How dare you promote your art?

         Artists often hear a most uncivil query. “Who do you think you are?”
Master_Nick_May12-Circuitry         Those who make such demands on our very identity already have an answer in mind. The inquisitors believe that the artist is no one of consequence, bearing not but delusions of grandeur.
         Put honestly, the interrogations would run a more directly belittling course.
         “How dare you express? How dare you create? How dare you promote your work?”
         Those born into wealth challenge, “How dare you excel beyond your preassigned station?” Meanwhile, from the militant left comes, “How dare you excel beyond your fellow human?”
         Neither ostensibly opposite view offers any real alternative from the other, nor do they display a grasp of our true quest and value in society.
         I’ve some questions for you, my friend. Dare you delve into nuance? Shall we step lively into subtlety? Will you brave boldly beyond black-and-white, all-or-nothing notions?
         Feel free to join in a resounding, “YES!”
         Everyone, regardless of any arbitrary distinction, should expect, receive, and exercise equal rights, yet our striving toward legal equality does not mean that we are all the same. We can be and indeed are equal to our fellow humans, whilst also being special. While every human being has things in common, ’tis also true that there is diversity among us, and that both our similarities and differences are natural and healthy.
         To the point: Some have artistic visions that others do not. Some have worked hard to hone creative skills to express those visions, while others have channeled their energies elsewhere. We live in a specialized culture. Skilled and talented artists are better in their particular field than others, just as others may be better at farming, medicine, construction, or what have you.
         No one should be devalued, including artists. Everyone has value, including artists. Yet particularly in times of scarcity and strife, when inspired thinking is needed most, the dreamers are denigrated as decadent demons, and art is mistaken for luxury.
         The artist’s works are as vital to our species as food, shelter, and medicine.
         “Oh, sure,” the naysayers scoff. “Just try to eat art when you’re hungry.”
         By that faulty logic, houses would be vacated because we can’t eat them, a sandwich would never have value because sometimes you need antibiotics, and penicillin would be considered useless because it’s not shelter during a storm. But we need all these things and more.
         The world is not static. Thus, in order to survive and thrive, we as a people must be ready to roll with change. Artists are at that forefront, sharing alternative visions even before society knows they’re needed. If the dreamers die of deprivation, those who remain will be woefully unprepared for the protean nature of reality.
         Imagine a lifeboat, on which the few most bloated on swindled rations call to starve certain others, and even to cast the vulnerable overboard. As “starving artist” is such a common expression, ’tis clear that the innovative mind is at risk. In such circumstances, who shall speak for the life and livelihood of the artist?
    Blessed be the patrons and connoisseurs, yet the dreamer must also be prepared for self defense. I tell you that fierce pride is not a sin. It is survival––not just for the artist, but for us all!
         When others seek to demote us, we must work twice as hard to promote ourselves, not above all others, but as equals, utterly essential to society, with our own unique balance of strengths.
         “So, who do you think you are?”
Master_Nick-RobertsMazhique         I am a visionary! I am a luminary! I am an artist!
         “How dare you promote your art?”
         My work is essential to the future of the species!
         From this point forth, I bid you feel no pain when someone calls you a dreamer. Rather, wear the title as a badge of honor. Stand tall. Work twice as hard to realize your dream and share it with the world.
         Reality is poor without the dreamer.

Master Nick Roberts © 2013

         P.S.
         The fantastic artist Julian Greigh writes of a colleague who was beleaguered by the misconception that self-promotion is immoral, even monstrous. Who was this mysterious and misguided colleague?
         There is an answer to this, but first, here’s a closely-related and challenging question: “Are we men, or are we mice?”
         In the eyes of the orthodox, the unimaginative, and perhaps even envious, we the artists are regarded as neither men nor mice. We’re monsters!
         Labeled as such, ’tis all the more important that we do as we must. Julian Greigh will tell you how.
http://juliangreigh.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/trick-question-are-we-artists-or-are-we-mice/

“Mazhique”
9″ x 12″ Acrylic
Painting and Prints available.
If collector, connoisseur,
or a patron you may be,
if this art you would procure,
to begin, please contact me.
Master Nick Roberts


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