The Fearless

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A poignant essay about artists and their art.

Submitted: October 07, 2011

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Submitted: October 07, 2011

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The Fearless

Debates have occurred that anyone can be an artist because art is not about skill, but an expression. It is true that one does not necessarily need skill, but in order to express what needs to be expressed, one must not be completely ignorant. The art that is created is not just paint on a canvas or text on a page, but something of a living being. What is art without that relationship with the creator? The confusing bond between artists and their work is one of personal relationship; their power through passion that they possess, and self-expression that presents itself at every turn are things only an artist can mentally comprehend, but as a spectator are simply felt in the heart.

When art is formed—when a brush meets the oily paste that contains the very essence of a rainbow squeezed out from a tube, when feet pound the pavement that transforms into movement, when a leaky pen stains ivory pages of a journal with a broken bind—the world stops. The viewers feel pain in the colors: anger, aggression, anxiety, tears. They know that the boy sitting on the park bench is clasping his hands possibly because he is stressed or frustrated; however only the artist knows that he was just left by his girlfriend, that his mother just kicked him out of the house, that he has nowhere to go, and that his dog that he grew up with since he was six, just died. What would dancers be without their reason for dancing, what would singer/songwriters be without their inspiration to strum a guitar and pour their heart out to a crowd full of strangers, or an old man be without his memories as a child that enable him to get up every day and smile? That is what art is, the feel, the duet, the other half.

Art is not about accomplishing a task or getting credit; it is a completely selfish craft. It is to better understand the artist, or what the artist has to say. The audience is there to listen and reflect, not to play a game that grants a prize to the closest guesser. There is a bond between the spectator and the marvel, an unspoken understanding of why the prodigious product exists. The spectators can see with their hearts the reason for its being, not because they know every hairy detail, but because they relate with the feeling, the emotion. They hear not what is being said but what needs to be heard and see not what there is to see but what needs to be seen through the creator’s eyes.

Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, understood art. He understood it because he had an art of his own to display, and he displayed it, indeed! Thor had passion. Thor showed every bit of him on his sleeve, no secrets, and no deception, simply there. He, existing with passion, is art. He took his journey, fell in love, found himself, and that passion enabled him to make life into his art, to resurrect what could be. Thor could have easily defeated a handful of hefty men with his eyes closed and both hands tied behind his back because he was that powerful; however, without his passion for the people he protected, the people he fought for whom he loved dearly, without that power that he held, he would be nothing. In the end, he earned and surpassed his father’s popularity as he claimed his kingdom. The same passion that Thor demonstrated needs to come of this generation’s artists. Myth or not, the world could learn from him.

What strength is shown solely in outward appearance, what position is held in a big leather chair in a mahogany-trimmed office or what place is taken by a famous book on a dusty shelf; none of it means anything without the passion to be what it is, to be made. Artists feel passionate about something and they feel it needs to be portrayed. That power they receive is in the public’s hands: as a painting, in a magazine, a headline for a clothing brand or even a theme song for a new sitcom. With what cranks a plumber’s wrench, what spins a drag racer’s steering wheel, what stitches wounded skin closed or pins a diaper shut, power is needed, but that power would not be understood if it were not for passion. That personal relationship artists hold with their form needs to be found, even though godlikeness cannot be achieved, despite popular belief, the right to hold a heavy hammer and pound it into the nearest rock is an artist’s prerogative.

With a mallet and chisel, skates and a leotard, a mortar and pestle, or with floss and a tooth brush, you can express what needs to be expressed. That is what being an artist is about, right? Anyone can express themselves, so anyone and everyone can be an artist. Wrong. Some people have told their family members, “Sure you can sing, but it doesn’t mean you should,” or, “Just because you have a mouth, it doesn’t mean you need to open it.” The public are hypocrites and oxymoronic. Yes, anyone can be an artist because nearly everything, if done right, can be an art, but it does not mean everyone is good or that they have a purpose to their creation. An artist not only paints what they see or what they are told to see, but paints what they envision. An artist does not just write with ink, but with blood, as their heart cries out to the harsh life they have been put through. An artist not only adds salt, but a flavor that cannot be labeled by something grown in a garden. If artists do it right, if they acknowledge that relationship between themselves and their masterpiece, between their audience and their creation, a whistle can become an anthem, an arrow a deadly weapon, or a bag of flour a vessel for freedom.

Remember, expressing something should not be a wordless sentence or a flavorless soup, know that with power comes many things but passion should be sought with it, and love the bond that an artist gives the audience to their work of brilliance they have spent every breath to believe in. As a talented rat once replied to his hero, “Well, yeah, anyone can. That does not mean anyone should.” An even more talented chef ended his life with these words, “You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true - anyone can cook... but only the fearless can be great.” So, be fearless and create


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