Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Creator's Manifesto

I've added a new page up above in the menu there. It's called "The Creator's Manifesto." As I say on the page, I don't much care for the word "manifesto", given its connection to politics, but it's a useful shorthand so I'll go with it.

I felt the need to outline some of my reasons for staying creative even when the world seems hell-bent on derailing you. Often times, when I feel like throwing in the towel, it's because I feel like I'm never going to be successful and make tons of money and prove to the naysayers that I'm a brilliant thinker.

But then I have to check myself. Success and failure seems like too rough an equation when it comes to art. The real reason we should make art is for others, not because we seek riches for ourselves. We should want to impart our wisdom/sense of humor/insights to other people so that they can become better people.

Usually, this does the trick for me.

Do you have core reasons for being an artist that you grapple onto for support when you're feeling down? Let me know.

Update: I wrote this manifesto late last night, and in retrospect, I think a lot of it had to do with my reflections on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 being today. In listening to the radio all morning and re-watching old footage of the attacks taking place, I'm reminded of how utterly hopeless and sad I felt that day, and in the months afterwards.

I was living nearly 2000 miles away from Ground Zero at the time, so obviously I wasn't directly impacted by the events. So I'm only speaking for myself here and not anyone who was directly affected. In my opinion, the only appropriate response to acts of horror like Sept. 11th is love. Do what you love every day. Be nice to everyone. Create art for the benefit of others, so that your love will spread around the world.

Some people think they can't do anything in response to 9/11. They feel weak, even ten years on. But the truth is, we can do something. We have the strength to drown out the sadness. We must align ourselves so that we project love into the world through our art. Unhesitating love is the best response to hate. We have to trust each other again.

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