Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Honest Artistry.

At times I wonder if the scariest things are the most important to do just because they are scary.

Arnold Shoenberg started writing atonal music because he felt morally obligated. He felt it was the most honest, truthful thing for him, felt it would be absolutely one million percent wrong to go back to tonality. And he wished a little bit that he could keep writing late 19th century Romantic music, beautiful edgy melodies. But he couldn't.

I heard those things in class today and I got the shivers, because I feel the exact same obligation to honesty with all my arts.

All my writing, all my photographs, all my songs and my creative juices feel obligated to flow in the direction of the purest honesty. And sometimes people hate it. And sometimes people are indifferent to it. And sometimes I care, and mostly I don't--because it's not about anything except being true to those particles in me that call for a certain kind of art at a certain time of the day or week or century. And even though those German composer saps always talked about taking dictation from God, spontaneous inspiration oozing out of them, I feel a shred of that, too. I feel me, though, directing my camera and my pen and my hands as I keep creating--and I'm voracious for it.

Sometimes it weirds me out, this whole being-an-artist thing. Sometimes I feel crazy and lonely and completely wild, sometimes out of control and ridiculous and brash. And then I think: Silly, it's just photos. It's just words. It's just little things. But I made them and they are out there in the world for me to never take back and that part feeds me, and my insatiable urge to make things, pictures or sentences or songs, keeps carrying me forward into a chasm that's so scary and thrilling I can't get enough.