It’s happening again. That feeling when your mind becomes a complete maelstrom of thoughts and every sort of anxiety comes creeping up on you. It hurts you know? How the human mind can go from being your best friend to your worst enemy in the blink of an eye. One moment I’m laughing up a storm at the absurdity that is my daily life and the next I’m contemplating where my next meal will come from. Am I to blame for this negativity? Surely I must be, after all, we are in charge of our own destiny as the world wants us to believe. The notion that hard work inevitably pays off is a fallacy that we all buy into, and why not? It’s exactly the sort of idealism we need, no, crave to become whole and fulfilled. Our lives are so mundane and insignificant that we desperately seek meaning in things that are simply art for art’s sake. Sometimes it’s not enough for something to simply be aesthetically pleasing, no it NEEDS to provide MEANING. Why is that? Is there some sort of void in our lives that only art can fix? Is there some problem that can only be solved by trying to project ourself into someone else’s work? Is it a cry for help, or simply an egotistical way of thinking that has poisoned our brain? I’d argue it’s a little bit of side A and side B. Try as we might it can be impossible to relate to someone specifically for one reason alone, we can’t hear their thoughts. Why is this a problem you might ask? Well simply put because language is an approximate. You can only ever say an approximation of what you truly want to tell someone. Part of it is inherently an issue with language itself, the other half being that as creatures trained by society we aren’t allowed to. The status quo and shame culture both play a part in that. Rejection, betrayal and all the other wonderful things that come with being genuine and honest are all very real fears for many people, myself included. For most people, they resort to using art as a means of expressing themselves and I feel that is the most genuine way of doing it. Art is a reflection of the artist’s manner of expressing themselves into the world. Let me emphasize the notion of “self” as well. This is the artists chance to tell the world how they really feel, whether it be happy, sad, angry or some combination of a myriad of emotions. First and foremost the artist is the one who is putting their heart and brain on paper or canvas or whatever have you. For them it can be therapy, for others, it can be a way of projecting themselves into someone elses work. To me I find the latter selfish. Why you may ask? Well think about it in the most simple terms, Artists are both creators and expressors of the summation of their lives. They are the ones who have to deal with the consequences and the judgment from the rest of the world. They are the ones who risk their entire well being, physically and emotionally just to make ends meet in a world full of constant competition. They are the ones who willingly choose to suffer and be poor in an effort to try and make themselves feel better, with hopes of some other human being giving a damn about their work so that they can have a roof above their heads and food in their bellies. They are the ones who realize that their very existence and livelihood depends on others, and they are the ones who are scared to death at the notion of knowing that they could die alone and unloved.
Consumers, on the other hand, disgust me if only for one reason alone, they only take rather than giving back that same creative energy into the world. Consumers are the ones who have excess and don’t know when to quit. They keep feeding and leeching off of the creators who pour their heart and soul into their work. Consumers and passersby aren’t all that different. They find one thing that looks interesting, mindlessly eat it or glance at it and then move onto the next. They give effort to those who are unworthy and ill-fitting of material wealth and it sickens me. I’m no paragon of good will, far from it but I’m someone who has had it all and then lost it. I’ve lost it for so many years now and can’t imagine going back to it. It didn’t make me happy. Well, it did at some point but after a while, it stopped. I’d be lying if I said material goods don’t make me happy but am I really to blame when our culture is constantly shouting that at us? Starving artists are real, and whether they are starving because their work isn’t deemed worthy in the public eye or simply because those who don’t deserve it are more recognized is beyond me. Let me make this clear, I am NOT a misanthrope by nature, far from it. I firmly believe in all the great things humanity is capable of in all of it’s forms. It just baffles me how disgusting things can be when it comes to those who are in need aren’t receiving the help that they deserve, while someone who is much better off is laughing about it in their fancy house.
If there’s anything to be said from all my rambling it’s that there is one conclusion I have reached. I’ve come to terms that I am suffering both physically and mentally both as a person and as an artist. To some degree, I am okay with that. I chose this path willingly, hell I even devoted 4 years explicitly for it. 4 arduous years with nothing to show for it but a piece of paper that says “ Congratulations for wasting your life for extrinsic rewards. Now rot at home because we didn’t prepare you for the real world”. I am okay with it for one reason alone because if my suffering can provide entertainment and can make a positive difference for at least one human being then it was all worth it.