead (or they chase it to the grave - witness Hollywood, the music industry, the athletic field, whatever).

Art is subjective as Hell. I don’t need the grief. That’s part of my wiring - I don't chase the highs and lows needed to be an intentionally good artist, let alone an intentionally brilliant one. (I may be an accidental artist, of a sort, but that's not the same thing.)

Also, unlike artists, I consciously reject the emotional hunger for feedback. I consciously choose to enjoy the positive and dump the negative. The fact that my conscious choice succeeds almost all the time proves my point - under my definition, I'm not wired properly to be an artist.

Thank God, too. I’ve a friend who is a brilliant screenplay writer, film editor and film director. She has won some really amazing awards, and done some really amazing things. But, she loses her mind with angst every time one of her pieces doesn't place in a competition. Even if the same piece won other competitions. Her husband calls it “failure to program,” meaning the competition people didn't think it fit their program (e.g. film festivals), wasn't what they were looking for, or were just idiots. But, she's an Artist and all she hears is “failure.”

I don't need the rollercoaster, but then, I've never won an art competition.