We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic.
What is an artist? A simple answer can be someone who makes art; and the second question would be what is art? and based on the dictionary art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated and bought for their beauty, emotional power and societal relevance.
In our art toxic culture, an artist is still looked (from a majority of people) as someone very flamboyant, promiscuous, disorganized, drunk and broke.
The Mystique and mistake of the suffering artist I will call; we still pass this pernicious myths that darken our views on artists and on art.
Mark Bryan refers to this as the Edgar Allan Poe School of artistry: Get drunk, die broke in the gutter.
In our culture, we often confuse the darkening progression of alcoholism and depression with the progression of a “serious” artistic career.
We act as if writing caused F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fragility. Its sad that Alcohol means “serious” art ,this type of negative beliefs come from parents, religion, culture and fearful friends or people.
Each of these beliefs reflect notions we have about what means to be an artist and it is important to confront that.
Negative beliefs are exactly that: beliefs not facts.in this list below, I display the common negative assumptions that society has about artists and what an artist can be or is.
Negative beliefs: Artists are drunk ,Crazy , irresponsible, loners , promiscuous,doomed, unhappy, born, not made An Artist Can be or is: Sober, Solvent, successful,Responsible, saved, happy, faithful, discovered and recovered.
Moreover, the list goes on, the negative beliefs are powerful blocks that suffocate creativity and create suffering and exclusion.
It is possible to be an artist, successful and romantically fulfilled, it is quite possible to be an artist and financially successful.
The myth of the suffering artist needs to be dismantled. Lighthearted and less depressive art its possible and there are a lot of examples that prove that ( but these stories are not sufficiently visible or shared because negativity makes more views ).
A working artist is a playing artist, art is made from life that means made from joy, pain, whatever the artist is going through.
Yes, sometimes-in life, you can be in a difficult space but life is not static, this propagation of unilateral stories is toxic and false, life is duality.
There are people who make “good” art when they are balanced, grounded and relaxed, people who make art none consistently when they are sad or people who can make art in bad or happy moments.
Some individuals have discipline and the mindset of action to create motivation (they do not wait for “divine” inspiration or a particular mood or emotion to create art) in the creative process and commit themselves to make art in any type of situation.
These individuals take care of themselves, and try to live a balanced and mentally healthy life. However, these stories are not shared, only the drastic, dramatic and bad narratives are propagated and why this happens?
The answer for my why is called tyranny of exceptionalism. it is the extremes that get all of the publicity or attention. The worst of the worst nonstop and the vast majority of life resides in the humdrum middle, not that dramatic or extraordinary.
This flood of extreme information has conditioned us to believe that exceptionalism, drama and suffering is the new normal.
None of these core negative beliefs need to be true or are true and they are the enemy within.
You do not look like an artist.
Another common discrimination, myth or stereotyped notion that is very common is the idea that the artist has to look or looks a certain way.
Me myself was and still is a “victim” of this. I’m a black woman, that loves fashion and design , I do not have Rasta’s (in my country having Rasta’s or being bold head is the maximum expression of being an artist) I love a red lipstick, I don’t smoke weed or cigarettes (disclosure I don’t have nothing against who does that) and I rarely drink alcohol.
These characteristics (having Rasta’s, drinking alcohol full time, having a certain “bohemian unkempt” look) are usually attributed to people who are artists and I am the opposite of that.
Many times, in gallery’s or art shows that I participated people looked at me with funny and astonished eyes and the first annoying question that comes out of some mouths was and still is: Are you an artist? You do not look like one. Ohm thank you captain asshole, my paintings speak for themselves (I would love to give an answer like that).
This type of comments or beliefs are very dangerous and yes I understand that they come from conditioning, domestication , it’s something cultural but it’s important to rethink that because can create blocked artists, blocked expression, fear of being who we really are, and mostly fear of being and liking what we truly like ( creates blocked and repressed identities).
Do not take anything personally
Undoubtedly, we become what we envisage.
Claude M. Bristol
To protect myself form this toxic beliefs that can poison the mind and the creativity/art I decided to not take personally this comments or thoughts. All people live in their world, dreams and mind, according to their own agreements, education and beliefs; the point of view comes from all programming they received during domestication but I consider that these stereotypes have poison, some people will want to feed us poison and it’s our responsibility to refuse and not eat all the emotional garbage that is around because can become your or better our garbage; it’s important to build a strong immune system to it.
These beliefs can make us afraid to express ourselves or be who we really are or want to be, it’s important to be strong and create a protective shield and go confidently in the direction of our dreams.
To live a life we imagined it is crucial to make our art, our sanity, wellness the first priority in our life.
That is what I decided to do and still do, yes can be annoying and disturbing to listen to certain comments but I can only be responsible for my thoughts and actions.
I think that one of the viable solutions for all this is to start sharing more stories of courage, positivism, light, sanity, financially successful artists or stories of the pursuit or the building of a happy, successful and healthy life as an artist. This will give a new perspective and a different look of art and the profession of being an artist and will encourage and give hope to younger and older generations that are afraid to become artists because of this negative and unilateral spreading of conditioning thinking.
Life as many colors, and there is no one way only of being an artist, it’s important to share the things that go wrong ,that are bland or not pretty in the process but it is also important to share the beautiful parts, the process of learning, the hope and the victories they can be small or big.
This way we can create a broad vision and spread a more balanced narrative of artists.