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"The Suffering Artist" Cliché (Gaming)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 12:38 (156 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Balian of Ibelin asks; “What is Jerusalem worth?” to which Saladin replies, “Nothing.” He steps away, then stops, smiles and adds quixotically, “Everything!”

~ From the Movie Kingdom of Heaven (Director's cut); Scene- Battle for Jerusalem (1187)


I wonder if this idea of suffering (or sacrificing) for ones art is a self fulfilling prophecy, as well as self perpetual. A, "my teacher suffered/sacrificed", thus I must as well. An, oh my artiest friends are like this as well, so this is just how it is. This must be what "Normal" is. And so things are, because we make them that way. Whether we do so rationally or irrationally is another topic entirely. That... pressure. And while, yes, some elements may be beyond our control, masterpieces can't be masterpieces if one dies first.

One of my problems with the “suffering artist” cliche is that it is just so narrow. First of all, EVERYONE suffers. If not now, then sometime in the not too distant past or future. Suffering is something that we all must face and deal with. My interpretation of the creative process is that it is inherently consuming. It needs fuel, and it takes up space. And this is where the disruption comes in. For some creative people, a time of great suffering in their lives becomes fuel for their creative output, and then that creative output takes up space which could otherwise be filled with a loving family, strong social network, diet and exercise, or generally healthy things of that nature. I would never say that all artists are suffering all the time, but I would say that I’ve never met an artist who didn’t have a fairly strong imbalance in their life of one kind or another. That’s why passionate artists are so hard to live with and have long-term relationships with. Just ask any artist, lol.

While i’m sure you’re on to something with the whole romanticization of the “starving artist” cliche, I don’t think that exhausts the issue. I have met many posers over the years. People who try to play the part of a starving artist because it seems like a hip thing to do when you’re 22 years old. But 2 or 3 years later, they’re inevitably working at a bank or an office, taking care of themselves, moving on with their life. They grow out of it, because they soon realize “hey, this isn’t particularly fun”. It also isn’t always accurate. I know many artists who are successful. As I said right at the start of this whole thing, the stereotype that a true artist must be broke is pure BS, IMO. What some people miss is that it is very possible to be rich and still have problems, imbalances, issues that haunt or drive you, etc. And THAT is the element that every artist I’ve ever known, met, or heard of has in common; some greater than average fixation on something which at the very least borders on obsessive.

What is art worth?

The scary part of that question is that shear number of responses it can bring. An art in its self, no doubt dictated by the approach of the one who answers it. It is to this I must also add, while YES, the dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural, if one can tap into the joy of creation, the joy altruism, the joy of understanding ones craft; that is when "art" becomes truly... unlimited. A different sort of the same answer. It takes much longer to do, of course, but... it's nice.

Finally, it seems to me that what you speak of is more "the internal need to make". Such a thing is different from institutionalized "Keep making or you are fired". OUTPUT OUTPUT OUTPUT! Where the motivation lives can be very different, and thus the stripping nature on ones humanity. Even then, while time (à la "sacrificing") is always something that must be invested, efficiency is something too. Just because something required 26 hours straight to make, does not automatically mean that it shall be a work of brilliance. Same as how not every teenager is an artistic savant.

Crunch, to ebb back to the main topic, is more often then not the result in a failure of efficiency. Of course, even if there was some Pegasus 100% efficiency, if the deadline and scope are unreasonable... well l l l l l.

Now THAT is crazy.

I completely agree. What i’m trying to figure out though is, in the case of video game development, are these 2 issues completely separate?

We keep saying “video games are art”. But then we try to create video games like they are NOT art. Clearly, something needs to give, but I don’t know what can give. If you have creative people doing creative things as part of the process, there’s a meandering, exploratory element to creation that it’s impossible to get away from. But there are obviously real-world constraints on getting all this stuff done.,Are game studios a team of artists, or a factory of workers? To me, it looks like they are both at the same time, and I have no idea how to solve that problem.


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