What I hate most and with a passion about “artists” is their thin skin. I hate that insufferable fragility. I hate that there is a need for validation from the majority. I’ve met many of these people who fly off the handle or sink into a huge hole if one wrong word is lobbed at their art. I think it’s the reason I’m still so enamored with hard bop or bebob jazz musicians. Because if you think about it, those boys (and girls) had to have some serious big bollocks to get up there in front of everyone (especially their peers playing along side, constantly listening, measuring, working off them) and improvise along a mode or a scale every night. Think about how ballsy that is; putting yourself out with the high possibility of being ripped to shreds by both audience and peers–and improvising. Every goddamn night.
And so I loathe the writers, the painters, the musicians, the “sensitive souls” who can’t take their share of body shots. That’s the business. That’s the craft. It’s fucking all out warfare and if you can’t handle rejection or being called a “faggot” (God knows why that’s an insult, but whatever) then you have no business getting up there and letting us into your head. Or heart. It comes at you from all sides, especially from your colleagues and/or peers. Those are the hardest hits. Check it out. It’s brutal out there, babies. And that’s a goddamn good thing. (By the way, Stephen King is right).
If you’re not ready to be eviscerated, chewed up and swallowed, but instead you’re searching for affirmation and laudatory words, give your shit to your family; they’ll take care to sugarcoat everything and nurture you when you’re in the dumps. Or stay well-entrenched in academia. Those fuckers are so far out of touch, they’re still gathering for cocktail parties and doing the Charleston to 78s on the Victrola. Let’s face it, they don’t call it the Ivory Tower for nothing; academics stroke each other off into their tenured sunsets.
So, dear unsure artist: get off the stage. There are plenty of us waiting to have our turn at getting slaughtered with right hooks and left jabs. Some of us love that. It’s fuel.
“Hate…the only thing that lasts” – Bukowski