Currently, I am wrestling with the reality of trying to keep cashflow going, and keeping on target for my business. I understand, no new venture is easy. The new life I have chosen, is going to have its ups and downs. And yet, the journey of the past few months has shown me that just trying makes the journey worth it. Even if I cannot make art a full-time job, I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to try to do so. Don’t misunderstand me – until I find full-time employment, or my savings run out, I am still going to be pecking away at this for all it’s worth. And hopefully, no that the business license and paperwork is done, maybe I can get back to what I want to do – art.
But even if I wind up doing something else for a time, I don’t want to give up the fight. The disentangling of my psyche from my former life of stagnation has been a good thing. The downtime has been good for me. Changing so dramtically and quickly has given me hope that things can be done. I just need to try, try, try (and try!). I have seen, sometimes things pass very quickly. At other times, getting my goals on track can seem to go so slowly that glaciers advance quicker than what I am trying to accomplish.
All of this though has me thinking. Simply put, what is my purpose? What do I really like to do? I have thought about this long over the years. Besides the little bits and pieces of artistic ego, the flashes of self-gratification that come to me through the doing, I will admit this simplicity: I like attention because I need an audiences approval. This tends to go with everything I do. If I make a joke, it is to make someone feel good. When I make a piece of art, I need my audience to go “ah-hah! That is good!” When I play guitar, I want a nod of approval.
Although I would like a wide patronage, I also understand that my audience is a rather narrow demographic. But I need them. Even when I make my art in the vacuum that is going on now, I am trying to get better so when my audience (hopefully) widens, I’ll be more ready for them.
Though many artists won’t admit it, they just want that simple smile. The smile is a reminder of when an approving parent or authority figures praised us when we were children. That’s really all it is, the crux of the matter. The money….well sure, that is great, if it happens. But money is really a means to an end. Most artists want money so they can live to make more art. We make more art to seek more approval, from whatever audience we target.
And this blog….it is a form of self-expression. I am looking for approval. I am looking for someone to like my words, then look at my art, or vice versa. Even deeper down, I just want them to like me. To GET me. To understand my communicative process. To see the deep and shallow parts of my being, the facets that make up the whole….and say YES, I like you. In a way, I want them to communicate ” I love what you do, and thus love you because of it”.
Of course such a statement from a complete stranger would be a little over the top. Only a really close friend probably could say something that deep to me and not have me run for the door, get a restraining order and start carrying a hand gun. But, that is kind of what an artist would like to hear, or know in some (perhaps more elegantly and subtly communicated) fashion.
I will be the first to elaborate that I am not a religious person. As a matter of fact, I am the total opposite of that. But sometimes, in my daydreaming, I would like to think that we all crave coming together and merging in a spiritual fashion. Rarely can we do this, as society and life can be so complicated so as to wind us up like a coiled spring that can’t hear the subtle psychic overtures from another person. It is my hope that art in all its expressions can help us unwind a bit. It’s my hope that if I am astute enough, that my art can uncoil that logical tightness that resides in us from our day to to day activities. I do believe we need such respite as human beings. Our very imperfect physicality, our very genes and our monkey minds needs this respite. I have to believe that, as that is my purpose. All my little mutterings and putterings, I hope that I can help give someone a break, a pause and a smile.
If I can help grant such a respite, then that person can then be a little more refreshed, and continue to pursue on the purpose they have charted in their lives.