Creative Courage

December 23, 2014

It’s a lot easier to be a critic than it is to put your own creative work out there in the world.

That’s simply a fact. It requires courage to put your work out there and know that it will be criticized and potentially picked apart. And I’ll always respect that.

No one is entitled to a positive life experience in any regard, artist or not. However, the most important thing for writers, artists, musicians, and other creative types to understand is that you need to design for yourself first. Hell, that’s probably important for anyone who works at an agency to understand too.

Granted, there mostly certainly is a place for critics and curators in the artistic world. Sharing opinions, discussing what a given part of artwork is about and how it makes you feel is definitely valuable.

But in the end, it is the creators who count. No one remembers the critics.

ouroboros

As a whole, humankind appreciates beautiful things. People have been creating art of some kind throughout all of recorded history, and probably before then too (art being defined as drawings, paintings, film, performances, photographs, writing, music, well-designed objects, and more – art itself is a subjective word). It’s in our fundamental nature. But there’s also a certain disregard for things that don’t result in direct dollars in the marketing community (and other industries as well).

Plus, sometimes art and general creative expression is a means to an end in and of itself.

Art can…

Spark Some Inspiration. Sometimes all it takes is the right image, video, quote, or song to flip that switch in your brain.

A Sense Of Joy. There is a unique form of happiness in seeing, reading, or hearing something beautiful – especially if it is unexpected. This why elegant design and public artwork and performances are so important – but that is a subject for another post.

Beauty In The Mundane. The day you can’t find some kind of beauty in elegantly designed minor details is the day you might as well be dead.

Change Your Mood. Sometimes all it takes is seeing some cool graffiti, a well designed ad, hearing a remarkable song or reading a passage or two from your favorite book – or a book that will become a new favorite – to completely alter your mindset.

Become A Personal Talisman. A piece of art that really speaks to you can become a good luck charm, spiritual guidepost, or any other sort of symbol.

Serve As A Signal. You can tell a lot about someone from the types of art they enjoy and appreciate – as well as how they react to new concepts and ideas. (PS. Some unsolicited advice from me to you – don’t trust anyone who immediately discounts or insults any type of art simply because its not their taste or they don’t get it).

*Note: This post was partially inspired by a recent Gaping Void email.

Is it just me and my opinion, or has blogging become the new reality TV of the digital age?

“I am the entertainer, and I know just where I stand”

While there are plenty of bloggers who write because they love the creative outlet and want to share their thoughts and ideas with their audience, there are also a lot of bloggers who essentially monetize their lifestyle. Can’t say I blame them, but at least they can and should admit how they’ve sold out – and they are now the entertainers.

Occasionally, I feel like a hypocrite because I’m a fashion blogger myself, although it is not a full-time gig, and nor do I want it to be. But I do love to see other people’s style and I most definitely respect fashion as an art form, and I love to put together my own outfits as well. So we as fashion bloggers are collectively the entertainers as well.

And I play music, DJ, draw and paint too – so I truly do understand the artistic side of blogging – so I really do appreciate and love anyone who chooses to share their skills online, whether it is a marketing effort or not (no judgment from my side at at all). In fact, musicians who blog and share their work as well get my utmost respect – even and perhaps especially the ones who discuss how public opinion influences their work.

“Today I am your champion, today I’ve won your hearts”

But perhaps I’ve reached the status of being old school, at least on the internet. I remember when no one knew what blogging even was, and thought it was a stupid waste of time. Now, anyone who starts a blog or even an Instagram account wants to make money from it.

“But I know the game, you’ll forget my name, if I don’t stay on the charts”

It’s a fickle relationship between an artist of any kind and their fans – and yes, I include some but definitely not all bloggers in that category. Which isn’t a slight – some bloggers are journalists or curators – both of which are equally valuable to readers at large.

Which brings me into another idea that requires its own blog post – personally, I respect all types of art and the corresponding creators, even if something isn’t my own taste. And I hope everyone reading does the same.

“You don’t have to bump this, but please respect it”

You don’t have to be into hip hop to understand this Tupac lyric – it applies on all levels. It takes courage to be the creator and to open yourself up to critics. And I’ll just say it – I don’t respect the opinion of anyone who categorically dislikes any type of writing, art, music, or anything else because they don’t understand it or immediately get it. Respect the creator.

*PS. I might be the only person on the internet to quote Tupac and Billy Joel in the same post. Go me.