In Love With Your Art
Now here's an interesting thing. How much do you love your own art? Honestly now. I know we have been entrained, brainwashed, "to be our own worst critic" on the grounds that this will make you into a better person as you berate yourself endlessly, search for all things imperfect and beat yourself up for any little shortcoming.
I think that's completely appalling and in fact, a path straight into the abyss of failure - and not just for art, but for life.
As an artist, you are going to get criticised by other people. Of course you are. And the more unique and personal your art, the more the criticism in a direct cause and effect.
If you don't love your art, how are you going to stand up to that?
Indeed, if you align with the critics and join in the berating party, WHO IS LEFT TO STAND UP FOR YOUR ART AT ALL?
I have a notion that this is the key to much artistic failure.
You need energy to do art.
You need energy to put your art before people
You need energy to keep going in spite of endless set backs and disappointments.
That energy, that inspiration can only come from positive energies - and love is the most powerful of all energy forms in the universe.
Yes, it really is.
It may seem that anger and hate and rage have more energy but they don't. They're fast fire flashes, last ditch defences, they may burn brightly for a time but they soon extinguish.
For the long haul, you need love.
Indeed, I would go one further and say you need to be IN LOVE.
Hatred, negatvity and criticism doesn't nourish anything. It stunts, deforms and destroys. Just ask the children of those parents who endlessly berated them for their shortcomings if you don't believe me ...
To make better works of art in the future, to become a better artist AND a more powerful person, someone who knows what they're doing, someone who is proud of what they're doing and therefore can stand strong against criticism, you need to start loving your art.
"But what I make is crap! It doesn't deserve anybody's love ..."
Well then stop making crap and start making something simple, unique, something that pleases you above all else.
Make some thing FROM YOU for YOU.
Forget about everything else, everyone else, and most of all, forget about "all the great artists of the past" you have studied so earnestly.
Fuck all of that!
Sit back and ask yourself, alright, I'm going to be moving into a small white cell, and I get to have one work of art there with me, what will I make for my future self?
Something to truly delight them, inspire them, make them happy and make them feel loved BY YOU across time and space?
What's it going to be?
Or is it going to be impossible a task, because any future self will snarl and pick and prod and moan and groan because whatever it is, it will never be good enough?
Now if that is the case, you really need to STOP.
You really need to learn to deal with what your past aspects have produced in all good faith in a different way altogether.
Think of one of your imperfect works of art, and travel back across time to view that aspect of you who created that.
Who that was. What they had to suffer in their time, what their problems were, their challenges.
What they were thinking, what they were doing.
Don't criticise them.
Just observe, and with more than your eyes alone.
Do they deserve your support now?
Did they do the very best they could, given all the circumstances?
Could they have possibly done any better?
Did they try?
Then if so, whatever they produced is a testament to that artist at that time - and therefore, entirely incontrovertible.
It could not be any other way.
And so it is with every work of art any of your infinite aspects have ever produced, and also by definition, with every work of art any future aspects will ever produce.
Every single one is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.
Every single one is an attempt to touch that sacred human creativity which is the alpha of all endeavour, the beginning of all song, all dance, all magic, and all science.
Allow yourself to understand that, to appreciate that.
Learn to take the bigger picture.
Instead of focusing on "the flaws" widen your perception and understand the work in context of that person's time and space who created this.
Learn to love your art.
Really love it.
It is a challenging task to be sure, but please believe me when I say that it changes everything.
To know that there will not be future selves snarling down the timeline at you whilst you are creating your next work is priceless.
If "you" can truly get behind "yourself" - meaning that you become the champion to your past aspects and stand by them, UNCONDITIONALLY, no holds barred, then there is at least one person in the world who loves your art.
That's the start.
That's the beginning.
From there, you might find that another one comes along, and perhaps even another.
Perhaps, in the long run, you will become rich and famous. Who knows?
But even if you don't, the love builds. It feeds back on itself. It empowers you in ways I haven't got room to write about on this page, it stands by you in your darkest hours and is the light at the end of the tunnel.
Long term, it will literally create an artist who in turn will create things like the worlds have never known.
It's hard, but it's worth it.
Love your art.