Monday, March 19, 2007

Back to Basics

I’m interested in the difference between wanting to be a successful artist, and grasping at that desire.

Wanting to be a successful artist implies believing that art is in fact important. It implies that I am committed to it, through thick and thin, for better or for worse. Grasping at the desire means hunting for recognition, holding on to a definition of myself as an artist for definition sake, becoming enthralled with the idea more than with the work.

I confess, it’s sometimes hard to tell where I stand, what motivates me, what inspires me. Is it great work or the thought of great work? Depending on the day, and depending on how honest I’m feeling, my answer may vary.

Here are five good reasons to be an artist that I can list today:
1. What I make might be revelatory, both for me and any viewers.
2. Art keeps my mind from falling asleep.
3. Art can go down deep, maybe deeper than other forms of communication.
4. Art looks good.
5. It can go beyond the material.

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