When I think of art, of building a life around it, about the pursuit of it, I think of the tragedy. The tragedy was that no artists belonged together. All of them had their differences. You’d think once people went on their own road, charting their own course, they’d all end up in the same place, but that was seldom true. Irrespective of their friendships and camaraderie, regardless of how many banded together, there would always be an air of loneliness in their lives. People conformed together but diverged differently—the diverged did not belong to the diverged. That was the colossal artistic tragedy. An artist was always going to feel isolated.
I had rarely met people with whom I shared mutual artistic respect. I revered some, most I loathed because they sold out before they even began. Most people, on most days, had a means to an end. I often met people who talked about dreams, but those were not dreams at all. They were a series of convenient steps they read in a primer on how to make a career, to reach a spot in the hierarchy an artist spends years getting out of. To me, art was an end in itself; I did not give a rat’s ass if you painted or wrote or made sketches in the sand, for that matter. The thing is, you had to have all of it in the art. The rest should happen, if it happens, on its own. Your goal, your vision, was the creation.
Perhaps, I lived in an ideal world, but then again, what is art if not the pursuit of one? At a party, someone asked me my vision for these words. I told them it was to write tomorrow—that was all. I didn’t believe in visions. A book might come out of me when it comes out of me; for now, it is only these snippets of my life. Real life, real art was action. It was the ability to face the world asking you for your soul and saying, “no, thank you, I have work to do,” and then doing what you do. It was in realising when to keep pushing and when to let things happen.
The current is strong. It has always been strong. Real art was in not letting it wash you away, and if it managed to pick you up still, it was learning to swim to shore while you were caught in it. The rest was hubris, noise.