Keeping it Real: Is there generosity, honesty and truth in your work?

Open heart

Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable–to explore your deepest truths in your work?

It strikes me that what makes any work of art, performance, or story great is that it is fundamentally true. Even if the work takes us out of the mundane and stressful places in our heads (by being fantastical or imaginary), something about it must be True.

The best actors, artists and musicians are not only honest, but also generous with the gift of themselves. They put their souls into their expressions so that we, the audience, find our hungry little mirror neurons firing away in recognition as they take us wherever the art is going.

They don’t hold back, and we love and reward them for it.

For this to work, the Muse demands no less than total surrender, total commitment by the artist-conduit. It’s not enough to be competent — to be great, we must also be laid bare.

As I explore what it feels like to be ever-more honest and true with my creations, I find that more people are responding to my work (almost always positively) and asking for more.

The Risk of course is that someone will react negatively (or perhaps worse, not at all) to the work of my soul–and because I have been true, that’s going to hurt like hell.

To do anything less, however, is to dishonor the unique creative force with which I have been entrusted. We must, as screenwriter Russell T. Davies put it, “trust in the Maybe,” with emphasis on the word TRUST.

So … with Truth and fire and joy and grief and fear raging inside my heart and head I stand before the canvas, page, and scene, scream “GERONIMO!” … and surrender.

How about you? Is your work as honest and generous as you can make it?

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2 Responses to Keeping it Real: Is there generosity, honesty and truth in your work?

  1. iangoldsmith says:

    Great post and brilliant image of an artichoke… I believe 🙂

  2. yes1and says:

    Thanks! I am really enjoying your post about copying and Gaiman is a hero of mine. It reminds me of that variously-attributed quotation, “good artists copy, great artists steal.” I’m following you now and looking forward to more of your insights.

    And yes, that is the heart of an artichoke. 🙂
    Julie

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