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The harsh reality of success

July 26, 2014

466

Yesterday I did my accounts and was astonished by the figures, astonished that I survived the year because my income has taken a dive to an all time low. The amazing part for me is that last year was my break through year, a year in which I overcame all the adversity that had been stifling my creativity. On an artistic level it was my greatest year and on a financial level it was my worst by a long way. Finally I’m the artist that I always dreamed of being, strong, assured and with something to say, but it has come at a heavy price and brought me near to destitution. Realistically I had no choice but to liberate myself from the slump brought on by the constraints of the commercial pressures, but I feel it has demonstrated the price of standing up. You become a target for choosing different outlooks and there are many quiet pressures that are very much real and present. The price for not standing up and finding your true direction is far greater, because it means sacrificing the integrity and truth of your greatest gift, life itself. Why as a free artist should I feel compromised and is it not my right to seek art without compromise if that is my desire and belief.
For a long time I was too weak to face up to the consequences and threats that I lived under and it crippled me, it turned me into a bit of a wreck along with all the other shit life had thrown at me. I had even started to believe that the dilution and dumbing down of art was a necessity, so that you could make art to please as opposed to art that spoke of authenticity. Inside I always knew that there was a higher truth beyond the trappings of societies expectations and that art has no limits, but I was locked into a world of production and strife.
Liberating my artistic possibilities has been my greatest challenge, I had to find my authentic source of creativity, by dismissing the irrelevant distractions after which I had to stop deceiving myself. Three years ago I was washed up, my creativity had become so limited that I really had nothing left to offer because I had allowed the pressures to narrow my outlook. When I started on facebook I was able to take a fresh look at myself through my somewhat jaded vision and slowly rebuild my life as an artist. It’s been a clumsy journey that I have recorded on my blog and a great struggle to find a way of understanding how you feel and what you want to express as an artist once free from external pressures.
Admitting my mistakes has proved a harsh lesson but I’ve started to forgive myself, because I have learned a lot from them and it has cleared away the detritus that was forever tripping me up.
There have been many false dawns along this road but I do feel that I have reached the place I need to be as an authentic artist and no matter what happens or how my work is received, I feel good about myself. I write openly and I have nothing to hide of fear, I have strong opinions and ideas about art which people are free to challenge. I will admit that I sometimes fear the consequences of being open and how people will use things against me in many different ways, but I see it as a test of courage and will face the consequences.
These last three years may have left me absolutely penniless, but they have taught me about the true value of art and I feel they have been the making of me in human terms. I can’t explain how euphoric I feel when I speak and write in real-time, expressing myself without reservation or fear, feeling connected and believing in oneself is a priceless gift. It is a level of understanding that I never thought I would attain and I don’t need to lie, make excuses or fool myself to justify my behaviour or actions. The years of relative silence in which I just absorbed the reactions from the people I came across eventually taught me so much about human behaviour that finally I was able to see how to pick my own path freely.

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