And here are just a couple.
This evening, I am on a mission. Tonight, I am going to make a very exciting attempt to reveal to you just a few reasons not to become an artist -and I will probably feel the need to augment this list as I progress. The list is just a sort of note-to-self, as well as an experienced artists’ ponderings over his situation, sharing his wisdom to the rest of the world.
I promise to be brief here. There are so many things to say but so little time -and besides, I wouldn’t want to unintentionally inspire you to kill yourselves out of despair after having read my blog, since I would then go down in history as having created a wave of artist-suicides. That wouldn’t be productive for any of us.
1a). As an artist, or as a person who believes you are inclined toward artistic and/or poetic self-expression, you are likely to be prone to suffer from a psychiatric disorder of some kind, either now or at some future point in your life.
What I’m telling you now is a statistically proven fact and no joke, according to recent findings by renowned scientists.
Because of this evil fate you have been dealed you will probably have to spend gazillions on mental health-care, as well as hours and years in treatment, and/or in an insane-asylum.
The combination of art and psychiatric disease is sometimes great, if you think of, for instance, the famous-but-not-so-happy-or-wealthy-while-he-lived painter Vincent Van Gogh*, and many other renowned artists and writers and musicians with him.
For the most part however, it will be disastrous when it comes to the people closely involved -namely you and your family (as was the case with Van Gogh and his brother Theo, who had to take care of his talented but unfortunate siblings’ lack-luster career and defunct economy).
1b). There are three major diseases closely connected with creativity and a “minor” one. The three are schizophrenia, depression and bi-polar disorder. The minor would be ADHD. If you have one of the major or all four at once, perhaps (which is quite possible), then you might as well give up and go with the flow -just go, artist, go! Understand that you’ll never be like anyone else, paint your crazy paintings or whatever your voices make you do, and there’s nothing you can do to change your genetic disposition.
If you are born with ADHD, and/or depression, you may give up, or find medication that might help you concentrate on one idea at a time and also get rid of your depression.
Maybe, hopefully you will find help. If you can only remember to take your meds and if you can only remember your doctors’ appointment, be on time to said appointment and not miss it all together, and if you can only not change your mind a hundred times about using the prescribed medicine, et cetera.
2). You will love what you do -your work, that is- but you will many times lack the most important part of life that makes possible very important bits and pieces in the everyday puzzle. These important bits and pieces are helped by something we call “money”, and this “money” is a utility that facilitates your survival in our society in a very direct way.
Without money, you could one day, when you have finally succumbed to society’s so-called rules, moved out from your doting parents/mother at the young and for an artiste (and may-be prophet) incredibly fragile age of 33, find yourself homeless, in need of a job, in need of a friend, in need of a life.
3). Your greatest hope as an artist stands to not being very talented at all, so much so that everyone discourages you to the point that you realize your failure and turn to banking/politics/advertising or any such line of work where lying is inherent. Hitler was a noted artistic failure (excepting his auto-biography “Mein Kampf”, sold to every German household not counting the Jews, read however by just a few) and just look where that got him! Even so, Hitler was most likely mentally ill at some time in his later life, so he could possibly have been a “great” artist and more important, a human being, had he just stuck to his guns and pursued his career as a painter.
Admittedly, comparing yourself to Hitler and for instance Jesus and other maniacs is a sure sign of delusions of grandeur, therefore leaving anyone with such thoughts bare of any realistic chances to pursue a career in the creative world.
I’m gonna have to give up on this negative rant for tonight, but I’ll promise to be back to give you the low-down on what goes on in The World Of Negativity at a later date.
I have, as you probably guessed, thousands of ideas, too few talented slaves and devotees that are willing to work for me for free so that they can help me achieve my life’s goal: to actually have time to do all the things I want to do, to execute all of the ideas that come to mind as I do my doodles and sketch my sketches.
One last thing to sum it all up: when you are posed the inevitable question “Why did you become an artist?”, there’s a simple reply: “Because I am insane!”
That’s all for tonight, folks!
*Van Gogh -no-one knows whether he actually killed himself or if he was accidentally shot in some kind of silly game with a couple of youngsters, as was theoretized recently. Also, he actually didn’t cut off all of his ear, but just half or part of it, or just the earlobe, I’m not sure which. In any case, he wasn’t a terribly joyous character, even though I’m pretty sure he tried very hard.
**Note: The above post was written quite a few years ago. No worries, I’m not that depressed as it may seem.