Monday, February 8, 2010

The Act of Creation is an Expression of Madness

Les vielles (The Old Ladies)
Francisco de Goya

I'm crazy. Bonafide.

If writing is a business, I failed a long time ago. Think of the simple cost/benefits analysis: how much time have I spent writing, revising, reading...only to produce a few stories which truly work. And the money? (Go ahead, point and laugh)

Art is not business. Oh yes, it can be, but it isn't just by its nature alone. You can buy a print (technically a poster if you're in the "know") of Goya's painting. Someone will make a profit, but it won't be Goya. Someday, we might read J.D. Salinger's works from the vault, but he won't make a cent. (If you have never read Catcher in the Rye, do it. Just because.)

I don't grudge anyone making money with creative endeavors. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with being paid for art. But art is not business.

Art is basic.

Creation is primal.

It strikes at the core of being human.

I write to create. I may never have an agent, a major publishing deal, a bestseller...but if I keep creating, I win. It's the only game in which I get to make up the rules.

(click on the painting above for a big, scary version)


Alan W. Davidson said...

As usual, great comments about stuff that goes through our heads a lot but we don't address. I especially like 'creation is primal'. Ever since the first caveman picked up a chunk our charcoal and...

Brendan P. Myers said...

Whaddup with all the navel-gazing lately?

And don't feel bad for Goya. According to WikiPedia, he did quite will for himself, sidling up to royalty and all. Van Gogh might have been closer to your point. Now THERE was a madman.

Aaron Polson said...

Alan - I've been having too many conversations with the art teacher of late.

Brendan - True (re: Goya). That painting just freaked me out this morning, for the navel gazing, I guess I just need a big project to distract me.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I watched a documentary recently on Goya. Yes, he was sponsored, no bill collectors beating at his door. But, ohhhhh boy, he wrestled with demons too. I look at his work and think, "Whoa, this poor soul is torturing himself, trying to get it just right, thinks he's not (which is hooey) and is relentless trying to get it just right."

Fun. Weighing in on something I know little or nothing about. I believe "hooey" is not used widely in art critic circles

I like William Blake.

Cate Gardner said...

Hey, who gave you access to my webcam!!!

I want money - pots and pots and pots of it - and that's why I do the lottery every weekend. Money from writing - the tax man is going to have a talk with me this year, I think he owes me money.

Fox Lee said...

The small picture is scary enough, thank you. Excellent post : )

Aaron Polson said...

Rebecca - Hooey should be used, everywhere.

Cate - I think the tax man owes all of us. At least we're off the streets, right?

Natalie - I just want to know what the angel-dude in the back is doing with the mop/broom.

Elana Johnson said...

Beyond true. There's just something magical about creating that cannot be paid for. Well-said.

Andrea Allison said...

I'm good with the smaller picture. I'm sure the bigger version will spark a nightmare or two.

You made excellent points as usual. If I was writing only to make money, I would have given it up years ago to be an accountant or something.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Just lately I've been spending way too much time on the computer and wondering why I'm doing it. Same reasons as you, obviously.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh, and regarding the picture? I blew it up big and just realized, I am so old that if I ever get remarried I will look like her.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I could make a lot more money than I am in my woodshop. A lot more. Still, I like what I do.

Well said as usual.

Anonymous said...

Juicy festering wound, nuff said.

Aaron Polson said...

Elana - Of course, if you want to send me a few bucks... ;)

Andrea - If it's nightmares you want, Goya has a number of more disturbing works (try Saturn Devouring His Son) Yikes.

Cathy - I wasn't even sure they were human at first.

Jamie - I'd be happy to buy a Jamie Eyberg piece o' furniture.

Non - Heh.

Katey said...

I fucking love Goya. (My computer is named Goya, actually. Trufax.)

I also love what you said and how you said it, and agree wholeheartedly.

Heather said...

Thank you!