The Value of Art and the Cost of Success

I saved a draft intending to explain how decisions I’ve made recently have effected the changes I’ve been adjusting to over the past two months, but as new things have come up and gone, most of what I said in it is a bit obsolete.

I wanted to repeat that success is still in the eye of the beholder but add that all success has a downside, or a cost. The reason one person considers somthing “successful” is really just a perception that the cost was wothwhile.

Art is also in the eye of the beholder, particularly when skill cannot be taken into account. So many people want to be famous for their art, that if all art is equal, how does any one person deserve that fame more than any other?

Furthermore, someone told me recently that I’m fortunate not to have attracted a deluge of spam and negative comments, reiterating the price of that sort of success. Internet fame attracts griefers, pop culture fame attracts paparazzi, stalking, and so on. People that want to be famous and want to stay famous work very hard to maintain their lifestyles. Don’t let the hired hands and the entourages fool you.

I know that I can’t tell anyone what is good or bad, so all I ask is, please don’t think of my art and music as somehow lesser just because I’m not interested in making it my absolute livelihood anymore. You’re missing out on a lot of great art and music if you feel that way, I’m not the only one that has taken this approach, I’m not the first and won’t be the last, and I very firmly believe that as time passes, there will be more and more artists that would much rather have a simple, happy lifestyle at a cost of relative obscurity than a busy and high-pressured lifestyle at a cost of just about everything, at least from my point of view.

Of course, I think this may be the sixth or seventh time I’ve said this. Perhaps I need a more interesting and terse way to explain.

See you next time.