Deviant since Jun 17, 2007 | Premium Member until Mar 7, 2015
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In my opinion, what makes someone a great artist is their unique perspective they bring to the table. I think some of the most toxic things in art come from peoples' projections and expectations of what you do - or even your own projections and expectations you put on yourself. Every artist kind of starts out as a medley of influences and then are expected to keep to those influences and create the same thing - OR become that characteristics they were categorized as. No person is a "category".
For example, Studio Ghibli started out as an independent company, detached from the machine. Then, once they became a part of it and won an Academy Award, the expectations were that they would stay the same - or at least BECOME what their category was - generic anime cinema. After this past movie, it is clear that they are not, and even as a corporation, they are unhappy at their current point. They are now detaching from this machine again.
Another example - Lady Gaga (I couldn't resist). She started out infusing her jazz roots in her pop music kind of subtly, to the point where people just thought she was a unique performer. Take this rather harmless performance from her early days for example ~
Then the media labeled her as what they saw - an ever-changing chameleon with all style and no substance who was meant to always be on top and sexy, etc. The boxed-in, trapped feeling that created kind of shows itself here...(be warned this video is rather graphic)
Here she says, "I won't play by your f**king rules...f**k you pop music, this is ARTPOP" , thereby spitting (or vomiting...) in the face of what people think of today as a "pop star". (As I said, graphic...) And now what is she doing? She just created a jazz album with Tony Bennett - gone completely back to her original roots, started over. Why? Because people separated these things that she fused very successfully together. Eventually all she became was a pop star and so that's the standard she tried to live up to. Now, in order to express herself in this different way she is exploring jazz influences. The same thing happens to tons of visual artists. We burn out, we get bored, people project labels on us and think we can't burst out of them. I think this whole thing can be avoided if we just value ourselves and our original influences - carry out what we start and don't listen to those projecting what THEY think you should be to you. YOU know what you want and YOU know what will make you happiest so go out and DO THAT. Sometimes, even what you think should feel the most right isn't the most right because you're subconsciously doing what you've always done. If you keep mixing it up for yourself, keep learning, keep trying new things while also being excited about those things and staying true to yourself and your original goals and creative visions, there should be nothing that stops you.
I had a great conversation with a friend about this today and it could truly apply to anything. She's a cosplayer and has an Instagram of her cosplays and was at a crossroads about posting things other than her cosplay on this account, because she was afraid this wouldn't satisfy those following her. Don't lie to yourself - we've all had these first world problems. I've felt the same way about all social media outlets and what not. But she said she just needs to stop caring and I think that's what we should all do - about the restrictions we put on ourselves to be a certain thing that already exists...because the most successful people are successful because they are fully and unapologetically themselves.
And I think this gets lost in the whole "be yourself" mantra that has been repeated over and over that it almost means nothing. What it means is that no one is like you and that people will love you for you and your work for your work, and not because it's "like" someone else's. Personally, I find Pandora radio to be a bit annoying because no successful band that I enjoy is ever "like" anyone else - if you're successful, it's because you're unique and that's just the way it is. Nothing boring that's come before is ever going to be sensationalized in this modern attention deficit world we live in.
So go out there are stop caring! Sorry - sometimes I give myself these pep talks in my mind and think maybe someone else needs them too... ??
Here are a couple snaps of what I'm working on for homework - has to be done tomorrow!! ///bites nails