Thursday, April 08, 2004

still more from connie:

ok, well, i guess i didn't understand your motivations very well. if you are doing what you do because you want attention and affirmation over it, and not just because you love it and it makes you happy to make noise, then you should probably seek out more attention (i.e., sell yourself to agencies that are in a position to help you with that). i don't understand that drive at all, not being concerned with being "famous" or having people i don't know tell me how great i am, but whatever you think will make you happy...

hmm... well either i'm not being clear enough, or my subconscious motivations are glaringly apparent to everyone but me. (although i confess that the previous post wasn't so much responding to your points as just using them as a jumping-off point)

i make art because i am compelled to do so. i've been an auditory person for as long as i can remember, constantly listening to music (even when i was listening to total garbage) & drawn to multimedia in general. in high school i hung out with the punk rock kids or the other "band" kids, & as badly as i wanted to be a musician myself, i couldn't play a rock instrument (other than vocals, which i like to think i'm good at) so i couldn't pursue that dream very well. (although i did start making bedroom recordings right after graduation, despite not playing guitar... i just used keyboard & cheap mics until i later got into 4-track recording & software.) even before high school my friends & i would sit down with a tape deck & play "radio station". how i wish i had some of those old tapes, particularly the early ones where we recorded all the songs ourselves (for the second incarnation, we just played announcers dubbed rock songs from tapes we liked).

so just like you say, my primary, fundamental motivation for making art is simply a love of the artform, mixed with a primal need to create. i do it first & foremost because it brings me some small parcel of happiness. there's just something really satisfying about the creative process, particularly the part when you can sit back & truly enjoy your work, as a listener/viewer (& if you've done it right, this can be more satisfying that enjoying someone else's art, because it's so intensely personal & the piece does what you think it should... & of course, conversely, there's something deeply frustrating about a project that just doesn't want to work. but we'll ignore that for now).

so i do it all for me. maybe it keeps me from killing myself or doing something equally erratic; i don't know. but then, once the artwork is created, things get more complicated. i've always had social problems, being one of the most introverted people i know, despite a deep longing to connect with other people. i'm not necessarily good at connecting with people face to face. but hey, here's some art i've made... maybe someone will enjoy it? maybe it'll even get me laid?

i don't really seek out mass recognition for its own sake. i was making music before there were websites or mp3s... i would share the music with my handful of friends, a few of them might actually enjoy it, & that would be it. i probably wouldn't be any less happy if it were still that way.

but here's the thing: i see all these other artists doing stuff that's somewhat similar to what i'm doing, & they're getting all this fawning attention (from the press, bulletin boards, whatever). some of it is so good that i'm fawning too. but some of it (in my opinion) is only okay, or at the very least is not nearly as innovative, groundbreaking, insert adjective here as the teeming masses suggest it is. i see that & i think what have these artists done to warrant all this attention that i haven't done? do i not deserve this treatment? i'm not really seeking out major attention (if i were, i would at least try to write accessible music), but if other people get major attention for doing practically the same thing, yet i do not, what does that say about me? are they just lucky or am i inferior?

it really does boil down to jealousy, & even moreso it speaks to the low self-esteem issues i've been dealing with most of my life. & ironically, in some ways those self-esteem issues also prevent me from promoting myself more, because on some level i'd rather be unknown than rejected.

anyway, the workday is done & it's time to go home. maybe more to come, maybe not.

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