*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Most artists desire recognition, and the persistent lack of it may be a bitter pill to swallow. The artist who is too-soon recognized, as Norman Mailer felt himself to be, might argue that early fame is harder on the artist than years of obscurity. But the composer with a score for a powerful symphony locked away in his drawer, and the actress who has never found a way into a great drama, are hard-pressed to agree with Mailer. Similarly, the painter who has her entire output of paintings to enjoy for herself because she cannot sell them may praise her fortitude and applaud her accomplishments, but still experiences great sadness.
If you are not honored with real, appropriate recognition, you struggle not to consider yourself a failure. You may argue that it is the world that has failed you… but it is hard to take comfort in that knowledge. You need recognition more than you need accurate understanding of why recognition has eluded you. And as you deal, during your years in the trenches, with what may turn out to be a maddingly insufficient lack of recognition, you are challenged to find ways of maintaining your faith, courage, good cheer, and emotional equilibrium.
Eric Maisel, A Life in the Arts: Practical Guidance and Inspiration for Creative and Performing Artists
Comments are welcome!
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Interviewer: Do you have any unfinished poems that you look at occasionally?
T.S. Eliot: I haven’t much in that way, no. As a rule, with me an unfinished thing is a thing that might as well be rubbed out. It’s better, if there’s something good in it that I might make use of elsewhere, to leave it at the back of my mind than on paper in a drawer. If I leave it in a drawer it remains the same thing but if it’s in the memory it becomes transformed into something else.
Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews 2nd Series, edited by George Plimpton and introduced by Van Wyck Brooks
Comments are welcome!