It’s terribly difficult being creative, isn’t it? To be as sensitive, special, and insightful as you is a heavy burden to carry. What’s worse is that the world seems intent on not noticing just how amazing your work truly is. It’s downright bizarre. How can we hope to further the culture of our country, our city, our community, if work isn’t given the resources and funding it needs to grow? And when I say work, obviously, I mean your work. The special work. The real art.
There is a contradiction at the heart of this argument. If our work is so special, so meaningful, so potentially life-changing, then why is it in such desperate need of validation by government, or critics, or peers? The question reveals a profound insecurity at the heart of a lot of earnest art makers, who spend more energy being angry about the cultural climate than getting on andmaking art.
In Harry Potter, the wizards don’t look to muggles to validate their magic. They’re just magic. So they get on with it.
There’s a lot of talking going on in our sector at the moment (I mean Queensland arts). In the last two years we seemed to have fallen into endless forums, Facebook updates, meetings, think tanks and more. We’re more connected than we used to be, but I fear we’re also too concerned with how we’re perceived, both internally and externally. Let’s get on with it. If we actually believe in the words we’re saying, then we don’t need to say them. Let the work speak for itself, untarnished by insecurity and demands for cash.
On a global scale, it seems there little else but a mass validation for artists. The rise of the connection economy means that it’s actually a fantastically profitable and rewarding time to be an artist, if only you have the courage to be vulnerable, real, and let your art out into the world.
For a good kick up the butt and an introduction to the new age of arts if you’re feeling a bit Muggled, read The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin. Or watch Amanda Palmer’s TED talk. They’ve helped me start to getting on with it.