The Artist's Curse

I said she was selfish and self-absorbed and she said, "So are you, it's the artist's curse.

As usual she got me thinking about things a little differently. It was no surprise that she said I was selfish and self-absorbed, I've become that way as a means to further my work and my personal growth. I try to keep my self-absorption and my ego in check, but I'm not always successful

Are all artists self-absorbed? Is the only way one can create great art to be totally consumed with oneself? I can see how the artist must look into himself more deeply than others in order to pull out what's inside, that which everyone else in their linear and ordered existence is too afraid to do themselves... It's easier, more comfortable to look at the things that trouble them in a safe and non-threatening environment such as on a canvas, in the pages of a book, or on a screen in a theatre. The artist is the sacrificial lamb who puts himself out there for consumption and healing. I always thought that the true artist was a beautiful and tortured soul...

What about those whose subject matter lies outside the self? Are they so consumed by the outside world and all it contains that they become selfless and neglect their own basic needs? Is this how the starving artist on the street came to exist? Is there a happy medium? Or is the medium where mediocrity lies?

I'd rather be selfish, tortured and brilliant than untalented or worse, mediocre.

 

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