Friday, December 30, 2011

Ego, art, and why do you create?

Why do you create?  Is it because what you create is your passion and you couldn’t imagine yourself doing otherwise?  Do you create because you believe that the world needs to hear or see what you have to say? Would you still create if you there was no audience for your work? 

As a writer I think the answer is a mix of both.  Writing is a form of communicating.  One could argue that all art is a form of communication of course but I think every writer has an audience in mind when they set pen to page and begin to create even if that audience is one’s self or if it is purely imaginary.  As a blogger putting my work out to the world on a regular basis it is obvious that I want people to read what I write.

However, with writing it is nearly impossible for me to separate my voice from the work whether I am writing in my journal, for my blog or an academic paper for school.  Though my audience is different in each case, and thus the style may vary, my voice is always there.  I think the struggle for me is with other forms of art, in particular with dance or performance art.  I have found it is very easy to start to create solely based on what I think an audience may want to see and thus run the risk that the final creation will be lacking in spirit.   

Perhaps it is because when I produce a show there are far more material factors thrown into the mix, like ticket sales and making sure that I am able to pay performers and cover other expenses so I often feel I have no choice but to keep the audience in mind.  As a solo performer, the response from the audience is so immediate and their approval and applause can be very addicting.  I think every performer who has experienced that high that comes with a great performance, one that not only feels good to the artist, but that the audience enthusiastically responds to and obviously loves, has the desire to recreate that feeling.   

James Kaelan talks about the ego and art in this video from What's Your Calling.  It has certainly given me food for thought, especially with the creative struggles I’ve been having of late.  
So I’m curious, why do you create?  

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