Beware of Artists

artist poster

Actual McCarthy-era poster

Creators are a dangerous bunch. If we’re any good at what we do, we’ll probably make at least one or two people feel something. Think a new thought. Even have the occasional insight or two.

They might even get mad at us.

And that possibility (of being rejected or openly criticized) can be terrifying, causing us to freeze or get writer’s block or suddenly find that vacuuming the house is infinitely more urgent than picking up the brush, camera, or keyboard.

Making something new — and not giving into the fear of disapproval — requires a certain kind of bravery. Or insanity. Or arrogance. Or faith — take your pick.

But remember this: even if someone disapproves, it means they felt something. You (the artist) still win. Once someone has had a feeling or a thought they cannot un-feel it or forget their insight. Which is why art is dangerous.

And no matter how silly or insignificant or “bad” you may think your art is, never forget this fundamental truth: the world needs to feel and think and have insights. The world needs your art. The world especially needs good art, but any art, even practice-art, is important and necessary.

So take a deep breath, and go out there and be brave, crazy, arrogant, and faithful. Bring something new into the world, no matter what others might think of it.

Be dangerous.

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