Hello and welcome to Art A&A number 22. Today I’m going to talk about being brave and why your art is so f***ing important.
This is a subject that motivates me the most in the world. This is essentially the core of what I think is most important in life this is what I think life is about.
It’s your Art and your, OUR creative participation in life. This is for me, core and foundation and fundamental to life, well being and purpose.
Joseph Campbell Again
Joseph Campbell is one of my favorite people in the entire world – he died in the 80s, but he is just such a fantastic mind and he never ceases to amaze me – even still going on and on forever. He probably always will amaze me.
He was a professor of comparative religion at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author of a tonne of books; Hero with 1000 Faces, Masks of God, the Power of Myth – that is an interview series he did with Bill Moyer that you can find video for as well. He wrote about comparative religion and mythology and he basically wrote about the stories of being human in the world. Campbell admitted that he wrote specifically for artists and that included all the creative arts writing poetry dance acting directing whatever… he was writing for the creatives. Everyone else could take it or leave it, he didn’t care but he was writing for artists because he believed in the purpose of art.
George Lucas wrote Star Wars based upon the ideas that Campbell wrote in his book called the Hero with a Thousand Faces which is essentially the symbolic quest that we all go through as we move from childhood into adulthood. That is the basis of Star Wars… the fourth fifth and sixth episodes we won’t talk about the first three…
***Edit – I speak of The Hero’s Journey and A Hero with a Thousand Faces as 2 separate writings, but the Hero’s Journey is written about IN a Hero with a Thousand Faces. My bad. Sorry.***
Okay in the hero’s journey Campbell writes, “The role of the artist I now understand is that of revealing it to world surfaces the implicit forms” …oops, sorry… let me start again.
“The role of the artist I now understand is that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth. It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Myths are the world’s dreams. They are archetypal dreams and deal with great human problems. Myths and dreams come from the same place. They come from realizations of some kind that then have to find expression in symbolic form. A real artist is the one who has learned to recognize and to render the radiance of all things as an epiphany or showing forth of the truth.”
I love this guy I really do. He’s just so fantastic. He believed that artists communicate myth today. They are the shamans and the seers of our world. Artists communicate to us where we are, and where we are going, and how we’re doing in the world. Artist’s take the untouchable and they open it and they immerse us in that untouchable field with an ability to understand and connect. Artists connect us with the unseen, the intangible, the underlying patterns of creation.
Creating Art that Speaks
Like Prometheus, artists go down into the dark and comes back with fire for humanity again and again – that’s what artists do. Artists provide the fuel for the evolution of our species. This is difficult and valuable work and requires bravery. Creating art that speaks is not for the faint of heart at all. It’s not always a sense of making pretty pictures, I mean that is part of it for some people but that’s not the driving force for arts in the creative world.
My business coach asked me once why I like working with artists, why it was so important to me? I responded by saying there were far less douche bags in the art world than there are other areas of life. Oh, there are still jerks, there are ego issues and pissing wars and competition and ambition, but on the whole it takes a different kind of person to go deep and be vulnerable and bring that out to share with the world. I don’t believe you can share your deep personal interior landscape with the public and continue to be a douche bag. You can try, but you’ll likely produce crappy art and you’ll move on to something else.
The act of making authentically connected and resonant art requires a type of person that I love being around. There’s no room for shallow BS with these people and I love it.
Dance with Pants Off
Making this kind of art requires bravery courage and a strength of purpose.
I know. I’m an artist who’s been putting my art out into the world on a regular basis for years. It’s been an an exposing activity. It’s very vulnerable to put your interior visions and work on public display. It’s like taking your pants down in public and encouraging everyone to come around and criticize and take potshots at your ass.
But please be brave, we need you.
If you have something to say, if you have something to share – be brave enough to share it.
We need all the voices speaking of that interior reality, of bringing to form those hidden truths.
We need your inspiration and your connection and the beauty that you can create.
We need your vision.
We need you to be brave and persevere even in the face of rejection and ambivalence because it’ll probably take us a while to get what you’re saying.
It’ll take us a while to get it.
We need you to be passionate about your vision and believe in your message.
We need you to connect us to one another. To connect us with a bigger reality than our own stupid tiny little lives.
We need you to show us how to get to the next step and how we get there together.
We need your artistry. We need your vision we need you to show us what you see.
We need you to be strong and brave and persevere because what you’re doing is important and vital and necessary.
Be brave my artists because your art is so f***ing important.
Okay, that’s all I got right now, ‘cuz I’m gonna go cry.