Monday, April 18, 2016

Are You Perpetuating Destructive Falsehoods About Artists?

I've been out of commission since Friday, not even wanting to write any blog posts, so that's why you haven't seen any recent posts. I've been feeling a little bit out of sync, which is how I always feel if I don't do my regular amount of writing.

What I really wanted to be doing was to be digging into the good earth, planting peas and parsnips, transplanting my Winter squash and my cukes. Gardening puts me in direct contact with myself and my creativity and it's so good for me, mind, soul and body. But on Friday my body had other plans after I came down with the second cold in a few months, that frankly has knocked the bejesus out of me energy wise.

So I'm trying very hard to take good care of myself and have been doing as little as possible in my fashionable house coat and slippers. And so I am as contented as I can be with vertigo, a smidgen of nausea, a lot of post nasal drip and along with the usual accompanying aches and chills.

Although I didn't have much appetite, I've managed to get some good sustenance down my gullet, and even had a lay down.

Regardless if you have any one close by to take of you or not, you've got to do your best to take care of yourself.
Living alone when your sick sucks, mostly because you haven' t any one to comfort you. But fortunately I have learned how to take care and comfort myself.

It's a falsehood that artists don't take care of themselves, or they're self-destructive. And if we don't take care of ourselves, the fact is that, it is no less, or no more than other people, and has nothing to do with being an artist.

 I love to tell stories through the subject matter of my art, from myths that speak of eternal truths. I am not interested in falsehoods, and there is a difference.

I don't know who comes up with all these falsehoods, but it isn't artists!

Oh there are lots of other falsehoods, that I've listed below.

1. Making art isn't real work and it's easy.

Many people think artists shouldn't worry their pretty little heads about money, and think because you are really doing this as a hobby and just for fun,  it's not really a job. This falsehood devalues art and especially devalues artists, and perpetuates the falsehood.
The misconceptions surrounding making money and making art perpetuates the falsehood that these two are seemingly viewed as not being economically feasible and are somehow diametrically opposed one another.
Artists simply want to make art that they can be proud of and to make a comfortable living.

 2. Artists aren't smart, they can't do much of anything else, so they make art.

This is so untrue and insulting. Creativity is an absolute essential to education and learning. The countless creative thinkers like Albert Einstein and numerous others prove this to be true, throughout history, and within our contemporary world. Creativity is not only for the artist it is present in everyone and it's a fact that the arts can significantly improve academic learning in every field of study and profession, and it is good for the intellect.

3. Artists are starving and poor, because we can't ever expect to make a real living at making art.

This falsehood is so destructive and defeatist. If you are of this opinion, it is not only extremely untrue, it can be so destructive and self-defeating  that it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy we tell ourselves that leaves us no where, but dead in the water.

4. Artist's suffer for their art like martyrs.

 I don't have much to say about this falsehood other than, no we don't, and that would be masochistic. Artists are not masochists.

5. Artists are alcoholics, addicts, self-destructive and mentally ill.

Artists are no different than anyone. The majority of people in the world have some kind of dysfunction. Those individuals who purport not to be dysfunctional in one way or another, including addiction or mental illness, depression etc., are in denial.

6. Artists are slobs, disorganized and unreliable.

No. this is another untruth, and falsehood. Slobs, people who are disorganized and unreliable exist in every class, culture and profession.

7. Artists have a certain look. They look like artists and are eccentric.

Well maybe they do, maybe they don't. Maybe they are, maybe they're not. Who cares? I ask why is this important? Accepting one another as we are is what's important. Diversity is a very good thing. Out of diversity comes creativity and innovation.

8. Artists have mental illness.

See falsehood number 5.

I'm sure there are lots of other falsehoods and untruths. Feel free to add and share any that you might have yourself or what you've heard. We've all heard them, at one time or another. I want to challenge and dispel these falsehoods that are founded on anything but the truth. Falsehoods are not necessarily lies, but untruths based on misunderstanding and ignorance.


thesycamoretree said...

I blame TV and the movies for many of those falsehoods. They like to focus on the struggles of artists, like Jackson Pollock or Vincent van Gogh. And people who think art is easy and for lazy people should go try doing it for a while! :D
Hope you feel better soon!

Unknown said...

Yes you are very right Bev. The whole romantic hype is illusion and image and has nothing to do with the reality of anyone creative and working at it.