Rather than primarily presenting my views in this blog, I am seeking them on several issues below affecting the life and work of an artist:
1. There's a long-standing image (stereotype?) of the reclusive artist who sacrificially foregoes the usual pleasures and activities of daily living in order to concentrate on his/her artistic creations. To this point, Thoreau wrote, "My life has been the poem I would have writ/But I could not both live and utter it." [In fact, however, Thoreau created an impressive collection of writing, though he was somewhat reclusive as well.] Are you aware of this necessary choice or setting of priorities in either your own artistic experience or the experiences of others or can one have another full life apart from his/her "creative" activity, or is "living fully in the world" a kind of dissipation that saps an artist's energy and hence his/her creativity? At a minimum, art requires a certain focus and concentration.
2. To posit the issue in a slightly different way, other things being equal (artistic abilities, etc), is the artist who lives "large" and indulgently (the Lord Byron type) likely to enhance his/her creativity (volume and quality) from the added "richness" and variety of experiences or is imagination (Dickinson's "reverie" in "To Make a Prairie") alone sufficient as a source of artistic material/inspiration?
3. Finally, it's almost a cliche that no one's life is easy (without setbacks, sorrows, challenges), but if one life's, in relative terms, goes along too "swimmingly" in comparison to the lives of others, does that comfortable condition limit what the artist can communicate in his/her work about human experience (e.g., can imagined anguish come through as authentic as anguish arising from real experience)? ["What's Hecuba to him or he to Hecuba?" exclaims Hamlet in amazement that an actor could communicate such depth of feeling from his imagination and acting skill alone.]
Please comment below. I think we could all benefit from insights from writers on one or more of the perspectives posited above.
Causes Brenden Allen Supports