|African Sunset Piggy Bank|
I never used to consider myself an "artist". A friend of mine, who is an exceptional painter and cartoonist, always felt uneasy calling himself an artist, although in my mind there was never any doubt that that is exactly what he is. I now realize that I am also an artist and I understand his discomfort in self-proclaiming such an idea. To identify as an artist is inherently narcisistic. When you say "I am an artist", what you are also saying is "I make cool things", or "You should like what I make" or even if you don't like it, you should respect my art, or see it's meaning. I'm beginning to realize this self assumed importance as I write. If I'm writing this, I think it's worth you reading. I've been struggling to find my own voice as a writer. Actually, that's not true at all because I write what I think and I'm not struggling to find what I think. But I have been struggling to believe that what I write is worth reading.
What I'm realizing more and more, is that working, especially when you work a lot, or when you do work that you don't particularly enjoy, has a negative impact on the creative part of your brain. Look at the majority of people in this country. What is their nightly habit? How many people do you think are having an art night behind those drawn curtains and closed doors? After working as a door-to-door canvasser, I can comfortably assume that the majority of people spend their evenings, not curled up with a good book, or writing in their journal, but watching that old boob tube. I don't mean to knock the 9 to 5'ers. And I'm not saying that if you have a job, you are not creative. But there is not a creative, talented person out there, that I know, that would not jump at the chance to stop working for that less than impressive paycheck and focus on their art, whatever that may be. Just imagine the scale of artistic endeavour that could take place if so many struggling, starving artists weren't worried about how to pay rent.
|Candy Bebop, an homage to Anpanman|
So ladies and gentlemen, I implore you, whatever else you do today, take a few minutes and draw a doodle, play an instrument, cut out a snowflake for christ's sake! But do something with the right side of your brain that you haven't done since elementary school. And I guarantee, tomorrow will be a better day.