In order to be an artist you need to free yourself from yourself. I don't mean this in a new age-y, hippie way. I literally mean you have to free yourself. You're bound by self imposed constraints at all times that you learned from society. You're not allowed to scream angrily in public, for example. Someone might call the police on you with a good reason for doing so. When you cry in public you wear sunglasses to hide the tears. When you ride the subway in NYC alone and have a funny thought that makes you laugh out loud you're embarrassed and try to suppress the laughter so people don't think you're crazy. We learn to control and hide these impulses from a very early age. But in order to start being creative you first need to learn how to turn off these self imposed constraints. This is no secret -- any artist will tell you this is true.
What is a secret is how you find the will power to unlearn these self imposed constraints. It's much easier said than done. There are very few successful artists and so many people who wish they could be artists. So how do you do it? How do you follow your dreams? How do you turn off these self imposed constraints when doing creative work and then turn them back on again when it's necessary (in order to be a responsible member of society)?
It comes out of an extreme HUNGER to be an artist. You have to WANT to be an artist so badly that you're willing to do almost anything to make it happen. You have to want it so bad that you're willing to suffer for your art if that's what it takes. That doesn't mean doing drugs and being an alcoholic. It almost means the opposite. It means making yourself emotionally vulnerable to the point where you cringe and then want to scream in anger and cry in pain. It means showing the world the lowest parts of yourself. The very bottom. The most painful (and the most funny) stuff you're made of. And do all of that in front of everyone in the world and risk miserable failure while you're at it.
I'm not saying it's necessary to suffer. I would never wish that on anyone. But I am saying that if you absolutely want to be an artist you MUST be willing to suffer the consequences of making that choice. That willingness to reach your very bottom is what will set you apart and make you a successful artist. It's like being a champion athlete. I guarantee you that every Olympian athlete fears failure and yet they push themselves to compete anyway. It's no different in the arts. You have to WANT it really really really bad. You have to want it so bad that you feel like you will die if you don't give it your all. It has to be that extreme.
When you give your all into something it shows. It gives your art SOUL. As Beethoven says in the quote above, you can get away with messing up in your art. But it's inexcusable to do it without PASSION. The passion is what draws people to your art.
This is my first blog post for this site! Let me know how it was or if you found it helpful!
-- Aaron Fisher