The Lunacy of Recognition

I came across this short reflection by Jeff Burton on Medium.  I think he asks questions worth asking, and raises points creative people don’t talk enough about.

There’s a degree to which hoping to find an audience for one’s art feels like lunacy.  The odds are very much against it.  There’s something to doing a thing for the joy of doing it.  I think this goes along with the idea that we can produce great art without the kind of suffering that comes from not taking care of ourselves.

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with wanting an audience.  But if you make something beautiful and no one else knows, guess what?  You still made something beautiful.  I have this idea that people in previous eras were better at getting healthy satisfaction and pleasure from doing things well than we are.  We have been taught for the last hundred years that skill and celebrity go hand in hand.  We have been taught that celebrity is the highest validation of skill.

We’ve probably been taught wrong.


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