Category: Creative

Why art does not have to be good

Why art does not have to be good

We live in a world where we are obsessed with doing things ‘the right way’. Probably, no matter where you are, you think you were supposed to get further. I know that there’s a little voice in your head, an echo of your younger self, expecting you to have been “more than this” by now. I know that it seems like you have so far to go, and that’s exactly because you do.

However, no matter what kind of things are you making, it is essential to remember that the only thing that really matters is the making itself. A friend of Vincent van Gogh explained to him the beautiful essence of artistic creation:

What the world thought made little difference. Rembrandt had to paint. Whether he painted well or badly didn’t matter: painting was the stuff that held him together as a man. The chief value of art, Vincent, lies in the expression it gives to the artist. Rembrandt fulfilled what he knew to be his life purpose; that justified him. Even if his work had been worthless, he would have been a thousand times more successful than if he had put down his desire and become the richest man in Amsterdam.

Doesn’t that sound really good to you? The fact that Rembrandt’s work brings joy to the whole world today, is entirely gratuitous. His life was complete and successful when he died, even though he was hounded into his grave. The book of life closed then, and it was a beautifully wrought volume. The quality of his perseverance and loyalty to his idea is what was important, not the quality of his work.

Abraham Maslow also put it clearly: A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.

The people who you admire — or really, the people you should admire — are the ones who have spent decades building a body of work and legacy to outlive them.

They weren’t worried about how good things looked on the surface. They weren’t afraid of side gigs or incurring other people’s judgements. They didn’t expect everything they worked on to be a magnum opus.

They got up each day and they did the work. The key to their success was not rushing to “make it,” but in slowly becoming the people who deserved a lifetime of success.

Don’t feel pressured to rush your own artistic journey. Maybe right now is not the time for the shining highlight reel. Right now is the time for grit. Right now is the time that you stop before you lift the drink and ask what feeling am I trying not to feel right now? Right now is the time that you ask yourself where your interests, skills and current demand intersect, and figure out what you can commit yourself to doing for the rest of your life.

To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Right now is the time that you figure out what your self-sabotaging habits are and figure out how to change them. Right now is the time that you push yourself, minute by minute and day by day. Now is not the time for glory and completeness. Now is the time for sweat and brutal honesty.

This is the time that you worry more about what you’re learning than what you’re earning. This is the time that you recognize when you’re in a dead-end anything, and this is the time that you turn around before you spend the rest of your life there.

Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again. And remember, you are not lost. You are here.

Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is The Worst Advice Ever

Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is The Worst Advice Ever

The term “Follow your passion” has increased ninefold in English books since 1990. “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is another college-counseling standby of unknown provenance. Despite of those wise words, you find yourself being 25, 35 or 45 years old and you still haven’t found your passion? You cannot possibly be alone in this.

What are the consequences of this wave of passion-craziness? Well, we got to a point where we really believe that if you do something that feels like work, it means you don’t love it and got it wrong.

Here comes the breaking truth:

Passions are not ‘found’. They are developed.

Your passion isn’t out there, waiting to be discovered. It’s not a mysterious force that will — when found — remove all obstacles from your path.

A wise man told me once: It’s really hard to do what you love, but it’s quite easy to love what you do. As long as you put enough effort, heart and dedication into your work, you will improve in whatever it is that you are doing. When you improve, you automatically start enjoying what you do a little bit more, feeling progress and growth.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with admitting that all of us need jobs in order to pay our bills. Your job is not supposed to be your life. It’s okay to get up in the morning and do what you have to do in order to enjoy yourself in the afternoon and on weekends. Life is about people that are close, life is about stuff you love like dancing, reading and cooking. Life is about doing those things without the urge to monetize them. Life is about doing some good to others, sharing and caring, contributing and deciding where to invest your precious time. It’s about having a picnic with wine, cheese and walnuts while watching the sunset without worrying about all the possible future disasters.

I have lately heard another phrase that struck me a lot: I think you are wasting your potential. It was a conversation about my career and professional choices and then I thought: My potential for what? What about my pontential for happiness? My potential for becoming a good human being? My potential for being a balanced and fulfilled person?

It’s all about choices. Adam J. Kurtz, author of Things Are What You Make of Them has rewritten the maxim for modern creatives: “Do what you love and you’ll work super fucking hard all the time with no separation or any boundaries and also take everything extremely personally.” Which, aside from being relatable to anyone who has tried to make money from something they truly care about, speaks to an underrepresented truth: those with passion careers can have just as much career anxiety as those who clock in and out of the mindless daily grind.

Instead of waiting for a shooting star to bring you the idea of what your passion is and where is it hiding, maybe we could accept the fact that it is okay, and perhaps just human, to have a job that feels like actual work and effort from time to time.

We wrote a similar piece on Why We Should Stop Turning Hobbies Into Jobs, if you liked this one, you might enjoy it as well!

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