What every lover should know about the creative artist. Part Three

The lover in Monty's case is Pat

What can lovers and friends do when they recognize a creative artist in their midst?

The young person struggling with artistic impulses is vulnerable in the formative years.  Without the maturity of craft and experience, the need for lessons, coaching, and educational support is essential.

In fact, the artist’s need to learn and explore never ends.  The creative person remains an avaricious student their entire life.  Formal education is often too structured and limiting for the impatient potential artist so guidance is important at this stage of development to assure a good background.  A painter who does not understand the history of his art form will always be limited by what he or she does not know.  A novelist who has no critical perspective of his genre is destined to mediocrity.  Many localities offer special programs for the gifted and talented.  Acceptance in their educational program should be the goal of the creative aspirant.

By the late teens and early twenties, the creative personality will do well to find a mentor, an older person in her artistic field who can serve as teacher and advisor.  Mentors open the door on the real life of what it means to pursue art.  The struggle and the compromises of adult life become evident as art as a profession is revealed.  Most acolytes of art never progress beyond this stage.  Although they do not choose the sacrifices of the artist’s life, they can become an especially qualified audience for appreciation of the art form.

Beyond the early stages of recognition of talent and the acquisitions of basic education and skills, the creative artist needs an opportunity for growth and refinement.  Since it is usually impossible to earn a livelihood from purely artistic productivity, practical compromises must be made.  The natural urge toward marriage and children further complicates the equation.  Families are required to make significant financial and lifestyle sacrifices if they are to support a creative artist member.  It is a difficult role to play because it is easy to see the artist as a selfish, willfully exploitive human being whose personal interests outweigh the comforts and concerns of the family.  If dedication is a prerequisite of the artist, it is also a necessary quality of his or her enduring family.

If the goal of the lover can be the same as the artist—the consistent completion of artistic work—then the lover and the artist can take joy in the productivity.

You may have noticed in this blog that entries will try not to become gender specific because the blogger is male.  In a general commentary, the pronouns will often alternate between paragraphs.  As a man with three daughters and five granddaughters, the blogger intends to be as gender inclusive as possible.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “What every lover should know about the creative artist. Part Three

  1. > You may have noticed in this blog that entries will try not to become gender specific because the blogger is male. In a general commentary, the pronouns will often alternate between paragraphs. As a man with three daughters and five granddaughters, the blogger intends to be as gender inclusive as possible.

    i applaud the intent but deplore the method. The only thing that happens to me when I read self-consciously gender-neutral text is that I am diverted from what else the writer is saying, and hare off into irritation that sexual politics inserts itself into what should be a discussion of something else. Not that you aren’t in a lot of company; however, I find it jarring, distracting, and therefore annoying, just as I find the use of a singular subject coupled with “their” as a way of avoiding his or her. While it is true that the English language doesn’t have a good way of removing gender-bias expectations, it is equally true that conforming to PC-ordained usage still doesn’t solve the problem, and adds others.

    Nice to see you blogging, though.

    • Always editing me. And since you were the editor at Hampton Roads who guided me through the four Booker Series novels, I pay attention. In fact, Frank, your comment started me on a quest to find my connection to Betty Ford. I found it ,and it has now become today’s blog which I dedicate to you. Why aren’t you smiling. You are a genius, Frank. But remember that my definition of genius is someone who never fries bacon in the nude.

  2. Re: “Shared goals”, Here, here! That was the point of the tedious, hopefully cogent, explanation of term definition in my first comment. I trust it was received in the fashion in which it was offered. “Gotta do a few for the TEAM!”

  3. Monty, I think that these three posts – but particularly parts 1 and 2 – are superb, and prove beyond cavil the point I was trying to make in mine (http://wp.me/p1u5Oe-2e). I particularly like “No matter how economically and socially comfortable success can be, creative energy is lost in the seduction, and the artist can become impotent if she cannot deny the circumstance and retreat into the truth of her own reality.” Here is the great flaw at the heart of the new publishing model.

    The creative artist you describe here is the diametric opposite of the compulsive self-publicist who has absolutely nothing of substance to say, yet who haunts the airwaves of Twitter and the Amazon discussion boards. Your creative artist is someone altogether different. As I’ve said in another post (http://wp.me/p16xbS-3F), “in today’s frenetically interconnected world, perhaps more than ever before, we are in desperate need of the particular qualities that such writers bring – above all, of the deep stillness that restores the soul.”

  4. And whence “deep stillness”? If it as given that the soul be restored, it is not the realm of the cobbler, surely. The previous contributor suggests it is by a “retreat into the truth of her (Creative Artist’s) own reality.” Once again I must assemble my little line of analytical soldiers and define some terms such that we are all on the same creative page. I believe Monty Istarted this intercourse by addressing the practical needs of a creative artist and the arsenal of tools/tricks which must be at the ready for use by those who live with/love them. My requirements tended toward accetance of the differences of ways of being in the world, of the deviances from what some shallow ‘harpies’ may call “the norm” AND LOVING C.A ANYWAY, perhaps even because of this presumed aberrancy. THAT settled, I was happy that C.A was unencumbered by what could be a huge creative cork in the process, ie, enmity between C.A. and his lover.
    The focus now slyly zooms in on the “product”, the on-going process of CREATING. And the “creative product” IS a most valuable commodity because it yields beauty, love, enduring fulfillment, pleasure – the very pinnacle of potential in the mind, heart and soul of the gifted one, the creator.
    It is then suggested, nay, stoutly put forth that we are in desperate need of “the deep stillness that resores the soul.” I can only assume, then that the un- restored, raucous soul will bring certain intellectual/spiritual demiseor at the very LEAST, an incapacitating malady. My sentiments indeed. Regardless of HOW one defines the “soul”, if it be not whole, at peace and pure, its ability to support GOOD – be it beauty, the Art of living well, CREATIVITY – is stilted, contaminated, barren.
    If, we take this meaning-oflife/contribution to the history and enrichment of the race farther, we must now have at least some imagery, diaphenous though it may be, of what is worth doing, being, CREATING. That imagery, again atimes elusive is necessarily contained in experience, in interactions, in relationships. It is what we call “living” and what we not only give our best but relay, share, pass on that which was WORTH HAVING BEEN CREATED. To accomplish this aspect of the creative process, things that are “worthwhile” to be said or seen cannot rot in the attic next to Dorian. Rather, they must find an outlet, an egress, a vehicle that will make them available to the race. Else what would be the point of the effort?
    It is at THIS juncture – the dissemination, the incorporation ito the Corpus Glorius of like creations – that, of necessity SOME economic support arrives, is offered, becomes available. The economic factor is not necessary for the comfort of the C.A. but for the facility with which his “product” can become assimilated into the fabric of society. And what price Art or Creativity or “substantive” discourse/experience or restored souls or asparagus, for that matter? Market price, of course. Provided by whom, you may ask? The compulsive “self-publicist”? The NEA? The Tooth Fairy? All of the above. It matters not. The proverbial bottom line is that if CRATIVITY, produced in one or different genres over time is to have ANY utility, it must be exposed to those who need it, will appreciate it, will be enriched and inspired by it. And that “exposure” can be serendipedous, accidental or, as in most cases, funded. In this instance, scrit does not cheapen but rather invites and, ultimately, ensures the veneration of the Creative Artist’s “product”.

    acceptance of what can be dramatic differences, seemingly idiosyncratic behavior, a way of being in the world that seems to deviate from some shallow ‘harpies’ refer to as “the norm” AND LOVING C.A ANYWAY. perhaps even BECAUSE of yhese recognized

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