The Soul Crushing Facts of Artistry

No one will pay for your artwork. No one will pay for your creativity.

I, of course, mean this is vastly the case and is not the rule.

There is a creative industry.  Companies will hire creative people to do work for the company and couples will hire photographers and videographers to do their creative craft. That’s not what I’m talking about.

Let us talk art. As we mostly (always) do.

Specifically, art that means something personal to the artist. A piece of work meant solely to be enjoyed in and of itself to no end other than to be experienced. Paintings, sculptures, novels, music, plays and films (in their purest of forms.) Vast amounts of these are made everyday.

Nobody pays for it. Nobody sees it. Nobody cares.

Which, some will argue, is not the point. We’ve had a sequence of posts dedicated to the point of how some believe that art  is more for the benefit of the artist than the audience.  That may be true in some respects, but I would retort that the benefit that any artist may feel would be multiplied tenfold by having an audience in place to receive his or her work.  And the fact that art takes time and energy means that.

This experience has been a really tough, soul crushing, transitional epiphany for me. and it has caused depression.  Something many christians don’t seem to understand is how important art is for the artists. If they cannot create, if they have no one to witness their art, then it can cause a defeated attitude and a questioning of purpose.

When I was a lad, my dad surprised us with a playstation 2 for christmas, and we had no idea this was coming. I was elated and we played the heck out of that thing. I am sure there is a gift in which you could relate a similar feeling. Now, imagine, as hard as you can, if you received that gift, but you could not use it, could not enjoy it, could not share its use. Imagine the frustration that would set in. Imagine the eventual sadness, anger, and perhaps, if you desired this strong enough, how depressed you would be.

I also think of what God thinks of my wasted talents and desires. I think of the parable of the talents as an example. I would say he desires growth, risk-taking, and use of talents and gifts. So it is even more frustrating to figure out what this looks like in a life with a job, marriage, and church taking a bulk of the time.  Am I letting God down?

I say this so that you might be able to recognize an artist, and understand, that perhaps the best thing you could do to show them love, is to ask to see their work. To ask what it means to them personally, to explain why they chose to create their piece. To show value in their persistence and toil and work.  And most of this article is just an outlet of my recent frustrations and hopefully the beginning of a healing and maturation process. My talents are not being used how I originally thought they would. So what does it look like?

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3 thoughts on “The Soul Crushing Facts of Artistry

  1. I’ve felt this myself in the past. When my writing and sketches didn’t sit well with my wife, I was basically forced to abandon art altogether. It’s utterly empty to have no inspiration, and to shut off what little you do have, simply because it doesn’t feel like it will be appreciated. And yet, there’s something… less about doing it simply for yourself and never having your work see the light of day. I didn’t and haven’t hit full-blown depression, perhaps because my talents are shallow and wide rather than focused and deep, but I know the feeling all the same.

  2. Pingback: The Artistic Importance of Vulnerability | The Worship Collective

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