The lifestyle of an artist seems to be filled with fantasy; a wandering troubadour, guitar slung across his back as he hits the road, leaving behind another town filled with memories, fans, and admirers who are forced to turn back, leaving their dreams in the hands of the artists and readying themselves for their muggle work.
Is this the life of the artist?
I think in part, it’s true. The artist life of little possessions, focused thought, full commitment.. mostly summed up with just heart. But, this isn’t to say this is all artists. Every artist is different and defines their art differently. Some have aims to please people… some don’t or say they don’t. It’s always different, and for every artists there’s a complex mixture of it.
I speak for myself.
As an artist, I have many art forms that I’m passionate about. Perhaps I’m complicated in this way, and by no means do I have it figured out, but I regularly think about what my art means to me, what it means to express myself in art.. Where does it start and end. Does it start and end?
I think a true artist speaks through their art form in their own words, from their own heart. The lucky ones of us can connect with other people, finding other people who see meaning or a parallel in their life to connect them with the art that’s made.
Is peace involved?
The term struggling artist comes to mind. Many people feel that peace comes with money, or at least partly comes from it indirectly with success. But I think as an artist we need to ask ourselves if this is success for us. I often ask myself does an artist have to struggle, or is that just the ones that aren’t doing it right? I’ve read countless stories about artists of y’or who have got patronage from an uncle, or a wealthy baron who buys their art, and affirms that they will support the artist for the rest of their lives. Kind of like an employment. I can see how this would be very beneficial to both the patron and the artist. For the patron, they get first dibs and discounted prices on all the art that the artist creates, building a collection that both the artist and the patron believe is very valuable, if not now, certainly in the future.
Does the artist need money if all that’s needed is heart?
Artists who are much more successful than myself say money should play no part in the artists world. Other successful artists are very focused on the paycheck. But, looking at the art each artist creates, there are usually very big differences. The pop artist is a common term for the artist who sells their artist in bulk supplies, printing it onto posters, post cards.. almost as if it was a label people were proud to wear like Nike, or Coca Cola.
Perhaps the idea of a journey is all that’s necessary for the artist. The knowledge that today, and every day, and all days are a journey that is part of the journey of life. We practice and collect and memorize and reveal and create. To me, this is art. A quest for life, a quest to live life and be influenced by life and to continually explore life and creating from that.
I believe that it is the job of a true artist to never stop creating. Every moment, every single breath is a work of art. Making love, walking the dog, cookin dinner… all art. All moments of the heart.
Perhaps that’s all it is to be an artist. A full commitment to the words of the heart. These mysterious callings of an essence that’s consciously sub-conscious. The inner feelings. The gut feeling. The supernatural that coordinates the medium with the body to create a masterpiece, or just a piece. Master or not, creating with heart is art.
I know the definition of what I am as an artists is always changing, which highly depends on the music I’m listening to, the mood I’m in, the materials I have to work with. What it takes to be an artist is always changing for me too. I get influenced by people, by friends, by people I admire. I like this process for it constantly challenges me, grows me. Today I watched a bit of an interview by Henry Rollins with Serj Tankian and Tom Morello, and Henry asked Serj about System of a Down, are they broken up? Are they just on break? Are they still friends? His answer was beautiful. He explained how it’s very important for artists to take a step back and listen to the voices, to get out of the commodity train that is the band and walk away from all the people that are very set on keeping the band going at all costs, if this is what you feel. Not as a hate thing, not breaking up, but just to explore other things. Band members are artists, and most times out of ten they aren’t just primarily focused on the exact role they are playing in that band. Some want to play other instruments, some want to paint, some want to lead a band, others want to start a winery. I think this aligns very effectively with what I’ve talked about here: that every thing is art, and we mustn’t discourage all avenues of creation, but encourage that growth in all areas, making the artist well rounded.
What I’m still trying to figure out is how much is too much, creating a scatter brain… Do you have any ideas or suggestions on how you deal with this?