Truth of an Artist

Any artist of average, or a high level of unrefined talent (potential) can produce a “single” piece of phenomenal work. In this day and age of instant gratification that single piece of work may be enough for people to proclaim your arrival as a great artist, maybe even one of the greatest; albeit prematurely.

The problem; the artist begins to focus their energy solely on creating another single instance of a phenomenal work instead of working on all the little things that will allow them to become masters of their craft. More than likely, they will become lost as an artist as they try to satisfy the thirst of the people. Undoubtedly, they will struggle as they work tirelessly on trying to create another piece that lives up to the lofty expectations of the fans. In most cases, they will fail to ever produce another work of art that satisfies the unrealistic expectations they, an artist of average capability or one with a high level of unrefined talent have been saddled with.

Some artist, will continue putting out several works of “below average” or “average” quality. With the help of slick marketing the artist may even convince the people that they are indeed the artist everyone thinks they are.

Unfortunately for them, the shine and gloss will eventually fail to mask their deficiencies as artist. The support of the people will wane until their fan base is almost non-existent beyond a cult type following. All that will be left are the stories of the artist who was a flash in the pan and the questions of where are they now.

In the best case scenario, the artist through their average talent and slick marketing would have generated a sufficient amount of money to live comfortably, maybe even extravagantly. In the end however, the artist will forever be haunted by questions of who they could have been had they pursued their “truth” instead of the adulation of their fans.


About Sean King

Husband, Father, Writer, Philosopher, Humanitarian

Posted on June 8, 2011, in My Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I feel you but at least the artists who you are speaking of got a chance to see success during their lifetime. I think the artists who came before their time have it way worse. Those like Kafka, Hurston, and Van Gogh. And then there are so many outstanding artists who never make it at all, so I think that if an artists gets just a little bit a sunshine through a hit single or a best-seller then they should be proud of themselves. Unfortunately most of them end up in a constant state of self ridicule just like you said.
    Cool piece.

  2. Agreed, to clarify I’m speaking of artist from the current time where instant fame and gratification is the norm. Where you can produce one quality piece of work and people will compare you to the all time greats, to the people who worked tirelessly at perfecting their craft.

    To be clear, I don’t have a problem with the fame or the success, I think it’s the addiction to the fame/success that does a lot of artist in. They start down the path because they have a passion for art, then they get greeted with success, and instead of continuing to build and perfect their craft they fall into the trap of trying to replicate the formula that garnered them some success… They become a wonderful talent that became stagnant because they fell to the addiction. Success is good, but stay humble and always work to get better at what you do. The ideal situation would be to look back and say you pushed your talent as far you could AND you enjoyed success. It’s possible; but you have to stay focused when the fortune/fame come fast.

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