Thursday, April 08, 2004


What is the difference between having the things you do serve a purpose and having the things you do be your purpose? Sometimes I wonder if the number one habit of highly successful people is not to imitate other highly successful people. Usually success comes from having a goal and assuring that everything you do is geared toward accomplishing the goal. The goal of the imitator is often to imitate what someone else is doing rather than why he is doing it. The terminality of this is to attempt to accomplish the by-product of a purpose. I’ll skip the stupid metaphor I thought of for this.

These are the true profiles of the artist and the imitator. Therefore, the profile of the misunderstood artist is shown in the differences between the artist and the imposter. This difference is so missed and misunderstood that the imposter is often deemed successful by having achieved the by-product. The worst part is that he will never achieve the real success of his model because he erroneously believes he’s already accomplished it.
So the artist is driven to express and create. The true artist, as he is creating, will be satisfied no more or less by the financial reward gained by his art. He may be more or less hungry, but he can’t be satisfied by something different from that which he set out to do. To be satisfied by money or fame or be frustrated by lack of it, is to prove that it was goal in the first place. Many will imitate the financially rewarded artist in order to gain the rewards rather than to create the art. It is this generation that finds frustration or confidence in something less than its models.

Every day there are true artists who have been swallowed up by the machine stepping back giving up highly financially successful careers because their art is threatened or compromised. On the other hand, everyday there are those whose audience has lost interest in their trendy, target demographic spawned drivel so they’ve become financially frustrated. Ironically, it is the latter group who are seen as the frustrated artists.

Like religious zealotry that can’t be understood by people who mistake it for politics, art can’t be understood by people who mistake it for industry. But perhaps the more frustrating thing is when people mistake industry for art. When this happens, so-called artists themselves are consumers and the audience provides for their consumption.
This is a profoundly perverted misappropriation. The "high maintenance" artist is a profound misnomer; for artists are not driven by external demand. The lack of external motivation and the the lack of need for positive feedback, make humility ubiquitous among the greatest artists. This trait is so widespread among artists that it may be difficult to tell if it is a prerequisite for artistry or if artistry begets humility.

Metaphorically speaking, that is.