Talk to me an within five minutes you'll know: I am one of the loudest voices for artists rights. I adamantly feel that the recognition of the arts is vital to a progressive society. Over the years, I have fought to be the as a voice for all students, but none more so than arts students. I proudly wear the badge of “that annoying guy” in meetings with other educators. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that, and it won’t be the last. I will continue to fight and challenge for artists rights and arts education.
As creatives we are currently facing hard times, once again. Economical and moral changes are creating challenges for all creatives. We are fighting a war. A war to prove we have value, we have worth.
True art is not comfortable, it never should be. True art makes you think. It makes you feel something, whether it’s dance, film, music or a visual piece. Art is life. Art is power. Art is VITAL.
An Open Letter To
When I was a small boy, I saw the Agony and the Ecstasy was on TV. I sat with grandmother as Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, flat on his back. I was in awe watching how art was created. As we sat on the couch, she said to me, “he was on his back, for years, and in great agony and pain to create some of the worlds most beautiful works of art.” It was at that moment I learned about the ecstasy of creating art comes from agony. I learned about the creative process. I learned what it's like to make art for clients. That I still remember this story four decades later is a testament to it’s power.
When I got home, I grabbed a marker. I immediately ran back to the living room and slid under the coffee table, like a I was sliding into home base. I found the holy grail I was looking for: an “empty canvas”.
I began drawing and creating. I can’t remember what I made, but I know it was amazing. When all the work was done, I knew that like all artists; I needed to sign my work.
I proudly went to get my mom to present my work. I knew you should be proud of what you create. You should stand behind it. I took great pride in what I did and was proud to show it. While Mom wasn’t thrilled I “ruined” the furniture, as a fellow creative she understood and appreciated the work.
It was first real experience as a professional creative. From that experience I learned a few things..
Art comes from hard intense work. It’s a process.
Making art can be fun, relaxing and a hobby and should be. Creating professional commercial art is WORK. The process is sometimes painful (and it’s work, so it should be) sometimes unparalleled ecstasy. If you’ve ever gotten into “the flow” you know what I mean. Creating art is akin giving birth. Those of us who are professional creatives do this on a near daily basis. We wonder why there’s burnout in our industry.
Creatives gotta create.
No matter what, the clearly pending nuclear winter, losing an arm, going blind….I WILL find a way to make art. If I can’t make art, there’s no reason to exist. I am a creative at the cellular level. When I identify, it’s as artist first. It’s who I am and it’s why my husband married me. It supersedes my race, gender, sexual preference. If you’ve spent five minutes with me, you will clearly know that!
Being a creative is who I am. I suspect it’s who you are as well. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be here.
A short story
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