Imagine yourself sitting at a desk for hours. The only thing on your mind is that you want to make something. Anything. It could be a paper airplane or a drawing or the next Mona Lisa. It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it’s something. You just want to create. Do as the painters in the Louvre did. Do as the sculptures of old Greece have done. Write just as the story tellers on your bookshelf have done! But then again, you may be shooting a bit too high if you want be just as good as Leonardo. And then again, maybe you’re not. Hard work can turn into success of any degree. If you put enough effort into your passion, then you too may be the next Stephen King or Banksy! Now, all you have to do is juggle that schooling or job you have. Maybe a little bit of loneliness too. Ah, the life of an artist!
Let me be clear that the last thing I want to do is discourage people from being creative. It’s what makes the world go around! I’m pretty certain we wouldn’t have gotten this far without the use of creativity. But that’s a discussion for another time. In fact, for a past time because I already wrote about it. Let’s not talk about any of that philosophical nonsense, today were talking about the act of being creative. Its hardships and woes, and why it’s great to go through them for the sake of the work itself. That end result that people strive for so much. Or maybe it’s the process that the artist enjoys more than finishing a project. The love of making is their game! But, with every joy, there tends to be a setback. Why does the universe work in such a cruel fashion?
The itch to make something will come out of nowhere. It may appear when you first wake up or when you sit down for lunch. It also may appear during class when you’re supposed to be paying attention, but that dang pencil of yours just won’t stay out of the margins. It’ll sway there, back and forth, scratching the surface of your paper until you have a doodle of a dog, or frog or a butt farting. It’s the little drawings that get you through the class. But it’s not what you want. You want to get back to that sketchpad of yours and do something bigger! Too bad you have a seven-page essay due in a few days. The topic hasn’t been figured out, little alone the research. So… you regretfully say to yourself “I’m going to have to draw later….” And so begins the list of tragedies for artists.
Time comes and goes but what people tend to realize in the end is that money is a means to an end. The humble artist cannot live on bread alone! He or she has to have more pencils and brushes. More paints and canvases. More ink for the printer! Especially colored ink even though the text from that story you just wrote is in only black. The artist must put time into a career instead of creating so that they may survive, even if they would rather sit at the easel than sit at the help desk. Same goes for knowledge. It’s best not to skip class so that you could make that painting but then again you can get the notes online. Just don’t skip that big assignment. I imagine for most artists they would want their artistic endeavors to become their careers. That’s the dream! But, for now, that artist may have to work as a clerk to get by before that big deal can be made with Penguin Books.
Now for the big kicker. My personal worst enemy. Loneliness. Not to say I don’t enjoy being alone sometimes. I like to sit in solidarity. Read my book in a separate room. Write by myself. But then there are those times where I feel as if I haven’t experienced a person in a God knows how long. It’s heart breaking sometimes. The depressing thoughts of being alone hit me like a truck. It’s horrible. This is probably the hardest part about being an artist of any form. For the most part you will be working alone. You will be by yourself, sculpting clay with no one to talk too but your own mind. That’s not to say you won’t have like-minded fellows. Birds of a feather flock together. The artist will find his/her kind and the loneliness drifts away. Plus, when you’re hard at it, the idea that no one is around you disappears. Its only after everything is done that you see the room is empty.
It’s exhilarating! Creating what comes to mind. All for the sake of merely wanting to create (and maybe making something off it later down the line.) I feel like you can’t have too much of that! Too bad life gets in the way. Not all the time, certainty not. Life always makes room for the artist. It dusts off your wheelie chair and pats the seat to great you over to the computer where your manuscript is waiting to be made. But then there’s the inner want of friends and lovers to be near when you know it cannot be so when you’re at work. This feeling will only come at the end though because during the process of creating you will feel that rush of excitement that comes with anything you do that you love. Sadness is only an afterthought. And sometimes it doesn’t even exist, the loneliness. Sometimes the only thing that’s felt is joy. The joy of the process and the end result. The joy of creating something.