Very few artists enjoy being controlled. Most of us break away from convention and the status-quo just by breathing. We tend to dress strange, talk strange, keep odd hours, and spend a lot of time introspecting and creating, things that the world of work-buy-die has absolutely no use for.
One thing we all have in common is: we disrupt the dreariness of life. We spice up the world with paintings, music, poems, dances, skylines, and films that are as essential to living as air or water. Everyone knows we need art like we need food.
Just imagine a world with no art.
That includes every meme, viral video, and cooking show ever created. It also includes clothes. From tuxedos to trashy lingerie. Fashion is art. Take away creativity, we're all wearing sacks -- without product logos. Don't forget WWE! Also tattoos. Beer logos. And everything on Netflix.
So why are artists treated so cruelly by society and by people in general?
What do you mean, cruelly? Artists are rich, famous, and free!
Despite the b.s. hype the media showers on less than 1% of working artists, most artists struggle financially, have a tough time finding outlets for their work, and also have to keep growing, learning and creating for their entire lives. They don't take up a post somewhere and start watching the calendar till it hits: "Social Security and 401k." Every day is a battle with a blank canvas, an empty page, a lump of clay.
Because artists need so much time alone to think and create, they often suffer from relationship issues and loneliness. Then there's critics. Rivals. Failed drafts. Failed revisions.
Many artists suicide or turn to drink and drugs. This is also true of non-artists, but there's a greater risk if you're an artist. When an artist cracks up people say: "Yup that's what happens. Crazy artiste..."
When an artist, after working for years or decades, is successful people say: "Wow, you're lucky to be so gifted."
So in any case, people who are not creators simply do not understand artists. It's a cliché that happens to be 100% true. Non-artists just don't get creative types, but they really need our work just as artists tend to step outside of conventional life, but need it as inspiration.
My advice on this is simply: don't bother trying to explain yourself to people. Nothing works. You will literally argue with people for years over the value of a dollar or the propriety of men not wearing dresses. Nothing will come of it. You'll still be an artist; they'll still be scanning the room to see if they're "normal."
When people question your outrageous verve -- your audacity to spend the morning writing a poem rather than gossiping about your third cousin's mistress -- your subversive will to paint watercolors of an old barn rather than spend another afternoon complaining about your bad back or someone's barking dog -- just smile and say: "I can't help it. I'm an artist..."
Poems Written: 301
Rejections: 17 (10 tiered)
Poem written today: "Some People"