The Raw Courage of Artistry

June 20, 2012 § 9 Comments

Many of us yearn to create, to be an artist.  But we come up short.  The work we produce seems derivative, banal, or just a big mess.  Not art.

To create art is an act of will and courage.  So long as we are trying to achieve some objective or emulate some other creative artifact, we fail.

Only when we step off the cliff with nothing but a sure sense of self, shedding all expectations of accomplishment, only when we boldly risk rejection and ridicule, only when we sustain our sense of wonder, our “beginner’s mind,” do we have a chance- and even then only a chance- to create truly.

It’s not for the faint of heart, which explains why true artistry is rare- and why it should be adored and venerated.

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§ 9 Responses to The Raw Courage of Artistry

  • Mr. Ross, thank you so much for your comment this morning on SSBlog. You sir, are absolutely right and I greatly appreciate the tip. I love learning from other bloggers, and am grateful you took the time to share with me, so thanks again. Best wishes, Stephanie

  • (I think I need to check out bipolarmuse per your recommendation here).
    Thomas, this entire post is so thick with wisdom. I am glad I am reading it a third time. 🙂
    “Only when we step off the cliff with nothing but a sure sense of self, shedding all expectations of accomplishment, only when we boldly risk rejection and ridicule, only when we sustain our sense of wonder, our “beginner’s mind,” do we have a chance- and even then only a chance- to create truly.”
    I need to think about this.
    I think my greatest art is when I am speaking to someone, directly, and I am speaking to the potential that is inside of them. I tell them what is there. When this happens, I have such a strong sense of knowing that what I am saying is true–it’s about the only time I can honestly say that I have a sure sense of self. When I do this (and it’s not often), I trust myself.
    Do you think this is art? Because I’m not “creating” anything, except maybe a light or something that they can see themselves by.

    • Thomas Ross says:

      We can make words mean different things of course. But for me this is surely “art.” A moment of pure honesty and and presence with another person is as rapturous as standing before the David.

      The experience of art is always happening in the single moment, whether we are standing in a museum in Florence or on a street corner with you. The fact that your moment is not captured in a tangible artifact and thus isn’t there for others to experience later does not make it not art. For me its impermanence is part of its great beauty.

      So, yes, in such a moment you create art, as I would use that word.

  • Julianna says:

    We all have it in us though – that’s the amazing thing. Sure, we might not have practiced, but we all have the seed, the flow. It’s about mustering the courage – or peeling back the lack of self-protective layering we put up around us. And then when we do it, we drop into the Flow. Such a beautiful thing…!

  • bipolarmuse says:

    To create art is definitely an act of courage… with being creative comes criticism.

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