The Tortured Artist
There is an episode of EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY that talks about film directors. I wont spoil it for you but there is a lot of quips made deriding Michael Bay.
It's funny as hell, but it made me think; . why do we decide that a work of art needs to be serious? Why do we believe that something entertaining or joyful is intrinsically less artistic than something dark and tortured?
I am ridiculously guilty of this. Or I have been.
I would judge the quality of a performance by how long I would feel miserable after it.
I would self sabotage. Never in the work itself; but I would make damn sure that I didn't enjoy myself afterwards.
I would wear my filmic postpartum depression like a badge of honor; and find various ways to fuck up my life so that I'd have something to draw upon.
This is something about me that needs to change.
I don't know why there is a belief that artists need to suffer. we don't hold this to be true for architects, or doctors, etc. Yes there is stress and obstacles; but never suffering for suffering's sake.
Watch the Oscars. People get nominated for putting themselves through hell. If they actually die afterwards, they are almost certain to win. But is that the point of art?
Do you read HARRY POTTER because of JK Rowlings suffering? Did anyone in THE PRINCESS BRIDE seem like that were having a horrible time on set? No. these works of art make us feel good, make us happy, make us think. And as at least as valuable as the art which makes us lament the state of the world.
Sure Van Gogh died penniless, but PICASSO seemed to enjoy the hell out of his life.
So, I think that the suffering needs to end. There are challenges to be faced,and obstacles to overcome; but there is quite enough work to do without suffering just so we can feel like REAL ARTISTS. I think that REAL ARTISTS make things. And not for themselves, but for the world.
To make people think, feel, and even be entertained.
Again; I have been very guilty of this artistic snobbery. I have taken the self damaging route over the audience connection route every time.
But I am done with that now. ( I don't promise I won't relapse, [this very blog post is getting darker by the second])
But I am going to do my best to approach everything that I do with joy. Honestly; it's been one hell of a ride already. It's about time that I started enjoying it. And if that makes me less of an "artist", so be it. I think that I'll focus on making things that give me joy and hopefully give joy to other people too.
And besides; I enjoyed the hell out of the movie THE ROCK.