For the first time in a long, long time I was lost in art for a long, long time.
I am an artist and I love making art (maybe goes without saying) but something obnoxious and relentless keeps me from creating for long stretches at a time: Life. I have to go to work, I have a family, I have responsibilities.
Yet this weekend I found myself with a full day where nothing was scheduled or expected. That kind of day, for me, is about as rare as finding a four-leaf clover. The temptation was to go all couch potato, binge-watch something, become more vegetable than animal for a day. Really, what I was tempted to do with my day was anything that took little effort, both physically and mentally.
But there was an artwork waiting for me, patiently; biding its time until I would pick it up and continue working on it. I am almost constantly aware of an artwork waiting around for me. It is there in the back of my mind, somewhere behind my to-do list, behind the worry-center of my brain, behind the file of random song lyrics: that artwork waits with the patience of Job.
This weekend, that patience paid off. I pushed aside my desire for utter laziness, pulled together the materials I was going to need, made a spot where I could go at it, and I worked that artwork! I started sometime in the morning, after coffee and breakfast, and didn’t stop until I absolutely had to, that is, until that obnoxious and relentless presence interfered as it always seems to: Life will have its due. I had to quit so I could make a lunch for work, take a shower and get some sleep (ridiculous reasons to quit but there they are).
Precious few are the artists who do art for a living, who get up and work as I did that day. I found myself extremely jealous of those precious few. But also, ironically, very happy for them too. The world needs more artists completely dedicated to their art. This planet is being overrun by banality and brutality – Artists are called to step into the breach and meet that challenge head-on. For those of you who can do this full-time, fight on my brothers and sisters. For those of you who can do this part-time (or, like me, part-part-time) your role is equally valuable, so continue your fight; carve out those times, for your own sake and for the sake of others.
We are the dreamers, the jesters, the fools, the secret super heroes. Artists inspire artists, art begets art. Keep the color and motion and shape and line and song and word and beauty alive, even in bits and pieces of your life, if you can. We are the ones who can breathe Real Life into Life and keep it from becoming obnoxious and relentless.
So get your Art on!