Art isn’t a glorification of the creator. In my view, art stands alone, a creation that speaks of truth or some sort of coherence that transcends the limits of understanding. In other words, it’s about the art, and not about the artist. While it’s often spectacular that a human being can create works of art, in the end what really transcends the boundaries of perception is the product, not the producer.
I see on the social media with which I try to stay active many artists who promote tastefully, and many who promote untastefully. At some point I’ve started to ask myself: are they in this for creating something, or are they in this for their own glory? At some point it stops being about showing the world innovation and beauty, and becomes trying to convince the world that the artist is as great as s/he thinks s/he is.
It’s not about you: lose the ego, promote tastefully, and make art that will make people look further into your work, instead of constantly promoting yourself. You’re one in a million fish, each trying to jump up the waterfall, and some of them make the jump and some don’t. I know this metaphor is often an excuse to be ruthless in promotion, but I think it should have the opposite effect: promote in moderation, and let your art do the rest. Invest in making the best product–I recently came across a phrase by Warren Buffett that, in summary, says to aim to be indispensable, not profitable.
Be the best artist you can be, promote modestly, and realize that if you think you “have it” at any time, chances are you don’t “have it” at that moment. Great art is fueled by self-doubt, insecurity, and pain. In order to make it, you have to believe in yourself while being critical of yourself, and use that balancing act wisely to further the art, not you, the artist.
What do you think? Is there something I’m missing?
Thanks for reading,