I have a reputation, quite well deserved, as a scrooge.
This time of year brings three major holidays, four family birthdays, obligations, deadlines, added responsibilities, added expenses, shopping out the wazoo, and perhaps worst of all, endless household projects in the form of dragging out and putting up decorations and then taking down and putting away decorations. It’s maddening. It destroys my sense of mellow. It breaks my status quo.
And so I become an artist, and art - real art, substantial art – breaks the status quo.
I keep doing this. I am strongly introverted, yet as a young man I chose a profession, journalism, which stresses extroversion. I dislike structure and chain-of-command, yet I spent decades in public service. (Often in Dutch for NOT adhering to structure or chain-of-command, but let’s leave that alone). Avoiding dime-store psychology which attempts to identify the causes of these behaviors, allow me to define how the artist role differs:
As an artist, it’s not my status quo I’m disrupting, it’s yours.
As an artist, I’m following my own vision and creating whatever the hell I feel like. And as long as I don’t think about the marketing side, or try to cater to the marketing side, or let the marketing side bum me out, which isn’t always easy, a work that disrupts expectations or breaks routine perspective is enormously rewarding.
If one were to put this cynically, I make myself happy by making you uncomfortable. Happy Kwanzaa.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.