"A Blue Painter"
by Marc Chagall, 1968
Yes, the struggle is real. It's not just the obvious financial aspects of making little income to support yourself and your family, but it's the ultimate struggle to get noticed. Just to be recognized for your time, thoughts and sensibilities for creating your work is a small victory. If you've ever sold a painting or even perhaps a piece of jewelry that you made, it's quite gratifying. The fact that someone values your intellectual property enough to actually purchase it, affirms your legitimacy as an artist.
Whether you're a painter, musician, writer or actor, you are destined to endure the societal stereotypes of being that creatively brilliant individual that makes you your soymilk hazelnut cappuccino down at Starbucks.
Just think of all the paintings humanity has created out of just 7 basic colors. From the crudely dyed etchings in the caves of Lascaux to the vibrancy of Monet's garden. From 12 simple musical notes we been given Beethoven's 9th Symphony to Nazi Punks Fuck Off! by the Dead Kennedys. The examples are endless.
by Andy Warhol, 1987
Exposing your thoughts, your heart and soul creatively for others to critique, judge, or mock, take an exorbitant amount of genuine courage. Yet we do it. From the beginning of mankind's existence on this planet to now, perhaps forever until we cease to exist.
Through wars and famine and religious persecution. Through all the technological advances we've made throughout the ages, the fact remains that mankind has the deepest rooted desire to bring all the emotions and ideas that dwell within us to the external world is astounding.
We succeed sometimes, but often fail. Yet we try again and again. The stone cold reality is that not everything is in fact "art". What is art to me may not be to you. Your taste in music is not mine. Who you read is different from what I might read. The common denominator is you appreciate something created from someone else's imagination.
So the next time you're in your favorite cafe or have the opportunity to stroll a gallery or art festival, just pause a moment and take time to look or listen. It's ok if you dont like it, that opinion you formed and the time it took to form it is why the art was created in the first place. The worst disservice you can do is to not even notice at all.