Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Pulp - The Tortured Artist

I googled (of course) and this is such a common way to describe an Artists that it is in wikipedia...The tortured artist is a stock character and real-life stereotype who is in constant torment due to frustrations with art and other people.  They are often mocked in popular culture for "thinking too much," being quixotic, or coming across as pretentiously adverse to happiness and fun.
"The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh.  
He committed suicide and struggled with depression and illness throughout his life.

Artist is an all encompassing term not just for painters or sculptors but also writers, singers, architects, actors and interior designers.  I believe it is anyone who is creative and who puts their work out into the world and opens themselves to criticism. This is the website designer, graphic designer, crafter, photographer, wedding planner, director, poet, etc. 

Some think that artists long for and even cause themselves pain in order to produce their work, thinking that the pain produces their work.  I disagree.  I have a need to create ever since I was a little girl.  I made clothes for my dolls, rearranged my room a million times, built things, demolished things, made beautiful mud pies and tried every craft I could.  I took painting lessons when I was 12 and have been in art ever since.  If I am not creating then I am frustrated and frustration leads to anxiety and depression (in my case).  And if I am creating, then I am open to criticism.  It's a double edge sword.  Not everyone will be happy with everything you create.  I logically know this and I try to be confident and just say to myself that they don't know any better but in reality it's a kick in the stomach.  My head knows you can't please everyone and not everyone agrees with what is beautiful but my heart says "I put this out in the world and the world doesn't appreciate it".  It's hard to balance this.  Not only the criticism is hard to deal with but to having your creativity be given parameters by the commissioner or client.  Parameters are good and necessary but it's a struggle for the creative person to have this beautiful design be hacked away at by budget, poor workmanship, the client selecting something on their own, etc.  What was beautiful in your mind is a far cry from what actually is produced and not by your own doing.  Frustrating to no end!  

I believe the pain that artists feel (at least for me) is based on the frustration of not being able to create, the criticism that comes with creativity that is almost impossible to divorce yourself from, and the frustration of not being able to make what is in your head a reality.  It's not the pain that produces the art it's the art that produces the pain, the not being able to create it or the backlash from the world.  If you know an artist, which I imagine most of you do, try to tell them how you love their creativity (even if you don't like their work), pat them on the back for putting themselves out there.  Creative people need time to daydream, brainstorm or imagine.  I know I need to explore new things and new places to renew my creativity so vacations are a big deal for me.  Support that or whatever renews your spouse, friend or relative.  

Let me know if you agree or disagree~ Brandy