The Artist Dance and The Inner Circle

Ed Verner in studio session

The very act of creating a song, or works of prose or poetry can drive a wedge between an artist and those inside their inner circle of love and social contacts. There are several possible causes for the rift that may arise.  Some are: Jealousy – Projection of Betrayal – Selfishness – and more.

Jealousy – The desire from others for one’s time who want it above all else can be found here. In this arena someone close to the artist may very well know an artwork is about them and is full of love, compliments, and joyful leaping from the heart of the artist, and yet the time to create it is seen as competing with time that could be spent in mutual activities instead. Imagine Miss Mona Lisa badgering Leonardo da Vinci for choosing to spend many days in creating a timeless portrait that would outlive them both for centuries when he could instead have taken her out for a picnic. Or the artist who jealously over-protects his time but denies his children who need him, searching instead for peace and quiet to write a novel.

Projection of Betrayal – If you’ve written something artistic about anyone else, or any inspiration not found from within your inner circle then those in that circle feel they are somehow uninspiring or worse yet that they are losing their value to an artist for not being a sufficient muse. If a poet conjured a romantic thought, even if from a vacuous void of being in a sensory deprivation tank, a dear loved one may project a story of betrayal upon the work anyway. Consoling such a fear is impossible and frustrating to both artist and nearby loved ones and then both may grow bitter and avoid sharing any art created from within that bubble; the artist becomes reclusive and the inner circle of loved ones learn to keep a distance out of self-preservation. Conversely another form of betrayal can occur if someone well distant from the artist misinterprets a work as being about them when in fact it may have been inspired by a dear close loved one of the artist instead. Such a devoted fan may impregnate the art with their own story, but in so doing they hijack what should have been the joy belonging to another.

Selfishness – In a sad way sometimes creatives can be like the popular kids in high school in that they want to isolate themselves from effective competition for the role of popularity and instead wish to have only devotee’s as friends. Here artists can become selfish in how they attempt to choose their loved ones and even exclude a few who belong simply out of a desire to avoid even healthy criticism. Fragile egos of artists have strewn many a drama upon the fabric of history with attempting to wield the art inside them for gain, or power, or personal glory.

If art becomes more important than the people around you, for shame.  And I’ve learned to write or record, get it out there, and then put it on the shelf and go back to the people and places I love.