Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Being an Artist has nothing to do with Success

This is a response to something that Julie wrote on her blog yesterday.

It takes a lifetime to be an artist. I don't agree with Suziblu on this subject. I don't agree that everyone is an artist. Everyone is creative. I agree with that. Absolutely. 

Being an artist is a vocation, not a career. It is a calling, an obsession. Like being a musician or a writer. Everyone can write or make music or dance or sing - but to really be a writer or musician you have to be driven. Driven, in love with the creative process, doing it out of love, obsessed. 

It isn't easy. It isn't always fun. It certainly isn't relaxing. It is intense, obsessive, frustrating, occasionally humiliating. It is like a love affair. And the longer I am an artist, the more of an artist I become. Which maybe isn't entirely a good thing.

And being an artist has nothing nothing nothing to do with how successful you are. How much you sell, or how much acclaim you receive. It doesn't even have to do with how talented you are. It has to do with needing to create. and that whole mysterious process that I don't even pretend to understand.


Jerdleluvsjapan said...

Very inspirational post deedee, thanks. I hope I wasn't too much of a downer last night... I have since taken all the advice I was given, scrapped the negative posts and decided to create - not with any certain outcomes in mind, financial or otherwise - but merely for the joy of creating :).

DeeDee said...

I am so adamant about the subject precisely because I have been hit with my own doubts so many times. Please don't apologise, as you said it is what our blogs are for. It means nothing about you that you get discouraged or down, it is just human.
Thankyou for sharing it. I am sorry if you felt you should take the post down.

Jerdleluvsjapan said...

Yes, it's very sad that a comment we heard so long ago can just echo and echo continuously throughout our lives. I think teachers say things sometimes and don't even realize how much of an impact, negative or positive, they can have on a student. But I guess it's our job then to throw out all we don't need and only hold on to what we do. And so I hopefully have done :). Thanks deedee.

mistie said...

This is a lovely, touching, heartfelt post that I thank you for writing. I come from a family who never understood my need to create, and it has taken me a long time to be comfortable with it because they never saw any value in it. It is hard to explain that to create is as necessary as breathing.

Jerdleluvsjapan said...

I love this... "to create is as necessary as breathing." I'm going to remember that.

nollyposh said...

So true... Then l would hAvE to count myself as a true blue artist because if l am away from it for too long l get physically ill... Creating is WHO l am... aRt in all it's myraid of forms... I am NeVeR far from my creative spirit... It is a part of the fabric of what and who l essentially am... AND l agree at times it is frustrating and infuriating bUt it is mt lOvE and l am always on the search for my next mUsE to keep me moving forward xox

Connie said...

I completely agree with you. Sometimes, I honestly wish I was born an accountant with out an ounce of a desire to create, or to think about creating, or to spend hours obsessing over color and pattern. But then I look at a box of new watercolors, or a juicy oil pastel, or I smell turpentine and everything goes back to normal. If you can call my life normal.

Thank you for posting this. It is comforting to know others feel the way, especially someone as talented as you.

Peace & Love.