I wish I knew what it took to be successful as an artist. I mean doesn’t everyone want to be one? But only a few emerge to a place where no one would dare to challenge their artist status. With artists and intellectuals I’ve found that the easiest way for them to defend their titles is by pretentiously arguing facts and opinions of Rembrandt and Hemingway and Freud.
My problem is that I will never be knowledgable in those regards. I love to read unless it’s from a history book and then the illiteracy kicks in. Similar to sports I cannot find the meaning in memorizing facts and stats. Whether it’s # of paintings or # of home runs, I will never have room for those figures in my head.
So, if what it takes to be great is to be a living art history class then I’m out. During college I was able to attend a few research conferences where I was floored by the amount of knowledge spewing out of these researchers’ (professors, students, intellectuals…) mouths. And when I say spewing I mean they were absolutely drooling pieces of information with no filter and sometimes, I have to assume, no real supporting truth. It was a battle of who could use the most confusing vocabulary with the most confidence. And strangely enough, I felt like posture and body language had a lot to do with their perceived intellect. It just seemed, and seems, to me that if being in touch with your creative or academic self means constantly proving this through arrogance and faux enlightenment then I don’t think I’m in.
I would like to be an artist (not like a Picasso artist but more like in the way Isabel Allende is considered an artist). However I really don’t think I have the personality for it. Sure I’m moody as hell and I can be a know it all at times so maybe I’m halfway there. But overall I know what I am. I’m sarcastic and silly, high maintenance and a little bitchy, & like, kind at heart still I think. Somehow those features combine to make me who I am and it makes me think that to really tap into my creative juices I’ll have to become a reserved alcoholic or a conceited smart ass. Sure I pull from each of those a little bit (just enough, I’d like to think), but I’d hate to become someone I hate just to do what I love.
I know it’s ridiculous to put off pursuing your dreams because of how others might perceive you. But that’s where I’m at. For now, I think it will be enough for me to continue to travel, and explore, and read the brilliant pieces of artusts past. And maybe someday I’ll become a writer by association.