An open letter to all the sensitive artist types

  

  Hello there. I am one of you and we are legion.  Our lot is a deep one, a gutsy one for sure. We are a strange group with a yearning desire to be our unique selves in this plastic preconceived prefabricated world.  It is we who come up with the ideas that others consume.

I know most of us are compelled to do this, this whatever we do that we deem art. And this compulsion runs deep, at least for me. For so many years I deprived myself of artistic endeavors, never making the time for it… thinking it frivolous, unnecessary…calling it a stupid dream and retreating back into the doldrums.

The voice never dies completely…this need to create, to share oneself. That voice grew from a whisper to a scream. I had to listen. The floodgates opened and they haven’t closed yet.  It’s a compulsion, a need like air to breathe.  Creative people know what I mean by this.  Sometimes I think living the life of someone a bit more “typical” would be simpler and easier. Less painful perhaps? At times the thought is tempting but in the end I wouldn’t want to live without this colorfully crazy creative streak.

Endless forms most beautiful

Art comes in endless forms.  I see it in everyday life from the musician and the writer to the carpenter, computer programmer, physicist, or cook. It is the soul of the person creating it that makes it beautiful. In my mind the only requirement for art to be art is that it contains a tiny drop of essence of the artist. If it’s honest and true that is what’s important. It is the stuff of daydreams and the inner workings of the soul that makes it memorable and remarkable.

Good art entertains, it amuses. It is whimsical and fun.

Great art makes you feel. Sometimes quite deeply and your life is forever changed by it.

The Starry Night, June 1889, The Museum of Mod...

Image via Wikipedia

Starry Starry Night

A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing live and in color several major works by some of my favorite Impressionists, including the great Vincent Van Gogh.  It was the brushstrokes that did it. I could see the mind of the master at work…the one who takes command of the brush and creates a universe with it.  There is a force to the artist.  The gutsy part.  Vincent had it all right, we artists need that;  the show off….the ham. The part that is compelled to share that which we have created.  Even shy ones like me have that side… but there is also the other side; the sensitive one.   Vincent had that in spades. He poured out his heart onto the canvas with wild abandon.  I believe that creativity lies in that deep soulful side. I have that side…the indigo to my strawberry. It was that side that started to cry in the middle of the exhibit. I welled up and couldn’t stop. I couldn’t even see the art at that point but the images from that day will forever be etched in my memory.

What I am trying to say

This piece is entitled: An open letter to all sensitive artist types and it is. However,  I do have one certain artist in mind when I write this and to that person I say…..

It is the artists that stick their neck out. It takes courage to put your work in front of others. Your heart is on a plate for others to dissect and chew up. Humans are natural judges and it’s a hard dose to swallow when you are on the receiving end of a disinterested audience.  What is the purpose of art if it is not shared?  And appreciated.

It takes courage to pursue a dream and awfully thick skin.  Unfortunately most of us artistic types are sensitive and all the courage in the world doesn’t stop hurt feelings.  Some people are jerks and will knock anyone down who dares to dream. But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop dreaming. Because once in a while dreams do come true.  Don’t let a few sour grapes spoil a fantastic bottle of wine.

But don’t just listen to me:

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.  Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is.  It has nothing to do with the fact that the other people want what they want.  Indeed, the moment an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist….”

**Oscar Wilde**

Have a wildly creative day

Strawberryindigo.

 

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25 thoughts on “An open letter to all the sensitive artist types

  1. Pingback: Hacking the Artist’s Brian: Overwhelming feeling of Creativity « Hacking Life Strategies

  2. God, I love this post!!! Amen – I’ve not seen the need to create and to be exactly who we are described better. I just posted a link to it on my blog. I sat in the middle of the Van Gogh room in the Musee d’Orsay bawling like my dog had died – seeing the paintings, the brushstrokes that detailed his whole journey through elation of seeing the world in a way that had never been before, and despair at being alone in his seeing, knowing that he never knew how much beauty he created in this world. Our compulsions to create have so much more room than did Vincent’s, and thanks to our electronic connections, so much more support, for which I am grateful.

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    • Hello Heart to harp! I agree that it is much easier for us creative people since the advent of the internet and such. The world is getting smaller and how enriching it is to be able to share all with others from all over. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who is moved to tears by such man made beauty.
      Thanks for the comments, it is always nice to hear from you. 🙂

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  3. I agree with you arts is all over in every pieces we see and shared, and it has a unique way to be define whoever did that, never ever stop dreaming what ever comes in your way, absolutely defining and correct, your such a good person with great heart in wordings … ::-)

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  4. thanks for stopping by my page, i am so glad it led me here. these words of yours are exactly what i need to be hearing right now as i contemplate leaving the “security” of a job that drains me to attempt to pursue a more pleasurable life of writing and creating and reaching out to others. this was a great kick in the butt! thank you! i also love van gogh and have had the great fortune to travel to europe several times, visiting the van gogh museum in amsterdam (to see my favourite, “wheat field with a lark”) and to traipse about the south of france tracing his path through arles and st. remy and the like, and visiting the asylum where he lived for some time. very moving. i am glad you were so emotionally struck by finally getting to see his paintings. he was such a fragile soul.

    thanks again!

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    • Hello Rhae Grace: I am glad that you heard what you needed to hear from my words. I needed to hear it myself since I am contemplating the same thing. I have to say that I am more than a bit jealous to hear you were in Amsterdam. It is on my list of dream vacation spots because of the Van Gogh museum. Next time you go say “Hi” to Vincent for me. Thanks for visiting and thanks for thanking me.

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  5. never stop dreaming – those are the words to remember.
    I do agree with you when you say there is an art in everything in this world. Whatever we do it is unique in its own way.

    After all, life is a theater and we all play different roles – technical people, artsy people, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, kids, bosses, friends and etc., all those are just roles and we have to perform to the best ability.

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  6. I had the pleasure of seeing all of my favorite artists in one place, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Talk about a crying jag. Not only was I in hog-heaven to be there but I was overcome with the stirring of emotions. I don’t think it was delayed jet-lag but rather being surrounded by all the emotion-ladden art! And I love Vincent, too.
    Great post, strawberryindigo!

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    • Thanks Beckie! I am jealous of you being in Paris and seeing all that. Next time you go you will have to bring me along. It’s strange, very few times in my life I have ever started to become emotional in public. It comes as a complete surprise.

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  7. A great piece that echoes many of my feelings. I can relate to your experience on seeing the Van Gogh live and in color; only it was a relitively unknown piece of his (Three Pairs of Shoes) that had a similar effect on me. But instead of crying I stood there the longest time until people got upset with me and asked me to move on.

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    • Hello Ohioken: My experience with Van Gogh was in Vegas. How ironic. I have heard people complain about such shows, that by just being in “Sin City” degrades the art somehow. Beauty is everywhere, even in Vegas. I have not heard of or seen “Three pairs of shoes” I’m sure it is like his others. I could stare at them all day, I know how you felt. I bet you were not the only one who was asked to move on. Thanks for the input and for visiting…I like the Eagle.

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      • I saw the Van Goghs at a traveling exihibit of impressionists at the Cleveland Art Museum. The Cleveland Art Museum is world class and deserves a visit if you are ever in Ohio.

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  8. Oh how I agree with this. It is a compulsion to create, we do need it like we need to breath air. And sensitive!! Boy are we sensitive, and so easily hurt by disinterest or an insensitive remark. But nothing, nothing hurts more than those moments of crippling self-doubt that we all suffer from time to time. When we think we are deluding ourselves and our dreams will never, ever amount to anything and our ‘talent’ is non existent. I know, I have them all to frequently. 😦

    A great article. Spot on. 🙂

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    • Hello Jessie: We have much in common. I wrote this for that insecurity we all feel. It is one of the great things about this blogging community is that a lot of us share these feelings and it helps to get feedback and encouragement from fellow creatives. Thanks for the comments. 🙂

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