“There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art.” Toni Morrison
We are again facing disruption, on our journey back to what will be “normal” life. More and more activities are going virtual, supermarkets are limiting what you can buy, and the news is anything but reassuring. We are facing holidays without family and friends. We are in our second wave of a pandemic and wonder when it will end.
For artists, the excitement of the opening of a show has faded. There are no more receptions as we knew them, no more patrons asking questions and giving accolades that boost our self-esteem, feed our ego, and make us want to rush back to our studio to create another “masterpiece”.
The question we keep asking is…is it a forever change? More and more articles are being written about how to manage your art business online. Is the “Online Gallery” the new future? More and more businesses are finding the virtual world cost efficient. Will Galleries, as we know them also feel that the virtual world is more cost effective?
For some this has discouraged work and made them ask; why am I doing this? And this is a question I have addressed frequently recently. I guess the simplest way I can answer it is…how important is it for you to create? Do you create for you, because it is part of who you are, or do you need the infusion of public acceptance, the excitement of the opening, the awards?
The most significant gift of being a human is the ability to create. Art is the language of human expression. It gives a special meaning to our existence, our life, and our everyday struggles. It is through art that we tell the story of mankind; the story of our joy and our pain. It is an expression of both our hope and our despair, which embodies all the many facets of the human condition.
What would we have done over this period of isolation if we had not had them? Think of the books we read, the movies we watched, the music we listened to, the creative crafts we pursued to pass time, the painting we did to tell our story to release our anxiety. Art matters! It illustrates the human experience—the wonder of it, the bewilderment of it, the whimsy of it, and records our stories which become our history. If your story is not heard now, it will be someday. Many of the arts we enjoy as spectators, were done long ago. And, I am sure many of those who created them didn’t see or hear the importance of their work, in their life time.
We do not know what the future holds. But one thing I am sure of is, the process of creating is good for you.
Stay safe and create something for the joy of it. Carolyn