Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I had this brief conversation yesterday on Ed Winkleman’s blog. I appreciate the un-flowery-ness.

I said:
We art folk do take ourselves so seriously. What makes us think we're actually so special, that what we do is so meaningful? (I am the first to be guilty of this)

He said:
Feeling special, and the gift to others that they may feel special, is special and so meaningful.

I said:
But, most of the time, isn't feeling special in fact delusion, arrogance, self-importance?

He said:
There is a difference between 'feeling special,
There is a difference between 'feeling special' and acting with arrogance or self-importance. If you are in a relationship with another person who makes you "feel special’ you feel elevated, in the euphoric sense, a feeling that your existence is important in the world. It is.
Arrogance or self-importance, act to direct ones sense of ‘feeling special’ with the intent of separating oneself from others by placing oneself above others. This behavior in essence reveals that the arrogant or self-important person does not feel they are special.
I think that in moments when we ‘feel special’ we can make others feel the same way by induction.
The activity of the artist is directed outward, we create something. This is a different activity than doing a job to someone else’s specifications.
Creation is the act of making something from nothing. The fact that there often is no creative roadmap means the artist must act with the belief and conviction that what they are trying to do will succeed. We also know that most of the time we do not, or only achieve partial success. The ability to face this uncertainty requires a degree of belief in oneself, if only for the moment we must feel we are special.


Vito Polly-Vincent said...

I dunno, MS. What he says sounds pretty flowery to me. I much prefer your de-romanticized point of view, to be honest. Then again, I never feel special. Self-suspicion kicks in before that particular delusion ever takes over. And I'm grateful that this is the case. A certain degree of low self-esteem allows me to maintain a sober perspective, which in turn protects creativity from crossing the line into pretension.

Molly Stevens said...

Alright, alright. I just thought I'd try some self-love on for size. But, you're right, why fix something if it ain't broke.

But, I do like his point about how creating is an uncertain, and mostly failure-filled, leap.