Early advise to my ears sounded like this…. “There is no use in complaining because that changes nothing.” Or “Complaining is for losers, winners get pro-active.” I guess over time I adopted that creed and developed a thick skin to go with my thick head. However occasionally I flare up in righteous indignation with the term “starving artists” as a stand in for “lazy.” This is one of those times.
Artists may be impoverished due to society’s cultural illiteracy and financial disrespect but they represent a success that is tenacious. Many artists I have come to admire over the years have a remarkable lifestyle while producing original work. What is not to love? They have a personal driving force that is second to none. No other industry operates with such self-determination plus - on top of it all - artists seriously know how to have fun. I am reminded of the earliest days of Micro Museum when we hung out on the sidewalk on white wicker furniture. We would entertain ourselves royally with storytelling, re-enactments, and political discourse with dinners from neighboring businesses. Artists are walking economic development players who are entrepreneurial by nature and determined to explore new things. Artists deserve respect.
Americans would be wise to operate like artists by emulating their focused passion, their ability to never give up, their inquisitive minds, the desire to ask a lot of questions and to see where it all leads. Creativity is our best commodity like a fully untapped resource ready to be bottled. Maybe take a minute to let that soak in because we need artists to show us how survive without a north star guiding the way.
So short of retiring that horrible phrase that I feel is inaccurate and old fashioned, I will just point out the fact that artist have work ethic that goes beyond some people’s imagination. Artists rock our worlds and the correct response to their good works starts with stepping away from outdated stereotypes.