There are some messages that bear repeating over and over and over again. There are certain thoughts which should always be at the forefront of the mind. To forget the message, to ignore the thought, is to run a risk of later regret, and life is too important to waste time on regrets.
Which is a roundabout way of getting to to my own thought for the day. As happens reasonably often, it was prompted by an item on BBC Radio 4 involving an interview with a lady who spoke a lot of sense about contemporary art practices.
I missed her name, missed the broader context of the discussion, and caught merely a few snatches of the conversation, but it was one of those blinding moments of empathetic listening where you find yourself nodding along in total agreement.
In answer to an observation about extremely wealthy and successful contemporary artists losing their drive and interest and passion to explore the world through their art, she simply said that’s not how artists work, because that’s not how the practice of art is. Or words to that effect.
Because the practice and making of art is apart from and something different to the making of money for most artists, even if you need money to live. Because there is no substitute for going into the studio every day and facing the challenge of how you translate and communicate this experience or that encounter or those feelings through the making of art. Because no matter how successful an artist becomes within the terms of reference of contemporary society, the drive to create is insistently there, all the time, every day.
And so this is the message which cannot be ignored by any artist wanting to succeed: the vital importance of going into the studio/workspace every day and Doing and Making. There is no substitute. It’s practice, practice, practice at every opportunity which lays the groundwork for all else.
I have not been thinking this enough recently. I have been consumed by other distractions, and my studio forays have been somewhat unproductive on one view.
But I console myself with the fact that at least I’m going in and playing, and that’s what counts.