The Life of an Artist: Light a Match and Watch the World Burn
This is a message for all artists.
There will be naysayers. People will question your work ethic. They may tell you to get a real job. Personally, I have no clue what that means. In my mind, whoever tells me that isn't working a real job. They're working a job that they absolutely hate for money. That's prison, not a real job.
For the record, I'm not a hippie. I'm the farthest thing from a hippie.
I've came to the realization that the world is highly critical of everyone. This is the nature of the world we live in now especially. Yes, the world has always been a mean, cruel, and hurtful place. You're probably asking yourself what's different in 2019?
The answer is social media. Everything is amplified because of it.
I recently watched The Breakfast Club for the first time this past week. Hundreds of thoughts crossed my mind. First, I remembered how hard it was to be a teenager. Everyone has a hard time during their teen years. There's always something going on in a teenager's life that isn't so great.
The thought that has been stuck in my head since watching this film is how different things were in the 1980s, which now seems like ages ago.
Wrap this around your minds.
The teens of The Breakfast Club had a hard time living their lives in the 1980s. Imagine being a teenager now? This thought isn't a mind blowing one, but it struck me. Imagine how difficult it must be to never be left alone. Social media is everywhere. It doesn't sleep, it doesn't end, and it's going to live on forever. It's an enemy you can't confront or see. It stalks you day and night.
Social media is a double edged sword for young adults and children. You can't not be on it because you'd be cut off from the world and that would lead to bullying, but if you participate, you risk being bullied in front of potentially millions of people. I'm sure every child or teenager has experienced some sort of cyber-bullying if they grew up in the age of social media. I've even witnessed it happen to full grown adults.
Why is it that we all criticize one another? Why is it that we can't refrain from commenting on someone else's lifestyle choices? Good or bad, is it any of our business? The answer is no.
We can't let society dictate who we want to be or what we want to do with our lives. If you want to be a dancer, just dance. If you want to be a singer, sing the lyrics to your favorite song. If you want to write, start a blog or self-publish a book.
What's the worst that can happen?
Someone says, "You're not good enough. This isn't what the industry wants right now. You're talented, but this isn't for me."
To sum up my point, screw what the industry wants. What matters is what YOU want. Not everyone is going to like what you do or who you are. They could be the most prominent person in your industry, but at the end of the day it's one person's opinion.
My advice to everyone who is experiencing this is:
DO NOT CONFORM!
Don't create art just because it's what is popular, create art because it's a part of who you are. Sure, this is a risk.
At the end of the day, history will remember you better than the sellout who conformed to what society wanted him or her to do.
People become the best in their field by defying the odds and doing things people said will never work. Your career will find a way to work itself out if you have the right drive. If you don't believe me, watch Jobs.
Light a match and watch the world burn. Let that match be your life and your dreams. Watch how quickly people burn with anger at how you have the gall to try and do what you love. It's a sickness actually. They will be there waiting to attack you. Once you have the ability to shut those people out, you can smile as the world burns around you.