Thursday, May 20, 2010

Artists Indispensible says Seth Godin

Last week I read an article by Alyson Stanfield, the awesome Artbiz Coach, who is an expert in helping artists promote and market their work. However in this blog she was reminding artist to keep first things first - that is - do their art! I agree! The business side of art and learning all the high tech marketing venues can sure steal time from creating.

Alyson referenced in her article Seth Godin's book, Linchpin,  summarizing that he sees artists generally as people who express their big ideas and change the world. I was taken by the quote she included from Seth's book, "Your work is to create art that changes things, to expose your insight and humanity in such a way that you are truly indispensible."

"Whoa!", I thought - "truly indispensible?!" Nothin' like a little pressure on artistic talent! I may be taking this further than Seth Godwin's point, but it got me thinking. Does that mean all artists are indispensible? Or are just some artists indispensible, maybe just a few?  What if they were not able to create anymore due to an accident or illness? Are they now dispensible? Is their identity, importance, significance tied up only in their artistic indispensibility? Or are they of great worth for just 'being'.

Granted some art can certainly impact our emotions, our views, even our life, but to think an artist is indispensible because their art can change the world seems to elevate to an unhealthy place of real identity and purpose. Speaking of elevating, don't we often exalt other 'gifted' people because of intelligence, ability, wealth, strength, good looks? In doing so they can even seem indispensible!

I'm reminded of the passage in 1Cor. 4:7 (NAS) - "For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" Hmm, a light thought - puts indispensiblity in a different perspective. We bring nothing into this world and we take nothing out. But we are of great value because we 'be'. How many long to be valued and loved for just 'being' - not because they have a special gift. I'm so thankful for all the 'gifted' artists - may they flourish - but for the pressure of being indispensible because of gifts, that I would question.

What say you?

1 comment:

Roberta said...

I think it's a condition of our society today that we want to elevate certain people to iconic status - to put them on a pedestal. I don't buy into it. Art is important to society, so in turn, are artist's, because without them there would be no art beyond what mother nature provides. But I, as an artist, are no more indispensable to society as the fireman or factory worker.