I don’t want to make art like a capitalist.
I don’t want to grind myself into dust and make myself sick from exhaustion just to prove that I deserve a place here. I want a practice that is healthy and regenerative and I shall never refer to myself as a “content creator”, treating myself as a factory farm of creative stuff to feed hungry algorithms. Perpetual growth is a myth that is destroying the planet, I shall resist the urge to let it destroy me. I don’t always have to do more, do bigger, do better. I shall rest when I need to and only make when it nourishes me.
I want to resist the desire to make art so perfectly polished that it has lost its vitality, lost its connection to my body and the blood travelling through my veins. I want to make art that is as vulnerable, flawed and alive as I am. I want to embrace imperfection, take risks and follow the call of my heart.
I don’t want to be fierce competition because I don’t want to be part of a culture of scarcity, I want to be part of a system of sharing, mutual support and the cultivation of abundance.
I don’t want to be ashamed anymore for the traits that I’ve always perceived as personal flaws. My lack of interest in money, while often a hindrance, is not a fundamental flaw nor indicative of my inherent value or worthiness.
I don’t want to cultivate a narcissistic ego where I believe that my creative successes are mine alone – they are the direct result of the support I receive, of the inspiration I am exposed to, of the untold numbers of creatives who have come before me.
Nor do I want to buy into the poisonous notion that art is self-indulgent and without value unless it receives accolades, fame and financial value. I see the act of creation as a generative and vital spiritual practice that has a value which cannot be quantified in the monetary realm.
I don’t want to let our toxic cultural obsession with youth cause me to feel insecure and therefore enact psychological violence on younger artists by cutting them down a peg or two. I refuse to sneer at any individual’s creative offering, for that is as cruel as sneering at someone’s heart, their soul. I will celebrate every vulnerable act of creation.
I want to remain true to my instincts towards being sceptical of hierarchy and authority as power can quickly be a dangerous and corrupting force. At the same time, I want to resist the dangerous idea that we should do everything alone, I want to be helpful to others and I want to be able ask for help.
I want to make art that has goals that go beyond personal fulfilment and aspires to be of benefit to others but I shall keep my idea of benefit open and flexible as kindness towards oneself can be a revolutionary act.
I want to stay grounded in the earth, connected to my roots, in touch with awe and love and community and all the things that nourish me and nurture my creativity.
I don’t want to make art like a capitalist. I want to make art like an artist. Idealistic, brutally, beautifully honest and brimming with humanity and heart.