To anyone who has ever written, drawn, sculpted, sketched, painted, mused, scrawled, doodled, composed or sang:
Most of what you do will be terrible.
It’s not your fault. Artists all go through this.
Recently, I wrote 800 words, and do you know how much of it was worth keeping?
The constant struggle for all who wish to create is hours and days of seemingly pointless digging. Answers are not found through magical revelations, but by the very act of creating.
Art is a storm of action that produces one nugget of clarity.
The Artist’s work is more akin to hurricane than a meadow. You sit and try to create a piece of meaning, work that is uniquely yours and different and new. For hours and hours you sweat and cringe at how bad your phrasing is.
The splotches on the canvas are the work of a toddler, not a master.
It’s all wrong, all of it. So you try again.
Art cannot be created with the audience’s opinion in mind.
There is only The Muse and she is a coy little witch, flitting around just beyond the next sentence, buried under the final stroke of the pen.
“Mastery,” then, is not a lightning strike. It is not a thundery roll in the distance or a pure “Eureka!” Not always.
More often than not, it is the light at the end of a dark hallway. An idea you have long buried deep within, too afraid to not go after it.
The last time that light danced in the corner of your vision, you chased after it, only to find it was much further away than you initially thought. You gave up, and the light faded away (but never really left).
You may think it’s these lights define you as an Artist in the first place.
You would be wrong.
Art is more than ideas
Ideas do not make you a creator. Nor do your paint buckets, stencils, computers, or coffee cups (all of which can be used to fool others).
The true Artist is a combination of the two things- both the lights and the tools you use to chase them.
No matter how small or insignificant they may seem, chase them.
Rifle through the pages, dig through the much, climb up the hills for the holy grail: one sentence or color or line which changes everything. Fight until you lay hands on it.
Then let the real creation begin.
— Todd Brison (@ToddBrison) September 3, 2015