Thursday, October 3, 2013

Alone With Your Art

I have a creative friend who wanted to be a writer but didn't have time to write, so she quit her job for a few months to write a book. She told me later that being alone was the hardest thing to do because she is a social person and hates the loneliness of the writer's life. As far as I know, she never finished the book.

This kind of self-knowledge is vital if you're choosing the life of a painter. Visual artists usually work long, lonely hours in their studios. A painter has plenty of time to brood about things like whether anyone will look at her painting even if she manages to finish it, not to mention whether it will turn out well, whether it will sell, or whether she will be the first person in her neighborhood to spontaneously combust. .

So there you are in your studio at lunchtime eating a sliced-up apple with peanut butter and you imagine everybody else to be seated around a table right now with a wonderful, witty Italian family who greets you with multiple European cheek kisses and tells you stories, laughs at your jokes and brings you wine, prosciutto and figs.

You're a little disconnected when you work alone a lot of the time. No wonder you start naming your studio mannequins!

I used to work in small-market radio stations spinning records, turning stations on and off and reporting the news. There you are in the wee hours, reading the latest pork belly prices into the dirty mike and you wonder, what's the point of all of this, is there anybody out there listening to me? Is everything I do now just a practice for something else...? When will life actually begin?  Hello? Can anybody out there hear me...?

Here's a new consideration. Is the cell phone taking away our ability to be alone? I think this is an interesting bit by comedian Louis C.K. .



d-vallejo said...

Don't feel bad, I'm out there:) But of course that's because I don't have a cell phone.
Throw away that thing and let's have lunch.

Linda Tracey Brandon said...

d-vallejo, you're funny! I'm always trying to get people to provide me with food, it's terrible of me, really.