The Artist’s Journey

This is a love note to all my artist friends.

It occurs to me that your journey transcends art form, whether you’re trying to fill galleries or concert halls or bookstore shelves. Your art, whatever form it takes–you probably start off with a knack for it. People tell you that you have “something.”

But then you find out that the next level of your “something” has to be earned. It comes in bits and pieces, in broken hearts and broken bones as you hazard a long, treacherous road lined with the charred remains of those who burned out before you. You hustle at a day job till you can barely stand, only to get home and chase the muse till your bone-weary body betrays your invincible spirit. Then you wake up and do it again.

You gamble your grocery money on the next opportunity to learn, the next chance to make a connection, the next stage you’ve earned or begged or faked your way upon. And when the money runs out you look in the empty fridge, gnaw on the hunger, and smile through the tears. You doggedly dismiss every thoughtful piece of advice from “practical” folks. And you push your boundaries till they break–because by then you realize boundaries only exist in your mind.

But why suffer the long, lonely hours? The low-rent apartments? The worried looks of friends and loved ones and lovers? Why risk so much with so little chance of reward? Because, in the end, it’s the journey that makes the artist.

Here’s to your journey.

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