Being an Artist

About being an artist, a true artist – what is an artist? An artist is an unusually gifted man or woman with an attitude problem. They’re unhappy. Artists are unhappy people because they want something to be in the world that isn’t there. An artist comes into the world that is already full of things, from Starbucks coffee cups to galaxies and says, okay, all these things may be fine, but not enough, the world needs this – okay, now it’s really fine…until tomorrow morning when you wake up and there is something else missing. Or, alternatively, something is being done wrong, and you must set it right. You’re setting out to do all this in a world that has never heard of your existence.

You are taking a big chance, betting that enough people in the world will recognize what you’re doing as somehow necessary. Odds are that you’re wrong, in which case you may end up teaching hobbycraft at Dripwater State. But you will be a winner in life. You will know something about yourself that 99.99% of the people in the world will never find out about themselves. So no whining, okay?

- Peter Schjeldahl