Friday, January 10, 2014

"The Artist's Dilemma" by Midnight Oil

This piece was inspired by a photograph on the website "Humans of New York". You can find the original image, published in October, here: 

"If you make art for the sake of money, it isn’t art. It’s business."-Humans of New York

I make art for myself
“That’s pretty good but you could change this.”
I change my art for others
“It’s unique, but only some people will like it.”
I try a new style of art
“That’s not very you. You lost your individuality.”
I go back to the old style
“Nobody is going to relate to this.”

I write for me
“Your writing is good but I’d like to see more of this-”
I write to please
“Your voice doesn’t come through”
I write because it’s required
“This essay was bland. Where’s the creativity?”
I write just to write
“No one wants to read this.”

I paint for expression
“I don’t get it.”
I paint for others
“That’s kind of cool, I guess.”
I paint for the world to see
“That’s graffiti.”
I paint for a living
“Get a real job.”

I make music for me
“That sounds, okay.”
I make music for expression
“Oh, you’re so deep. Get over yourself.”
I make music for others
“That song you wrote me was… nice.”
I practice for music every day
“Your wasting your time.”

Why should I focus on the response?
Making art isn’t about making others happy.
Making art isn’t about making money.
Art is expression.
Money is business.
I have no business in business.
I have business in expression.

I make art for me
I am happy.
I make art for art
I feel good.
I make art for me
I love my art.

I’m no longer caught in the artist dilemma.
I create for me, not them

but the world can watch if they want to.

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