Hey guys, this has been a question that popped into my head last night and I’m not entirely sure of what the best way to express any of this is – and am generally pretty awful at explaining things I feel to other people in a capacity that really gets my point across clearly. I proposed this question on to twitter earlier and got some nice responses but I am not entirely sure I did the best to truly represent what I was asking although the answers did make me think about this some more. I wasn’t sure if I was going to post this as well but I figure why not see how it goes. This isn’t over anything specific either and is more of a random train of thought!
At first when I read this I thought you were saying that just having that personal insight into an artists work somehow diminishes your enjoyment of their art. I thought that was a little odd, since in most cases, having a better understanding of the artist contextualises the art in completely new ways that often allow me a wider appreciation of their work in ways I wouldn’t have before.
I of course then realised that you were speaking mainly of those with views or attitudes that you cannot support or abide: in which case I share in your struggle. I think it goes without saying, to most at least, that it can be difficult to love the art of someone who you disagree with on some personal level. Brilliant examples are people like Orson Scott Card (writer of Ender’s Game) a guy who is a very outspoken homophobe, but despite this has written amazing, critically acclaimed science fiction (that doesn’t even broach the subject). Lighter, though in some cases equally valid cases are say… Tom Cruise. He’s a scientologist, that is his belief system, but should it impede my enjoyment of his art?
Ultimately I think that is a very personal choice: and not always one with a straight forward answer. If I had to say where I stood right now, I would urge everyone to judge the art and the artist separately, if possible. They often say that once created art belongs to the world, and in many senses that is true. I believe it should be allowed to transcend the creator and do what art does best, connect with people in deep and varied ways that the creator could not have even predicted. Nobody truly knows what will resonate with you, and we all know the feeling of seeing that one piece and suddenly feeling like it’s the most important thing to you in that moment.
That, in my opinion is why the ‘purity’ of art should not be sullied by the creator, however, art is being presented in increasingly ‘social’ methods. New pieces are found on sites like this and are often completely intertwined with expressed character of the artist. The expression becomes one in the same, often very hard to separate. Now let me just say, I think this has it’s merits, as I’m sure you do.
More often than not, the artist I discover here I love. They are often very well rounded and lovely people! I had oh so rarely ever had an experience contrary to this. I know it does happen, and I admit to often being unable to separate the two: but I think the important thing to realise as an artist, is that you are relevant.
Relating to my initial point, you are still alive, you are not a classic resigned to history, you are around, you are creating and you are accessible, and that is a wonderful thing. People will see your art without your pretext, and that’s great, but many people will seek out to see an artists personality: we are in an age of connection after all. And you said it yourself, Shark, it leads to networking and friends and amazing thing in general.
Yes, not everyone will like you, but withdrawing completely will mean a lot less people (and excuse me for the use of this word) love you. I mean that in the sense that this wonderful world wide medium allows for a connection beyond just face value art, and I think those possible connection are worth a lot more than just letting your art speak for itself.
I don’t know. I guess, speaking to you personally, I would say to just not worry. Don’t seek out being aloof if you can help it. Nothing is more attractive in an artist that accessibility (if you ask me). One of the most inspiring things about this site is how we can imagine these fantastic creators as real, tangible people. And if that isn’t the very root of inspiration and good feelings, I don’t know what is.
This is rambling and repetitive, but I hope it gives you some kind of insight. Don’t even think about going.