Pearls from artists* # 317
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
But everything that may some day be possible to many the solitary man can now prepare and build with his hands, that err less. Therefore, dear sir, love your solitude and bear with sweet-sounding lamentation the suffering it causes you. For those who are near you are far, you say, and that shows it is beginning to grow wide about you. And when what is near you is far, then your distance is already among the stars and very large; rejoice in your growth, in which you naturally can take no one with you, and be kind to those who remain behind, and be sure and calm before them and do not torment them with your doubts and do not frighten them with your confidence or joy, which they could not understand. Seek yourself some sort of simple and loyal community with them, which need not necessarily change as you yourself become different and again different; love in them life in an unfamiliar form and be considerate of aging people, who fear that being-alone in which you trust. Avoid contributing material to the drama that is always stretched taut between parents and children; it uses up much of the children’ energy and consumes the love of their elders, which is effective and warming even if it does not comprehend. Ask no advice from them and count upon no understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance and trust that in this love there is a strength and a blessing, out beyond which you do not have to step in order to go very far!
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, Translation by M.D. Herter Norton
Comments are welcome!
Q: It is well known that you gain inspiration from foreign travel. Has anyone ever accused you of stealing their culture?
Posted by barbararachkoscoloreddust
The Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca
A: Yes, a few people have done so via comments on Facebook. It came as a shock.
The logic of such an accusation presumes ownership. I don’t believe any person has a claim to owning culture.
Travel is arguably the best education there is. My travels around the world, supplemented with lots of research once I return home, are an important part of my creative process. This is how I develop ideas to forge a way ahead. It is difficult and solitary work.
Every artist is tasked with remaining open to influences – however, wherever, and whenever they appear. Somewhat late in life, travel as a source of inspiration found ME. And it has been a blessing!
People around the world have become fans. Many send messages of thanks saying they are proud that some aspect of their country’s culture has inspired my work. I am always grateful and touched to know this.
Comments are welcome!
Posted in 2019, An Artist's Life, Bolivia, Creative Process, Inspiration, Studio, The West Village, Working methods
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