In my last post, I talked about the importance of staying connected to the various pockets of your life that fall outside of your creative efforts. These are the dry kindling that keep the fires of creativity burning. They help to open the door, gas up the car and send you on your way. Your vision and talent then take the wheel, hit the gas and steer.
So we remembered to pack a lunch, we brought a map, and we were sure to pee ahead time. Great. So now, what was the purpose of this trip again?
The pure creative talent often feels compelled to produce or perform independent of circumstance. That is, with little regard for why they have to act, paint, dance, shoot, perform, etc. They just know that it must be done as a requirement of living and more importantly feeling alive. Most likely, if you’re reading this blog you have some artistic passion that gnaws at you constantly and gets pretty ornery when left unfulfilled. Like the itchy crackhead sans crack or the Grim Reaper on a fine sunny day without soul stealing disaster, you probably know the feeling of crushing emptiness that can fill you when you don’t have sweet creative release.
I probably should have titled this blog “Land of Happy Endings”.
The obstacle is that life always manages to intervene, with all this “need to eat” and “workin’ fo’ da’ man” business. I often wish that I had no need to actually earn money and could simply create through my art for the sheer joy of it, not the massive pressure of needing to also establish and maintain a financially fruitful career. Alas, I have found that I like being warm, having a bed and food. So, I am a somewhat unwilling participant in the shackling machine of our society. My life is still subservient to a formidably less creative day job, in direct competition for the valuable time for my creative responsibilities. It is quite an act juggling auditions, performances, marketing and regular work while still checking into the office. While all of this is quickly moving to be a one job-horse town, it requires an enormous amount of work, energy and 38-hour days to do so. Believe me, my fiance has hardly seen me other than when my cold, weary body collapses into bed sometime in the wee hours.
With so much at stake, if you choose to utilize your talent and passion to fully sustain yourself, how do you do it?
All questions of “selling out” aside, the reality is that it is a wonderful thing when what you love to do provides fiscal viability for your life. A career. Creative or not. Not to mention the emotional and physical benefits of combining what you do to “make money” and what you do “for fulfillment”. That’s efficiency, baby. It just so happens that my passion is in creating characters, engaging people, creating music and giving life to blank pages and canvas.
Ah, I’m rambling again. Bringing it back home to bridging the connection, here’s the moral of the story: The purpose of the creative arts is to evoke emotion. In yourself. In someone else. In an entire audience. Be they negative (hated it a la the show In Living Color) or positive. One of the worst things I can imagine as an artist is to complete my work and have no reaction at all. Either from myself or from the audience. Tell me you loved it. Tell me you hated it. Just let me know that somehow, I reached you. That’s the connection. Art is another communicator of the human experience. Be it a commercial, a corporate narration, choreographed dance, a photo, a painting or sculpture.
Even if you write soul searching songs of helpless misery in your bedroom for only yourself, you’re doing it to communicate. A thought. An idea. A feeling. That is the beauty of art. Even as I read someone else’s copy to sell these newer, better, high performance clown noses, I have to communicate. I have to speak to the listener in a way that connects with on a human level them and convinces them that their old clown nose is poo doo and this one is the real honkin’ deal. Communication.
Does your art emotionally communicate? I’m curious to hear about it…and feel it.