In a recent article I wrote, a reader commented about the "pathetic efforts" she/he, and other artists, make sometimes in the process of creating art. I understand what the reader is saying, at the same time that I vehemently oppose the concept.
|It's easy to overlook children as being unimportant,
because they can't trade stocks or undergo diplomatic
negotiations. But what a drab, sad place this world would
be without them! Seaside Story inspirational poster,
The Least of These is Great Indeed by Steve Henderson.
Yes, as ordinary people creating art, painting, and drawing, it is tempting to view what we do as unimportant, without influence, minor, and yes, pathetic — so unlike the actions and output of Oprah, or Dr. Oz, or James T. Kirk. I mean, after all, if what we did were truly important, then we would be phenomenally well known, and everyone would want to know our every thought and emotion.
Sorry — nope. "Well-known" and "Important" are not synonyms.
What you do, what you create, what you paint, is not, and never is, "pathetic," if you have put your heart, soul, mind, and effort into it. It may not be what you're trying to achieve, yet, and it may not fly off the easel before it's dry, but it's not pathetic.
"Pathetic" is thinking that you're somebody impressive simply because others know your name. "Pathetic" is putting half-effort into a project and expecting to be fully appreciated for genius. "Pathetic" is acting rudely toward the person bagging your groceries because she/he is serving you. "Pathetic" is treating beautiful people — children, say — like inconveniences because they say "Twis-mas" instead of "Christmas," because they can't make the "k" sound yet.
Paint. Create. Dream. Work hard. Analyze. Focus on the things you need to work on. Smile. Thank God — or the Universe, or nobody in particular — for your next breath. Delight in the color and texture of the medium in which you work.
And never, ever, consider what you do "pathetic."