Monday, July 22, 2013

art is work.

Have you ever felt frustrated?

I mean like seriously frustrated?

Like you could throw your computer out the window or rip apart leather with your bare hands or smash something against the wall? (I promise I'm not a violent person...)

Maybe a fantastic project isn't working out or your great idea might not be all that great anymore. Maybe you've encountered problems that seem insurmountable or even dangerous.

I found myself there just yesterday. I hope that I'm not the only one who has sat on their couch crying their eyes out because their friend from high school's Instagram feed is a whole lot prettier and more creative than yours. (Can I get an amen? I'm just going to pretend that all of you reading this are nodding your head in agreement.)

But, here's truth: Art is work. Keep going. 

Ask any "creative" and they've been there too. Anyone trying to do anything of value encounters this. Art is messy and art is slow.

I was reading "Imagine" by Jonah Lehrer and this statement from one of the artists he interviewed hit me hard: 

"There is no such thing as creative types....Art is work."

I think that I always believed that art was magical. That if I just was in the right place at the right time, it would hit me. My great idea, my genius invention would just come. That I had to do no work, no thinking, no planning.


Art is work. There is planning and failing and frustration and loss and successes and experimenting.

Art and work are tied so closely together that ignoring the connection would be ridiculous. 

Right now, I'm working on this 6 month experiment and staring at strings and leather and yarn and wondering what the heck I'm doing. Last night, I even broke down for the 18th billion time about what I'm doing with my life and how I even fit in as a creative living in the suburbs.

But, over and over again, I tell myself (and my husband sweetly reminds me): I'm working. I'm working on art, dang it. And it's not pretty and it's not fast and it's not always magical. But, it's worth it. It's worth the sweat, the extra trips to the craft store, the late nights. It's worth it.

I truly want to change the world. I truly want to help eliminate poverty through creativity. The only way that I can do that is to get to work.

Do you ever feel this way? Do you agree or disagree that art is work?

No comments:

Post a Comment