25 July 2015

The Great American Lie

This is my objection to the notion that "you can do whatever you want when you grow up." A line told to many by their parents.

To be sure, America is still the land of opportunity. But with opportunity comes responsibility. This is the part that many parents leave off.

I'm going to try to be as charitable as possible in this, my treatise on artists.

I love the arts. I love live music (in the right setting, especially if said music has no lyrics.) I love musicals and plays. I love craftiness and textiles and fabrics. I love paintings and art museums, I love the idea of making something new and beautiful that reveals the truth of the human person.

That being said, I'm jealous of artists, to some extent. Maybe this is me being cocky but I feel like if I had the time and resources to develop my artistic side, I could be just as talented as anyone. Sure there are prodigies with supernatural talent for specific things, but hard work is a HUGE part of success, and I'm pretty determined (stubborn.)

I know a few "starving artists." One is a musician, one is a painter, a few others do various different things in the arts.
These people are reliant on friends, family, and the government for the majority of their well-being. As a human in need of beauty to direct my soul to the Truth, I appreciate their sacrifice. As a child of capitalism, I think it's ridiculous that these people seem to feel entitled to the charity of others because they are talented or passionate in an area that is not considered valuable enough by our society to earn a living. I wish society did value these talents and passions, and surely a shift is needed, but what about until then?

I'm sure I sound jaded and angry, and to some extent I am. I wish I could forego a job and a career which takes up 40-55 hours per week of my time in order to cultivate my creativity and become better at my chosen craft. But I can't, because I have responsibilities. I have to think of my family, my future.

In my opinion, these outlets are HIGHLY valuable. But because of the world we live in, which doesn't match that opinion with a value that translates into real dollars and cents (sense, haha), these things are hobbies, and artists have a  responsibility to find ways to support themselves that doesn't include the government, family, or friends.

This sounds harsh, but it seems to me that artists are just creative and passionate people who lack common sense.

Someone please tell me I'm wrong. I want to see the softer side of this argument. I want to understand.

St. Catherine of Bologna, Patroness of the Arts, pray for me!

No comments:

Post a Comment