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"The Suffering Artist" Cliché (Gaming)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 14:07 (46 days ago) @ Robot Chickens


Further thoughts:

Experience is the fuel of art. Sometimes that is suffering, sometimes it's something else. Art resonates with us when it rings true in a non-superficial way. Often, that means we are conditioned to recognize suffering because so much of our lives mask suffering. Often, we are told to interpret our lives in ways that make it more palatable to others. When art honestly reflects our experience or shows us new ways to interpret our experience, we recognize it as true. However, suffering is not the gate through which art must pass to achieve this resonance in our lives. Joy** is hard to capture, but when we find it in art, it can be exhilarating. Art not only reflects, but it can point to something new.

All that to say, I'm not comfortable with the idea of reducing art to the byproduct of one particular fuel.

**My personal sense is that joy is must be acquainted with suffering (as opposed to happiness), but it is not dependent upon it. It's complicated though.

This is almost exactly what I was trying to say, but looking back I realize I may not have differentiated clearly enough. I said that for some people, suffering can become that fuel some of the time. But I did not mean to imply that it was the only fuel for anyone.
Like you, I believe art is a reflection of life and all that it entails. The good and bad, ups and downs.,You said it much better than I did; it comes from experience.

I still maintain that the great works of art require a kind of single-minded focus that simply does not fit within a balanced lifestyle. It’s an ongoing challenge for me, as someone who is trying to maintain my creative output while also being a better husband, father, and provider. One of the tricks I’ve learned is that when i’m working on a recording, I work on it constantly in my head. I’ll spend days and days mixing in my mind. Then when I actually have time to sit in front of my computer for an hour, I can implement all the ideas I’ve been working on in my head. It lets me come closer to a balanced life, but in some ways it is just faking it. I try really hard not to let myself do this when i’m spending time with family (although my mind does drift off from time to time), but I’ll spend entire days at work putting 80-90% of my attention into the mixes running in my head rather than my actual job. I get away with it because I’ve been doing my job for a very long time... i’m so proficient at it that I can do it well while barely paying attention. But there’s no doubt that I could be doing better at work if I gave it my full attention. This obsessive mental work also keeps me up at night most nights. I’d be healthier if I could shut it off, no question. I could probably be a better husband and father, too. Anyone looking at my family from the outside would probably think I’ve struck a great balance, and I am certainly trying. But it all comes at a cost. This gets back to where I started with this whole train of thought. In my experience, there is ALWAYS a cost. And the more productive and prolific the artist, the greater that cost becomes.


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