“To create a work of art is to create the world.” – Wassily Kandinsky
It seems more than ever in this brave new world of downloads, streaming, and limited options for income from our art that we may have lost sight of why we create in the first place.
This Just In: Art doesn’t pay well!
Now, as people complain about the mere pieces of pennies they make off their art on Spotify, Etsy, or Amazon, it seems we’ve lost the pure love we had when we started.
Is it really all about how famous we can be? I hope not, since there are so many artists out there creating, it’s just too difficult to become well-known in the world these days. Our best bet is that our art separates us a little from the maddening crowd.
“Hopefully if you create something fine, people will relate to it, so you're communicating with people, and you're not in a void. On the other hand, because you're always creating and transforming, art always separates you – always.” – Patti Smith
Remember when you made stuff and just loved it? When you didn’t know the rules, or were creating for yourself or your friends and family? Remember how easy and fun that was?
“I think the way kids create is so inspiring. They're drawing a picture? They love the picture they drew; they're not tortured about it.” – Spike Jonze
Once you start thinking and worrying about how the “industry”will perceive your art, or how you will convince that fan to start following you, it’s suddenly not as fun anymore. We need to get back to the more innocent time of creation, but it’s hard as responsible, income-needy adults.
Now we toil over it, and lay awake silently afraid we made a wrong lyric, color, or chord choice.
The smarter (and harder) move is to get back to a time of enjoying the experience and the result of what we do.
“It's impossible to control the reception of your work – the only thing you can control is the experience of writing itself, and the work you create.” – Kim Edwards
I sometimes wonder if those of us (including myself) are not having fun doing what we do, but only doing it because we have always done it, then maybe we should go do something else. Maybe creating shouldn’t be this much routine work. Maybe we have just resigned ourselves that we are lucky to do music, art, or writing and we shouldn’t grouse, even if we hate the stuff we’re working on.
I was once told by a mentor of mine that if I got tired of making music for money, I should go sell tires for a while. Then see how much I like doing music for clients.
As usual, leave it to the creative sensei himself, Walt Disney, to make sense of the situation.
“Besides, you don’t work for a dollar – you work to create and have fun.” – Walt Disney
Have a great week and have some fun creating!
Eric Copeland is a producer, designer, songwriter, author, and lots of other creative things that he wants to have fun doing. (Maybe he needs to go to Disney World for a refreshing break?) For more info on what his company Creative Soul does for artistic Christians, check out http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com