Artists struggle with many issues, often relating to self-confidence and lack of recognition from society. Their production is not quantifiable or even appreciated by most until they receive social recognition or a proper financial assessment. This leaves most of society puzzled to understand the artist's production, path or even ranking in the social hierarchy. They do not know how to value, judge or even treat those they cannot fit into a frame of reference. Most people use financial conditions, social standing or physical appearance as reference to how they will treat others. In many fields, the most creative people often sit outside those elements as they often disregard financial matters, self-sabotage social status and consider concern for physical appearance to be vanity.
Yet, they do rely heavily on their audience. Most art is made to be seen. To be heard. It is in the public that the artist can feel that the existence of their work is being appreciated and that there is a purpose to it. Paradoxically, many hate most being the center of attention or becoming victims of insincere social praise.
So how should they deal with this? Creative minds need to remember that their art, is an impulse, a need, a calling, the goal itself. The true artist started on their journey because of catharsis or love for their craft. An emotional drive to create without a guaranteed reward. They need to remember those beautiful early naïve days. The days in which they were not plagued by self-doubt and pressure from their surroundings.
As the artist perfects their skill, craft and style, they begin to enter a period in which their art needs to have a purpose, a reason for being. This is when tough decisions must be made. What is the goal? Financial Success? Social Recognition? Social Awareness? Political Change? Self-indulgence?
I often wonder what I would do if I didn't take photographs, write music or played around with every medium I can get my hands on. My drive is curiosity and an attempt to understand myself and the world around me. I cannot stop creating, as it just happens.
The audience is not the drive, it is simply very important encouragement. I must be constantly reminded of this. Giving the audience such importance might cause it to take the helm and steer the meaning or message behind my work.
The artist needs to continue on their path. Continue on their mission. See it out. Dig deep inside to those days when nothing and no one could affect their vision. Of course this is a generalization, but I do hope some people out there take a moment to be true to themselves and see if they relate to these observations.
Hopefully they will see that achieving healthy confidence in their work while avoiding an inflated ego is essential for growing as a person and as an artist.