Create for creating sake not to achieve an objective ~ The Minimalists
Don’t ya love it when successful writers/artists/performers/whatever tell you not to focus on creativity to earn an income, to just follow your bliss and you’ll never work a day in your life? Yeah, that… even though that’s exactly what they’ve probably done, it just feels so counter-intuitive.
Trying to force your creativity into making you a living is a bit like forcing someone to love you. But what if you want to build an income and a career from creativity? Surely there’s nothing wrong with that? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with it, people have been doing that for centuries. What’s new, I think, is the idea that it shouldn’t create an income.
There are three ways we can look at your art.
- As a pastime. My mum loved painting with Hobbytex. Do you remember that stuff? I believe it involved a stencil and velvet. (I remember Elvis on black velvet, but not in my house. Mum probably painted English cottages and Jesus.)
- Therapy. Write it out. Paint it out. Just bloody get it out. Burn it like medical waste.
- Aspiration. You want to make out like a bandit from your hard work. And why shouldn’t you? We’re here for more than to pay bills and die. Why shouldn’t your work be gawked at/photographed by tourists in two hundred years time after you’ve moved on? I want to sell books. I want to write a book like the Da Vinci Code that makes people so excited about an artwork they line up like lemmings to photograph it, then walk away saying “It’s not a big as I thought it would be.”
Robert McKee asks would-be artists the following question.
Do you see yourself in the art or the art in yourself? Do you see yourself walking the red carpet, opening your new show, selling your work at the best space in town, holding your latest best-seller for the world media to celebrate, being invited to the latest Biennale? This is what he calls seeing yourself in the art.
Or do you see art everywhere you go? Do you have a story or some body of work that is bubbling inside you, distilling and marinating your organs?
It’s fairly easy to guess which one is the quality McKee feels signifies the best course of action and the best indicator of success.