I played the G33K Art Show this past weekend, and put in a lot of time there besides the three hours I spent on stage. I bought a ton of art, chatted with a lot of the artists, and had a great time. I find it really exciting to meet people who spend so much time doing something they love, and though a lot of them aren’t doing art full-time, they work their asses off doing it, and it shows. It got me thinking about language, and I think I had a bit of a Dan moment.
Remember Dan, the other blogger here? You haven’t heard from him in a while because he’s in the studio painting up a storm. During the summer he wrote about going back to art school and thinking that, while he loves art, he wasn’t sure he’s really an artist. Well, more of the same here.
I spend a lot of time making music and writing. A lot. Several hours a day, every day. Practicing, puttering, writing, that kind of thing. I’m writing for D&D, for TPK, posts for here, for the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, and I’m playing guitar, ukulele, and just singing. Sometimes it’s a giant pain, but I really enjoy doing it, want to get better at it, and when I forgo the practice for a few weeks, it’s the first thing I can’t wait to get back to doing. I haven’t touched videogames in practically a week because I’ve been writing, editing, and running around. For me that’s a big deal. Seriously, it’s going to hurt my nerd cred.
But I don’t talk about it in a way that treats it seriously. My small blogs, my tiny Youtube channel, my music is just music noises. I’m not a musician, I say, just a guy with a guitar who thinks about stuff. Looking at the analytics, I can say that these are mostly true things. I try to downplay them because I never want to be (and am in no danger of becoming) one of those people who’s all puffed up with their internet power. But if I keep thinking about them that way, they’re never going to be anything more than what they are. I’m sure that gives me tons of hipster cred or indie juice or whatever they call it, but there’s no way to finish this sentence without sounding ridiculous.
Point being, I saw all manner of artists who don’t just make little things but are determined to make their things into big things. The artists are producing great work and doing the work to get it out there and try to make a living at it. And that’s amazing. It made me not want to talk down anymore, to stop making music noises and little things and just make art. I’ve been talking with Dan since he started back this term, and he’s painting like mad. Once he started making art again, he couldn’t stop, and might want to go on to try it full time. For him it’s oil paint and wood, for me, video and music I think.
Sometimes it’s not that you need to work harder or be more dedicated. Sometimes it’s just about how you think about your own work. Don’t sell yourself short, no matter how tempting it can be. Going to art now.