There are so many love songs. So many artists, so many writers and so so many songs and poems about love. Few aren’t profoundly different from one another in terms of content and sentiment – the execution and language does differ, in all fairness. But in short, it’s all been written before. So, the scrubbing the corporate side of the arts for sake of argument, why do these musicians, writers and poets insist on rehashing the same old subject, the same old stomach-butterflies and the same old tears? Simplified answer: Although these experiences are not at all unique, they are indeed unique to the person experiencing it.
So we write.
The arts in general give a unique sense of pleasure and philosophy to life, but they also provide a catharsis. For the strongest emotions and poignant events in life, if the creativity is in ones’ blood then it will be poured onto the page, screen or stage. The tortured souls of musicians, writers and artists have forever been revered: the output of such beauty and power, created in the wake of struggle, heartache and joy; and put out into the world, as if to release it and say “Hey, it’s your problem now… but still, try and understand…”. It is a release of otherwise almost inarticulable sentiments from the heart and into the ethers. Or maybe it’s just a rant.
And then from those looking in, from the ‘outside’, who don’t know any better, their answer to the emotional, and often financial, struggle is “Well, you’re doing what you love”. It’s at that point you have to ask whether this was all a pragmatic life choice, or something much bigger, deeper and magnetic than can be reduced to a simple single sentiment. When you’re surrounded by black & white, but all you see are shades of grey, and going for a walk or a drive to ‘clear your head’ just isn’t enough…
John Coltrane (revered saxophonist) ran scales for 16 hours in a meditative state. Miles Davis sought the silence that would define the purpose of sound. Robin Williams made us laugh and cry with a pathos so powerful and unique to him, the sentiment has to have been somewhat true. Philip K. Dick bent our realities to match his own. Hitchcock redefined our perceptions through suggestion, shadow and angle, to show us what he truly thought the world was made of.
The artist creates because they have to. For themselves, for us, to relinquish and to give. Seeking to make some element of the outside world begin to resemble what they feel inside, and to release something beautiful into this world… Something that if held inside may become terrifying.