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On Art (II) - The Response Of The True And Artificial Artists To Inspiration
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On Art (II) - The Response Of The True And Artificial Artists To Inspiration
The second of my essays on art. Hopefully On Art (III) - Art Vs. Science will be up soon.
[1,058 words]
To describe oneself can be the hardest operation in writing. To depict one's thoughts, feelings, rationales through writing is often done; but to express one's inner being, to profile oneself, is far more complex a procedure. Very often, such information is most accurate and profound when gleaned from the author's writings. If you wish to analyse me, my friends, you are most welcome.
[February 2000]
Intolerance (Essays) This is an essay about intolerance, prejudice, and other mad things which should not exist in society but imevitably do. This is because of human nature. While I am a fiction writer usually, this es... [1,525 words]
On Art (I) - The True Vs. The Artificial Artist (Essays) This is the first of a collection in the making on my views about art. Although this is the first, introductory essay, it was actually written second (shrug!). Hopefully a third, art Vs. Science, sh... [1,373 words]
Pride (Essays) This is the first of what is intended to be a collection of essays revolving around the Seven Deadly Sins. It is not however a religious consideration of each of these, merely a general exploration o... [1,469 words]
The Unbinding Of Loki (Short Stories) This is a story based loosely upon Norse mythology, in which I have a deep interest. It revolves around a sort of imagined "sequel" to the story of the binding of Loki, the mischievous half-brother o... [1,258 words]
On Art (II) - The Response Of The True And Artificial Artists To Inspiration

content="On Art (Ii) - The Response Of The True And Artificial Artists To Inspiration "> Art II: The Response of the True and Artificial Artists to Inspiration

  Darkness gives us inspiration. The anguish or anger of horror or fear which comes in every moment of every day of someone’s life provides fuel for a latent imagination. Even the horrors of the death-camp give birth to creations as fine and profound in their way as the most brilliant work of art.
  Light gives inspiration, too. Joy, the profound, soul-deep sensations created by music, or poetry, or life itself – love, dreams, friendship, altruism. All these things give birth to creativity. They, with the bad, make the world, and the world makes art, for art is imitation of reality.
  The best art is reality itself.

  To be inspired is to become a creator. The muse if fickle; she flits to and fro, comes to us and torments us with the seeds of an idea, a beautiful thing which provides the creator’s mind with enthusiasm. In the artificially created artist, this enthusiasm may fade away and die; thus is the inspiration lost, the idea orphaned and cast aside. The discovery of penicillin was ignored by Fleming, lay unheeded for ten years in the dustiness of the mind-attic, as Sherlock Holmes would have us call it. Like this great discovery the idea pales to insignificance, replaced by thoughts of a domestic and urbane nature. Or, alternatively, it finds new room within the mind of another, seeded, as before, but here growing roots, and nurtured by enthusiasm, budding into a glorious flower, of which the artificial artist is forever envious.
  However, in the true artist’s well of enthusiasm, the little seedling notion flourishes from the first. The artist may become besieged by it, fixated and obsessed, until the idea takes over his every waking and sleeping moment: entraps his very being. Then, comes the process of creation; the wild, uncontrolled, mindless and soulful process, rapid, inevitable, unstoppable. It comes and the artist is exhausted; he waits now in repose for the next moment of inspiration.
  Thus the two extremes, the two artists. Between them is the economist, the stockbroker, the one who thinks: “And what may I make from this idea? How will it work for me?” Unlike the pure artificial artist (although a sub-group of same) who has no real interest in the idea, and the true artist who is ruled by his heart not his head, the stockbroking creator is careful and steady. She keeps her head throughout the process of execution whereas the true artist, in execution, may well lose his.
  The stockbroker first does not rush in to creation; she sits back, she plans, she cogitates. She takes the idea, turns it around, adds to it and edits it, studies it from all angles, pokes into every dark corner. She follows every avenue of possibility from the creation process; then, when she is certain of the best path (which is the one to bring her the most profit) she considers how best to implement it and extorts every last drop of inspiration from her cynical store. She works from the head, not from the heart. Unlike the true artist, who either achieves exponentially or fails spectacularly, her achievement is certain, and satisfying. And once the work is over, she does not repose; the process of creation is never done, for that which has been created must be milked for every cubic millilitre of profit that is stored therein.
  In any of these three ways an idea is formed; in the second two only, it is implemented. The artificial artist fails to create because of laziness, or uninterest; he is not driven as the true artist is by spirit, or the stockbroker by profit. When the artificial artist creates, he does so perhaps willingly, but with only a detached curiosity in his own creation, which is ultimately set aside. Like the artifical artist the fourth classification of inspired individual fails, generally, to produce a tangible result from his inspiration and ideas. This type can be defined as “the Mouse”.
  From the very first stages the Mouse is afraid of his creation. In embryo, the idea is brilliant, fascinating, has great prospects. But the timid little Mouse sees past all these positives to the underlying nature of the idea. He may perceive its merits, but he also sees other things – the trouble it will take to create, the dangerous possible applications of the end result. The Mouse is a born pessimist, seeing the scales tipped unjustly to favour the negative state. What he fears most, however, is the creation process itself; the obsessive pioneering madness which is inevitable for the true artist. Mouse is too emotional and nervous to consider a stockbroking, non-obsessive approach; all he sees is the constructive chaos of the true artist, and the inevitable destructive effects which follow.

  There is much to be said for the approach of the stockbroker; her logic, control, patience and planning; her ability to think clearly and produce a technically perfect solution. But she is nevertheless flawed; she is a capitalist, a calculator; her creation is as artificial in its way as the inspiration of the artificial artist, and thus almost as worthless. No heart goes into her creation; all she is interested in are the results and profits, and that minimalist, materialist sense of achievement is the closest she will experience to self-actualisation. The true artist, on the other hand, feels a sense of wild elation and creative achievement on completion; his joy is matchless, perfect, divine. It carries him forward into the next inspiration; one creation inspires the next. His product is genuine, full of heart; it is profound enough to carry a part of his soul. But the true artist is reckless, he is wanton and violent is his creation, and the process drains him and leaves him exhausted. He is volatile. However, volatility is preferable to the immobility of the artificial artist, and the repressive nature of the Mouse. These two characters, who may never create, will equally never achieve; they will have no ability, as the others have, to say at the close of their lives on earth: “I did this.” Whatever their methods, whatever their flaws, it is the stock-broker and the true artist who inevitably create, and it is they who, through their creations, truly live forever.


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© 1999 Erik
April 2000

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