Friday, February 07, 2014

All Art Is Selfish Art

I’m a big believer in selfish creation.

Making art for yourself and nobody else.

Not the critics, not the masses, not the powers that be, not the mainstream media, not the competition, not the gallery owners, not the distributors and not the cool kids.

For you.

And in my experience, there are two ways to approach this process.

One path is to work from an achievement orientation, focusing on impressing and improving yourself.

For example, every time I write a song, I always try to incorporate at least one lyric or chord or strumming pattern or vocal variation that I’ve never tried before. It’s execution to the power of elevation, and it always makes me feel proud because I topped myself, albeit on a small scale.

The other path to selfish creation is adventure oriented, focusing on delighting and surprising yourself.

For example, every time I write a book, I always try to include one sentence or paragraph or footnote or obscure reference that nobody will understand but me. It’s execution to the power of elation, and it always makes me feel gitty because I charmed myself, albeit on a small scale.

Either way, it’s all for me.

Are you productively selfish?