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Vortex and crazy artists

Written on the May 15, '13

What makes artists do the things they do, like leaving cushy jobs and wading into uncertain future - all for the sake of their 'love' for art?

I mean, can't the two go along, job and art? There are so many hobbyist artists, who venture out of home on weekends and draw to their fill. On weekdays they have jobs to attend, which fill their bank accounts and help them realize their material dreams. I'd say that is a perfect arrangement, and worth emulating. But no, there are these other, crazy souls who just wouldn't/couldn't share their art-space with office bosses. Its an 'all or none' thing for them. Mostly none, since art may fulfill their heart, but leaves them starving. And their material dreams mostly die unrealized. They are perpetually stretched to make ends meet, and often do not know what's going to happen in the coming months (sometimes, kindly souls/relatives/patrons take them under their wings for a while, but that doesn't change the over-all picture). And still they won't budge from their 'art'! 

What happens to the women in their life (assuming the artist is male and straight)? What if they fall in love, or (weirder still) are fallen in love with? Unless she's of independent means, has well-padded pockets to sustain, if necessary 'their' future - goodbye to togetherness! Materiality wins over romance all the time (there are rich artists too, although those are probably not the craziest ones).  Unfortunately, many of this crazy lot are also among the most romantic, and can love like 'love' really means something, so there's a lot of warped/wasted romance in the end.

And still they won't go out seeking a 9-5 job, like any other sane person. I guess they are lazy then? But why would a lazy person toil day in and day out at improving their art? If they are hardworking at developing their skills, and are thinking about it 24/7, can they still be called lazy? Perhaps, you're lazy if you only work at what you love doing... in order to live fully we also need to do things we do not like doing. That is unfortunate, but that is how it is. But these drifted souls, unrealistic and zombie-like, space cadets of the worst kind, are only fixated on their art, and consequently suffer the worst bouts of paranoia, disillusionment, anxiety and yes, depression. The cone of happiness in their lives get narrower and narrower until happiness comes only as a happy surprise, rarely and fleetingly. As their friends and relatives prosper, working hard at maintaining their quality of life, these crazy ones make themselves socially isolated. 

They want to talk, oh they do! They want to talk about everything on earth and universe, they want friends like any other person. They want to pour their heart out for sure. But soon they do not have anyone to talk to. Pride builds walls of isolation around them. They think they live inside fortresses, but its really prisons they have built, and flung the keys outside. 

Yet, we need them to inspire us with their wonderful creations. Billions of dollars of businesses are carried out world-wide in their name, often after they have died - having lived virtually unrecognized, a life of penury and mental suffering. Its only those moments, when their brush touches canvas, charcoal glides across paper, that they live. Oh they live like gods and kings in those moments, the most powerful and ecstatic creatures there could be! They live in creative highs, lurching from one fix to another, towards self-created vortices of oblivion.

Because ulitmately, no matter what, you can only live as yourself.


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