|The most popular website I've created|
On the one hand, I have this passionate desire to create things that are so uniquely, brilliantly original and captivating that they manage to please “most of the people most of the time.” In other words, I want to be the creator of something popular enough that it will naturally also result in some amount of fame. Isn’t that any artist’s ultimate goal?
However, I’ve experienced--just a little--what fame is like; and that’s the other hand. The public always possesses a sense of ownership towards the famous. They feel entitled to know whatever they want to know about you. They believe their affection for you ought to be reciprocated, at least a little. Although some of them respect your time and privacy, the majority aspire, however well-meaningly, to rob you of both.
|MY favorite website I've created|
|My most famous crafted creation|
|MY favorite crafted creation|
Who wants to make life into the equivalent of a high school popularity contest? Didn’t I start this just wanting to create something wonderful?
|My most popular book|
I’m sure a guru with a far higher consciousness than mine would give me this advice: Simply create what you wish, and enjoy it yourself! I know I could try this...but there’s something inherently unnatural about that, isn’t there? Would it have been good for Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of his private home rather than the Sistine Chapel? Or for that talented star of the local theater production you enjoyed to not try out for the part? Or for your Aunt Sue to only bake her fantastic apple pie for herself? Of course not--even the humblest works of human minds and hands, such as mine, are worthy of sharing with others. Human society wants and needs such things to be shared.
|MY fave book (of course)|
Maybe that last bit is the most important thing of all. If you are born with a skill, have had the opportunity to cultivate it, to train and practice, then be grateful. There are others around you who would trade a great deal to have your ability. Try not to focus on what you wish you could do, those lofty goals you are highly unlikely to achieve, and think instead how fortunate you are to be gifted with your talents.
It is a cliché that artists are tormented—a cliché based in large part on the truth. But if I want to be a happy artist rather than a tortured one, perhaps there really is a way to make that a reality. As in so much of life, it may depend far less on action, and far more on attitude.