The vilest bullshit (Gaming)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, May 25, 2020, 21:31 (1522 days ago) @ General Battuta

At the risk of delving into philosophy and chasing away anyone reading this post, I have spent years trying to figure out the knee-jerk negative reaction that so many people have towards artists who become successful. I think I recently figured it out, at least partially. It plays into that old saying that "I don't know how to define art, but I know it when I see it". How. HOW do we know art when we see it. Well I've begun to think that the thing we detect... is sacrifice.

This is one of those lies that kills artists. Stop telling it.

Bullshit. Art and artists kill artists.

I’ve spent my whole life surrounded by and/or working in the arts. My mother worked in theatre, and she’s an artist herself. I’ve been a musician since I was a child, and I was heavily into visual arts from childhood up through my teen years. My late teens and entire 20s were completely devoted to music. Writing, performing, recording and producing. All my friends since high school have been artists of one form or another (I went to an arts high school). Musicians, painters, actors, dancers... all of them. After school, every job I’ve had has been related to either visual art or music.

All this to say, I actually know a fair bit about art, artists, and the entire creative process. My opinions are just that: opinions. But i’m not pulling them out of nowhere. I have 37 years of experience with art and artists, their lifestyles, temperaments, pains and triumphs. Both as an artist myself and as a friend and fan of others.

I have never, not once, met an artist who produced truly moving creations, who was also happy and well adjusted. Every one of them was suffering or struggling with a deep unrest, unhappiness, or obsession at the peak of their creativity. Many of these people found greater peace and more happiness over the years. And when they did, their creative output slowed, and dulled. Without exception. I went through it myself. In my early 20s, I was a music-creating machine. I’d come home from work, sleep for an hour or two, go to band practice, go to a club after to watch a few bands perform, go back home and work work on recordings for a few hours, sleep for another hour, then wake up and go back to work. Repeat that for 6 years, with a few hundred live shows, a handful of recorded EPs and albums, a bunch of collaborations, and that was EVERYTHING. So don’t tell me I don’t know anything about crunch. I know what it is to sink EVERYTHING into something, and not feel like you’re getting anything back.

The thing is, if I’d kept going like that, 1 of 2 things would have happened; either I would have made it somewhat big (I was making progress in that direction) or I would have snapped and died from a combination of lack of sleep, rampant drinking, depression, or all of the above.

Luckily, I managed to turn my life around, developed better relationships, learned how to properly care for myself. And it was almost comical how quickly my creative output dried up. It wasn’t until years later, when life threw some very heavy hurdles my way, that the creative spark came back. I now find myself walking a tightrope between using art and music as a way to express these newer pains, while keeping at least 1 foot grounded in my family, job, friends. I’m proud of the music i’m making now, but compared to what I was doing in my 20’s, well... it pales.

And that’s not just my experience. All those artist friends of mine? I watched every single one of them plunge themselves into pots of depression and addiction, OR pull themselves away from their creative obsessions while also straightening their lives out. No exceptions.

This “lie” you accuse me of spreading? Well, I’ve lived it, and I keep hearing other artists, big and small, say they’ve lived it too.

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